How to Open Dat Files

You received an email with some strange attachments in .dat format and can't figure out how to open them? Don't worry, this is a fairly common problem, several e-mail programs can present attachments in .dat format but with a little effort you can trace the true extension of the documents. If you are interested in learning more, therefore, dedicate a few minutes of your free time to me and concentrate on reading this guide to find out with me how to open DAT fileI am sure that you will not regret.

Before providing you with all the appropriate explanations on how to proceed to try to open DAT files, it seems to me only right to provide you with some more information about this type of file. DAT files are not specific documents but can be files of any type: text, images, spreadsheets or other. It may seem strange to you but I assure you that it is exactly like that. It is therefore up to you to search for the right extension and the most suitable program to open them.

Having clarified this, if you therefore wish to understand what to do in order to open DAT files, I invite you to get comfortable in front of your computer and to concentrate on reading the following lines through which I will provide you with some useful advice on what to do, both on Windows that of OS X. Are you ready? Yes? Very well, then let's get started.

Let's start with the most trivial and immediate solution (but also the most effective, if desired). If you don't know how to open DAT files found as an attachment in an email message, the simplest thing you can do is to contact the sender of the email again and have them tell you what type of file they had attached to their message.

If this is not possible or the sender of the email does not know how to give you a precise answer, you can start investigating the true identity of the document by analyzing its size: if it is larger than 2MB it is probably a multimedia file, if it is smaller probably it is a Word / Excel document or a photo, if it is very few KB instead it is almost sure that it is a simple text file to open with Block notes on Windows and with TextEdit on OS X.

If you are using a PC with Windows installed, to find out if your DAT file is a document that can be opened with Block notes, start the latter by pressing the button Start attached to the taskbar, by typing block notes in the search field that is shown to you and then clicking on the first result in the list. Once the Notepad window appears, drag the DAT file you want to open into it. If you are using a Mac instead, open the application TextEdit double clicking on its icon in the folder Applications or by selecting it from Launchpad and drag the file into it.

If what is returned to you is linear text, the file you received as an attachment to your e-mail is a plain text file while if some understandable text is displayed in anticipation or followed by a series of garbled characters, it is probably a Word document. If instead of understandable text there is not even a shadow of it, then you are almost certainly dealing with an image, PDF document or other multimedia file.

When you think you have identified the original file format of the DAT file to open, right-click on it and select the entry Rhinomine from the menu that opens to rename it. At this point, you need to delete the extension .dat and replace it with that of the exact file type to which the document belongs. If you don't know how and you are using a Windows PC you can follow the instructions I gave you in my tutorial on how to rename a file while if you are using a Mac you can take a look at my guide on how to rename files on Mac. You can also follow this scheme, if you don't know the file extensions:

  • Notepad text document: . Txt
  • TextEdit text document: .rtf
  • Word document: .doc
  • Excel document: .xls
  • PDF document: . Pdf
  • Image: .jpg; . Gif; .bmp; . Png

In case you don't see the .dat after the file extension or, despite the extension change, the file should be the same as before and should not open with the appropriate program, you must first make sure that this data is visible.

To do this, if you have a Windows PC open any folder in Explore Resources o File Explorer (the definition may vary depending on the version of the operating system in use) then proceed as follows.

If you are using an operating system version equal to or earlier than Windows 7, click on the button Organize collocato in alto a sinistra and selects the voice Folder and search options from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click on the tab viewing, remove the check mark placed next to the item Hide extensions for known file types click her cousin Apply and then OK to apply the settings. If you are using an operating system version equal to or higher than Windows 8, click on the tab View placed at the top right and then put a check mark on the box next to the item Extensions file names present on the right. To confirm and apply the changes made, close the window by clicking on the appropriate button with a x present on the right.

If you are using a Mac instead, to view the file extensions you have to open the Finder, click on the item Finder located in the upper left part of the menu bar and select the item Preference .... In the window that will now open on the desktop, click on the tab Advanced placed at the top right and then put the check mark on the box next to the item Show all filename extensions. To confirm and apply the changes made, simply close the window by clicking on the red button at the top left.

Now try again to replace the unknown file extension and open DAT file with a simple double click on it. If everything went well you should finally be able to access the file without problems.

In the unfortunate event that despite having followed my instructions to the letter, I have not been able to open DAT files, know that it is not yet time to throw in the towel. In fact, both for Windows and for OS X there are some applications that can prove to be very useful in this regard and that can therefore allow you to open DAT files without running into various kinds of hassle and unnecessary waste of time.

If you are using a PC with Windows installed, you can use Winmail Opener. It is a small free application that can recognize (and display) the content of DAT files with an extremely simple user interface. To download it to your computer, click here to connect to its website and click on the link first Winmail Opener located at the bottom of the page and then up Direct Download Link.

When the download is complete, double-click on it, open the file you just downloaded and, in the window that opens, click first on Next and then I Agreeinstall e Finish to finish the installation process and start Winmail Opener.

Now, click on the item Open file and select the file as the .dat extension whose content you want to view. In this way, in the left part of the window the program will show you the text contained in the selected DAT file and on the right the documents it contains. To copy the files contained in the .dat archive to any folder on your PC, right-click on their icons, select the item Copy from the menu that appears and paste them in the desired folder.

In the Mac environment, I recommend you try the free application instead TNEF’s Enough which allows you to extract any data contained in the DAT files generated by Microsoft Outlook. To download the application on your computer, click here to connect to the relevant web page and then click on the button View in the Mac App Store which is on the left. Once the Mac App Store window is open, press the button Get on the left to start the app download and installation procedure. If necessary, also type the password for the user account you are using on your Mac.

Afterwards, start the program by clicking on its icon that has been added to the Launchpad and to the folder Applications, select the voice Fillet located at the top left of the menu bar and then click Open. It then indicates the position of the document in .dat format to be opened.

When the operation is completed, extract all the elements present in the selected dat file, using the item Export all from the menu Fillet by TNEF's Enough, and that's it.

Lastly, I want to tell you about the free online service Winmaildat.com which - as the name suggests quite simply - allows you to view the contents of Winmail.dat attachments generated by Microsoft Outlook and ATT0001.dat files which have a maximum weight of 5MB. It works with all major browsers and all operating systems without requiring additional plugins.

How to use? It's that simple. First click here to connect to its home page and then click on the button Choose file/Shop by Department and select the dat file to open. Then, press the button Send file and within a few seconds you will be shown the list of objects contained in it.

To download the files one by one to your computer, click on their names and the download should start automatically. Easier than that?