DAT File Extension  What is .Dat and how to open them? ▷ 2020

When we share information on our computers either by mail, USB stick, or downloaded information, It is common to find files and documents of which we do not know their origin.

Although we know from the name that it is something important, no matter how hard we try, it is completely difficult for us to access the data. This is the case with DAT extension files.

It is for this reason that in this article we have prepared for you a complete guide on these What are they? What is the function that they fulfill? And how can we open them to be able to access their content with different programs depending on the case and from different operating systems.

What is .DAT files and what are they used for?

files with extension .DAT

To open and read files with a DAT extension, all we have to do is know what type of file it is How do we know this? One would think that since it is a file with a DAT extension, that is simply what it is and you don’t have to look any further.

But the reality is different since a DAT file could have been created with any program and in any format, so it was possibly later changed to DAT.

So a file with extension .DAT is an arbitrary data storage file, binary or not, and unless we know what program it was created with, there is no way it can be opened.

But don’t worry that here below we have left you some steps that can help you identify and later open files with a DAT extension.

How to open and read .DAT files on smartphones or computers?

To discover the way to see the content that this type of file brings, we suggest some steps that can be functional to read them from a mobile device or a computer, whatever it is, here you can find out. Not without first recommending that you use an antivirus to analyze these files, especially if we do not know their recipient.

On Windows PC

With a Windows computer and facing an unknown DAT file, The first thing is to try to find out in which program this file works correctly. For this we can try with universal programs that support a large number of formats, the first of them will be VLC Media Playeras it is capable of supporting almost all video and audio formats.

  • To do this we will open VLC and in menu “Media” we will choose the option “Open file”, which we can also access by pressing “CTRL + O”.


  • Then we locate our DAT file and open it to see what the player shows us. It is important that so that we can find our DAT file, we change the lower right option of the exploration screen, from “Multimedia files” to the option to open “All the files”.


*Note: If with this we do not obtain any results, we must try a universal text editor, the most recommended is the Windows notepad.

  • For this we open the editor and also in the menu of “Archive”, we select “Open” or press “CTRL + A”.


  • We locate the DAT file, In case this has been created with an editor like this, then it should show us all the data and information on the screen in whatever code.


  • In case it was not created with a text editor, at least it should show some code fractions that can give us an idea of ​​what program we can use.


This example is about some Windows user data, which should not change any parameter.

We must also take into account the environment in which the file is located and the person who sent it to us, this because they may be able to clarify that doubt. Once we manage to decipher which program our DAT file works with then we can open it from the respective menu of “Archive” and then on “Open”.

On Mac computers

In MAC computers the process is similar and only varies in the TextEdit text editor, which we are going to use to try to identify with which program our file works correctly, and after having the idea, carry out the test to see if it works.

TextEdit mac

  • The first thing will be to open the program that we have chosen to later locate our DAT file, we drag it to the main screen of the program and wait for it to execute the file.
  • It is likely that we a confirmation message appears about whether we really want to take that action and we just accept.

If the execution of the file is positive, we may want to change the format of the DAT file to the new discovered format, to avoid having to drag it into the program every time we want to open it. But Remember that it must be the exact extension to avoid damaging the file.

On Android mobile phones

Sometimes a phenomenon occurs in our emails that causes the information to be converted to the DAT format, this usually happens more than anything in Microsoft Outlook. But it also happens in the other PO boxes.

In order not to complicate things with this type of situation and to be able to access the information contained in these emails, there is an excellent application that can help you on your Android devices, this is Winmail.dat Opener which was created specifically for this task.

Winmail.dat Opener

So, how it works once inside your mail client in the attachment menu of the mail that is in DAT format, we are going to select the option to open it with Winmail.dat Opener. You can also save the file on your device and then once inside the application open your file from there.

On iPhone devices with iOS

On iOS devices the same thing usually happens with some emails and the solution is to ask for nothing. You just have to download a Winmail.dat viewer that you can easily find in the App Store and perform the same procedure as the previous one.


In the same way you can opt for a text editor and in this case the most optimal for this is the File App.

 File App

List of the best alternative applications and programs to open a document with .Dat extension

You should know that these types of files are only opened with programs that have been created for them. If you don’t know which one was used, you should try some that we will name you below.

Edit Plus

Edit Plus

It is a very complete text editor made for Windows, which contains the best tools for programmers And it’s great for opening DAT files. Even if it is only to find out where it comes from.

FreeDAT to AVI Converter

FreeDAT to AVI Converter

As its name indicates, it is an excellent DAT file converter that helps us to convert these files to almost all possible multimedia formats, in order to have a better reading of these and avoid damaging it in the act of conversion.

VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player

VLC is a universally known media player, It is open source and therefore available for all major operating systems. It is capable of playing almost all video formats with the highest definitions and also many audio-only formats.

We apply it in this tutorial because of its ability to play DAT files that were originally created as audio or video files.

Notepad ++

Notepad ++

This is the most common and recommended by most programmers and the most similar to notepad, but with many more tools and a greater capacity to support hundreds of formats, including DAT.

Winmail.Dat Opener

Winmail.Dat Opener

This is a simple application designed so that we can open Winmail.dat type mail attachments. It is a free app but a bit limited, as it only works with these types of files. However, it is still an excellent solution.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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