How to Open DAT File

What is a DAT file

Data files or otherwise called ‘DAT files’ are those data-based files which consist of information regarding the software application or computer program 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 to open this 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 file extensions. The first of many consist of simplistic software applications on your personal computer, such as; your ‘Notepad’ app.

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

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 software applications.

In this post, you will get to know some of the most commonly used software applications used in opening DAT files. The table below highlights a total of 42 different software applications (stating the name of the computer program) that can open DAT files or files consisting of .dat extension.

Also included in the table are a number of useful information about the listed programs, such as; their ‘EXE NAME’, a brief ‘DESCRIPTION’ of the software application, and the name of the company or individual behind the design and launching of the computer program.

data files

what programs can open dat files

You can try to open a dat file 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 CodeMicrosoft CorporationCode.exeVisual Studio Code
Free File ViewerBitberry 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
Leawo Blu-ray PlayerLeawoLeawo Blu-ray Player.exeLeawo Blu-ray Player
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 Classic – Home CinemaMPC-HC Teammpc-hc64.exeMedia Player Classic – Home Cinema
Media Player ClassicGabestmplayerc.exeMedia Player Classic
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’ or the ‘Prism Video Converter’ by ‘NCH Software’, data files can also come in form of video file data. Many other software applications use DAT files, 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 a dat file is created by software applications and are exclusively designed to be used by the apps that are responsible for designing the respective DAT file.

Therefore, DAT files are not meant to be manually opened by the user of the software application. Instead, the software application will automatically launch the file 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 data files when storing up the different levels in the PC game.


Opening a data File

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 or video files.

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

However, it is quite commonplace to get DAT files with simple text-based content. As mentioned earlier, these type or form can be easily opened by a standardized PC text editor, such as; Microsoft’s Windows Notepad or any other conventional text editor on your Windows PC or Mac OS.


Opening DAT Files on Windows PC

To open the DAT file on your Windows PC you must follow these steps:

  1. The first thing you should do is to right-click the .dat file extension or data file.
  2. A side-menu will appear, then you need to click on the command option that is labelled “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 want to use you will be able to launch the text editor and open the data 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 file content.

However, where the content of the file with dat extension you opened does not predominantly 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 file is not readable with a simple text editor.


Winmail attachments dat file

Apart from opening DAT files using text editors, there are times when you receive an email that has already been converted to a .dat file format. This 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 this file.

With ‘’ attachments files for example:

  1. You only need to first download the .dat file 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 the data file analyzed.
  6. The result from the analyzed file will then appear on a page which displays all the content.
  7. When any of the items displayed on the .dat file 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.