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How to Open a DAT File

A DAT file is simply an abbreviation for a data file, and it can entail a simple help file, an email attachment or a video file downloaded onto a system without a program to open it automatically. You’ll often see a DAT file along with a DLL file, and you’ll often see both of these in many computer game downloads.

<strong>Opening a DAT File</strong>

The simplest and most straightforward way to open a DAT file is to right-click the file and select the application to use from a list of available ones on your computer. If no program will open the DAT file, you probably don’t have one installed that can view or open these types of DAT files. In this case, you’ll usually be able to open plain text only DAT files with Notepad in Windows or TextEdit in Mac OS X. These basic text editors should be able to display the DAT file’s contents correctly.

<strong>Converting a DAT File</strong>

You can open a DAT file after converting it with a program designed to turn it into a format you can open with your existing system. The type of converter you’ll need depends entirely on the individual DAT file. If you’re trying to open a DAT video file, you can convert it with one of several video converters, such as FLV Crunch or VCDGear. If the DAT files is a malformed email attachment, you can fix it with a Windows-compatible converter called WinMail Opener. In some instances, you can simply convert a DAT file by changing the file extension. This tactic only works with plain text DAT files, so you’ll still need a separate converter for other types of DAT files.

<strong>Some Warnings About DAT Files</strong>

Use serious caution when opening executable DAT files sent to you as email attachments because they may be malware. The same idea applies if you’ve downloaded the DAT file from an unfamiliar website. In either instance, it’s highly recommended to scan the file with your anti-virus program and remove it immediately if it comes up as malicious.

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