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What is a Dat File and How to Open It?

What is a DAT file?

A DAT file is a data file and it is definitely not an acronym as confused by many peoples. It usually contains data in ASCII format but that is of course not a compulsion. It is a data file and can contain any kind of data – Music, Video, Text, Flash or any other file types. One can never be sure of its content until and unless you are able to open it up.

Here, in this article we will see some quick tricks and tips to open up dat file under Windows Operating Systems.

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Open DAT file Received in mail

Many people use multiple programs to send mails across varied platforms. It might happen that the current app which is being used to send the emails might convert the attached files to this format. You need to ask the sender for the file extension and then rename the file after download to the same.

Say for example you have received an audio file as in dat format from a friend of yours and you don not know if it is an mp3, wma, amr or any such file formats. Ask him to provide you the file extension. Download the attached file from your mail and right click to select the rename option. Rename the file .dat to file.mp3 and you are done.

Open DAT file you came across in your Computer

It is probable that sometimes you might come across a DAT file which you want to open but you don’e remeber creating or downloading it. The best way to maek sure that the relevant file opener program is selected by analysing the file size and the directory under which you found it.

If the file size is larger than a regular document size such as 3-4 mb chances are it is not a document file and can be an audio or video file. Now try renaming the file to common file extensions such as .mp3, .mpeg, .avi etc. This is a trial and error process and you can never be sure of the final outcome. Similarly if the the file size is small rename using document extension such as .txt, .rtf, .doc, .xls, .pdf etc.

How to convert Dat to other file formats?

You cannot convert a dat file without knowing the original file extension with which it was created. There is no such genuine application or programs which can help you out with this problem. This is totally a manual pick and prick process and physically renaming the file is the only probable solution to such situation.

Final Words and Advice

If you ever come across this file extension under system folders such as System32, Program files, Application profiles and similar locations DO NOT try experimenting with the file extensions as this might make your system unstable. If you are too reluctant to let it go make sure you save a copy of this file and then try experimenting with the above mentioned methods.

Some example of system DAT files are – index.dat, temp.dat and log.dat.

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