How to open a DAT file in Windows 10

Learn in this post how to view and open DAT files in Windows 10 easily.

There are certain cases when you receive a file with a strange extension in your email or randomly located in some of the folders on your computer. The first thing to do when you don’t trust the file is to search the Internet for information.

One such file with an unknown extension is the DAT, and in today’s post, I’m going to show you how you can safely open it and view its contents.

What is a DAT file?

The first thing to understand is that a  DAT file is made up of various pieces of data that are associated with another application or software.

For example, when you view a DOCX file  , you know that it is a Word file or that PPTX  is a PowerPoint file, but with the DAT you don’t know which program it refers to.

Check the contents of the DAT file in Windows 10

Want to open the DAT file right away? Wait a minute! You must first verify that this file does not contain any malicious programs or viruses.

Right-click on the DAT and choose the Scan with Windows Defender option.

If Windows Defender does not find any threats or viruses, you need to right-click the DAT file again and select the Open with option. In the menu that opens, choose Notepad.

Now you will see various symbols and letters that don’t give you any clue about the associated program or something else.

Do not worry! You just need to keep looking. In this example, I was able to find some Excel text telling me that this file has something to do with the Microsoft Office program.

Although DAT files are not standard in real life examples, there are cases where you encounter many of them because some of your email clients are creating these files when you receive any attachments in emails.

Find DAT files in Windows 10

Now I am going to teach a useful method that will help you find DAT files in Windows 10 easily. You must follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the View menu
  2. Click the Options button and there click Change folder and search options
  3. The Folder Options window will open, there you need to scroll down and uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types box.
  4. Click Apply  and then  OK to save the changes. Now you can see the files with the DAT extension within the system.
  5. In this example, I found several DAT files stored inside the System folder, and from there, I open them and check their contents.

With this in mind, you can open a DAT file by referring to the associated program search for some known software or word in its content.

Open the DAT file using FileViewPro

To finish this tutorial, I want to show you a better way to view and open your DAT files to see the content.

There is a utility that you can download for free called FileViewPro .

Once the utility is downloaded and run, you must drag the DAT file or use the Open option and browse for the file to view the content.

You will be able to see the contents of the DAT file in a better way and find which of your programs or applications could open it correctly.

As you have learned, these types of files do not always contain viruses, but you must be very careful in how you open them to verify their content and determine whether or not your computer is safe.

If you want more tips or methods to help you open some other files, you can leave a message in the comment section below. I am always looking for ideas to write new posts.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment