Open Dat File

  • File Extension: .DAT
  • Description: Generic Data Files
  • File Type: Text or binary


What is a DAT file

DAT stands for Data files or otherwise called DAT files. Most dat are those data-based files which consist of information of the software application or computer program files that created them in the first place. Or that they are somehow associated or linked with.

The dat file is a generic data file which can be a generic text file or another type not meant to be opened. The best way to open a dat file is with the program that created it. But, usually you don’t know which program created the file.

The first thing you should know is that there are many computer programs that can actually open DAT files or .dat extensions. There are basic software applications on your personal computer, such as; your windows Notepad app for text based dat files .


This text editor software application will open those files that consist of simple text-based information. While text editors can be used to open a simple text based dat, there are also more complex that cannot be opened by simple text editors can open it.

For example, the codecs for different languages that are stored up and utilized by your personal computer cannot be opened by a standard text editor. But rather with by other more advanced computer programs or applications you can read a dat file.

If you don’t have any available dat viewer, check the list below.


What programs can open dat files

We list some of the most used software applications for opening DAT files. The table below lists programs that can open files with .dat extension. Also included in the table are their ‘EXE NAME’, a brief ‘DESCRIPTION’ of the software application. You can try to read dat with these programs listed in the table below.

(Listed in alphabetical order, some of these dat editors are available for free download, others are trials or paid software)

Visual Studio Code
Microsoft CorporationCode.exeVisual Studio Code
ESEDatabaseView NirSoftESEDatabaseView.exeESEDatabaseView
Free File Viewer Bitberry SoftwareFREEFILEVIEWER.exeFree File Viewer
FrhedRaihan Kibriafrhed.exeFrhed - Free hex editor
File Viewer PlusSharpened Productionsfvp.exeFile Viewer Plus
GOM PlayerGretech Corp.GOM.exeGOM Player
GOM Player PlusGOM & CompanyGOM64.EXEGOM Player Plus
ImgBurnLIGHTNING UKImgBurn.exeThe Ultimate Image Burner - ImgBurn
just another nasty editorTryAndError, Inc.jane.exejust another nasty editor - jane
The KMPlayerPandora.TVKMPlayer.exeThe KMPlayer for video
Leawo Blu-ray PlayerLeawoLeawo Blu-ray Player.exeLeawo Blu-ray Player for video
MediaInfo MediaInfo.exeCapable of reading all information concerning media files
Media Player Classic - Home CinemaMPC-HC Teammpc-hc.exeMedia Player Classic - Home Cinema
Media Player ClassicGabestmplayerc.exeMedia Player Classic video
Notepad ++Don HO notepad++.exeNotepad ++ is a free-to-use source code editor (GNU)
NOTEPADMicrosoft CorporationNOTEPAD.EXEText Editor

As seen with ‘VLC Media Player’ by the ‘VideoLAN Team’,  the ‘Prism Video Converter’ by ‘NCH Software’ or the windows media player, data files can also come in form of dat video file for example an mpeg format. Video dat files can be opened by the video editing software that created them. Many other applications use DAT, such as; Porteus or CCleaner.


If a Microsoft Exchange Server is responsible for sending you an email attachment, then there is a high possibility that the attachment you receive will appear as a .dat file extension. While only 42 programs are listed above, there are several more software applications and computer programs that are capable of referencing, creating, and also launching file extension DAT.

Note that dat are created by software applications and are exclusively designed to be used by the apps that are responsible for designing the respective DAT.

Therefore, DAT files are not meant to be manually opened by the user of the software application. Instead, the application will automatically launch the executable provided the program itself is available on the computer system that will be used to open DAT. Even Minecraft the popular PC game makes use of these files when storing up the different levels in the PC game.


How to open a DAT File

The generic steps to open a DAT are given below:

  1. Find the .Dat in your mobile device or computer.
  2. Tap on it or double click on the file.
  3. Select the specific program from the list that you think created the file. If you don’t know select a generic text editor
  4. Confirm
  5. Wait for the program to launch.


Sometimes you can preview the file with the windows file explorer if the format and content is readable by windows.

On Windows PC

To open on your Microsoft Windows computer you must follow these steps:

  1. The first thing you should do is to right-click the .dat file extension.
  2. A side-menu will appear. Then you need to click on the command option with the label «Open With».
  3. Once the «Open With» sub-menu command option is clicked. You will now have to select from the list of text editors that will be highlighted.
  4. After selecting the text editor, you will be able to launch the text editor and open the dat file when you click on the «OK» option button.
  5. As long as the information you want to open primarily consists of text-based content, the text editor will open it and you will easily be able to read the DAT content.

However, where the content of the file with dat extension you opened does not consist of text-based content, what would be visible will be a number of ambiguous characters that will appear as gibberish. Along with these characters will be many «NUL» references. It means this dat is not readable with a simple text editor.


In Microsoft Excel

Microsoft excel can read some dat files. These are the steps to read one:

  1. Launch Microsoft Excel
  2. In the file menu select open
  3. Search for your .dat  in your folders and double click on it.
  4. If it is readable, excel will show its contents.
  5. If it doesn’t work, you can also rename the file to CSV or .TXT and try again.



MAC has some standard program to do it.

  1. Locate your .dat file in your MAC device.
  2. Right click and select open with option
  3. Select the textedit program
  4. Confirm and wait the program to launch.

You can also use the online website to read your winmail.dat


In R

You can read a dat in R. R can import dat format easily from the code. You can use some of the R commands like:

  • read.table to import the contents of an online dat file for example:
    header=TRUE, skip=3)
  • Another option to read dat files is simply use the RStudio software when you choose a program in the open with menu.


In Android

If you are trying to view a dat in Android you need an specific dat opener app.

Winmail.dat opener is an android app that lets you open, save and share the contents of the winmail.dat in your android device. The app is free to use.

winmail.dat opener



with Python

You can use some of the following suggestions in Python:

  • suggestion from stackexchange: np.fromfile(yourfilepath, dtype=«byte») and then load as a numpy array
  • Another alternative:
    • import numpy as np.
    • sed = np. loadtxt(‘spectra.dat’, unpack = True)


There is a specific dat opener online for winmail dat attachments. You can view this specific email attachment in the free website

winmail.dat files

  1. Go to the website.
  2. Upload the winmail.dat files or enter the url if you have it online
  3. Click on Start.
  4. Wait to see the contents.


How to convert DAT Files

You can easily convert a .dat to other formats. These are the most popular conversions and specific converters.


You can convert a DAT to CSV just renaming the file name. Then, you can use microsoft excel or a CSV editor to open it.

DAT to MP4

If the original dat had multimedia data, you can rename it to MP4 and use a MP4 player to view it.


If it has rich text content, the best choice is to rename the original file to .txt


If the original file was an image you can change the suffix to JPG and use an image editor to view it.


With these text formats  you can view the file with an internet browser like internet explorer, chrome or edge.


Viewing the contents

It is hard to know the actual content of the DAT files that you intend opening. You may not know whether it consists of just plain text file or maybe it contains picture, audio file or video files.

You may also not know if the files are actually a configuration file meant for a certain application on your Personal Computer (PC). So, the way a DAT file is opened will invariably depend on the content which basically is the type or form of information that is contained in the files.

However, it is quite commonplace to get DAT files like text files with plain text-based content.


Winmail attachments dat file

How to open winmail.dat files ?

Apart from opening DAT files using text editors, there are times that you receive an email converted to a .dat file format. This attachment is common with an email server like Microsoft Outlook and winmail.dat file attachments.

If Microsoft Outlook was used in creating and sending an email message and the recipient of the email does not use Outlook, the email can be received as an attachment file in the ‘winmail.dat file’ format.

Rather than informing the sender of the Outlook message to have the email resent in a HTML format, you can make use of a ‘WinMail reader’ like ‘’ or ‘WinMailReader’ to read it.

With ‘’ attachments files for example:

  1. You only need to first download the .dat sent to your email.
  2. Then, you need to click on the command option labelled «Choose File» when you go to ‘’.
  3. Find and select the .dat then open the file by clicking on the «Open» command option.
  4. With the clicking of this command option, the data file will be uploaded.
  5. When you click the «Start» command option, ‘’ will have it analyzed.
  6. The result will then appear on a page which displays all the content.
  7. When any of the items displayed on the .dat analysis result page is selected, it will be downloaded to either your Windows PC or Mac OS, as the case may be.
  8. Once the downloaded item is on your PC or Mac, you can then access, view, and read the contents of the downloaded item.