The File Extensions Database


.DAT File Extension

Category: Data Files Format: Text and Binary

What is an .DAT file?

.DAT is Data File

A DAT file is a generic data file created by a specific application. It may contain data in binary or text format (text-based DAT files can be viewed in a text editor). DAT files are typically accessed only by the application that created them.

Many programs create, open, or reference DAT files. Additionally, many DAT files are only used for application support and are not meant to be opened manually by the user.

File Type 2 Porteus Save Container File
Developer by: Porteus Team Category: Data Files

System save file used by Porteus, a portable Linux operating system (OS); contains saved changes that have been made to the Porteus OS; includes changes to system settings, bookmarks, downloaded files, and browser history.

The DAT file is used as a container that holds alterations you have made to Porteus, which enables you to keep your OS the same when installing it to other devices. It is a necessary container file if you are installing Porteus to devices formatted with a Windows file system. The file is used to retain data, such as symlinks, and Linux permissions, to run your system properly.

To create a DAT file container to save your customizations, boot Porteus into the KDE, Xfce, or LXDE desktop interfaces. After the boot is complete, open the menu and select System → Porteus save.dat manager. Then follow the prompts to finish creating your DAT file.

Common DAT Filenames

porteussave.dat - Common filename given when saving an OS session.

Programs that open Porteus Save Container File
Linux
Porteus
File Type 3 Inno Setup Uninstaller Data File
Developer by: Jordan Russel Category: Misc Files Format: Binary

File created by Inno Setup, a program used for making Windows program installers and uninstallers; typically named unins000.dat (or a similar name) and is located in the program installation directory; contains data that helps Inno Setup uninstall the program when the user chooses to do so from the Windows Control Panel.

Inno Setup ".dat" file has a corresponding .EXE file named unins000.exe (or a similar name). When the executable is run, it uses the information in unins000.dat to uninstall the program from the Windows computer.

File Type 4 Piriform Key File
Developer by: Piriform Category: Data Files Format: Text

Key file used by Piriform applications, such as CCleaner and Recuva, that help users manage their PCs; contains the registry key number that is referenced by the application in order to operate in the appropriate mode.

NOTE: If the file is moved or deleted from its location in the application directory, the application will operate in the trial mode instead of the purchased mode.

Programs that open Piriform Key File
Windows
CCleaner Professional
Recuva Professional
Defraggler Professional
Speccy Professional
File Type 5 Minecraft Data File
Developer by: Mojang Specifications Category: Game Files Format: Binary

A DAT file is a data file used by Minecraft, a 3D exploration and construction game. It is saved in a compressed Gzip format and may save various kinds of data, including player inventory, player position, and world information. DAT files are used for saving world state information as well as for tracking player progress.

DAT files were also used for storing level "chunks," which are small map pieces that are loaded on demand as a player navigates through the world. This format was introduced beginning with the Minecraft Infdev version, and the chunks used a 16 x 16 x 128 map dimension. Beginning with the Minecraft version 1.3 beta release, a new format called "Region" was introduced, which stores chunks with the .MCR extension. Subsequently, the .MCA format, called "Anvil," was introduced with patch 1.2.1.

Minecraft DAT files have used different formats over incremental releases of the game. Therefore, one DAT file from one version of the game may not be compatible with another version.

NOTE: Minecraft is a first-person perspective game where players construct and destroy blocks and avoid monsters in a 3D environment. Minecraft server is a Java program that runs as a command-line interface.

Common DAT Filenames

level.dat - The Minecraft data file storing world information such as the player, the level generator used, and the time of day.

Programs that open Minecraft Data File
Windows
Mojang Minecraft
NBTExplorer
INVedit
MCPlayerEdit
Mac
Mojang Minecraft
NBTExplorer
MCPlayerEdit
Linux
Mojang Minecraft
NBTExplorer
File Type 6 Piriform DAT File
Developer by: Piriform Category: Misc Files

A DAT file is a data file used by Piriform applications, such as CCleaner, Speccy, Defraggler, and Recuva. It acts as a flag, telling a Piriform application to operate in portable mode, which is used when users want to run a Piriform application from a USB drive, or when users do not want to leave traces on a computer system.

To run a Piriform application in portable mode, create a blank file named piriform.dat and save it to the application's installation directory. For example, for CCleaner, the file can be saved to C:\Program Files\CCleaner\. After the file is saved, CCleaner will store program settings in a file named CCleaner.ini, rather than using other storage locations, such as the Windows registry.

NOTE: The contents of the piriform.dat file do not matter. Therefore, an empty file or a non-empty file that contains data will produce the same result.

Common DAT Filenames

portable.dat - The name of the DAT file used by the Piriform application to operate as the portable version.

Programs that open Piriform DAT File
Windows
CCleaner Professional
Recuva Professional
Defraggler Professional
Speccy Professional
File Type 7 Exchange E-mail Attachment
Developer by: Microsoft Category: Misc Files Format: Binary

Winmail.dat files contain formatting information for Rich Text (RTF) messages sent from Microsoft Exchange Server; they are added to the end of e-mails when a recipient's e-mail client does not support RTF messages; the Winmail.dat file is not useful to users that do not use Outlook or Exchange Server to retrieve their mail.

Read more about Winmail.dat files, including how to open them and how to prevent them from being sent.

Common DAT Filenames

Winmail.dat - A file attached to the end of email messages when an email program cannot read the rich text formatting data from the source email. This file originates from a Microsoft Exchange Server.

Programs that open Exchange E-mail Attachment
Windows
File Viewer Plus
Microsoft Windows Mail
Microsoft Outlook 2016
Encryptomatic Message Viewer Lite
Traction WinMail Decoder Pro
Winmail.dat Reader
Biblet WMDecode
Mac
Kupon.BG Klammer
iOS
Kupon.BG Klammer 3
Winmail.dat File Viewer Pro
File Type 8 Windows Registry Hive File
Developer by: Microsoft Category: System Files Format: Binary

File used by the Microsoft Windows registry component; contains data for the system or user-level registry, such as passwords, account settings, or file associations; can be loaded into specific parts of the registry when a user logs into Windows.

A common registry hive file is NTUSER.DAT, which stores the user-level registry information. It is located in the C:\Users\[user]\ directory. Another common DAT file is SCHEMA.DAT, which is a registry backup and restore file that is located in the C:\Windows\System32\SMI\Store\Machine\ directory.

Programs that open Windows Registry Hive File
Windows
Microsoft Windows
File Type 9 Nonimmigrant Visa Application Data File
Developer by: U.S. Department of State Category: Data Files Format: Binary

Application form data file created by the U.S. Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) process, which is made available from the U.S. Department of State's Consular Electronic Application Center; created by the online, browser-based application and contains data such as personal background information; used for saving and loading the application through the online form filing process.

Programs that open Nonimmigrant Visa Application Data File
Web
U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa Application
File Type 10 SimCity 4 Game Data File
Developer by: Electronic Arts Category: Game Files Format: Binary

Game package file used by SimCity 4, a city building simulation game; may contain several types of game data files, including .SC4MODEL, .SC4LOT, and .SC4DESC files; used for packaging files into usable content for the game.

SimCity 4 DAT files can be browsed using iLives Reader or DatGen (developed by DarkMatter).

Programs that open SimCity 4 Game Data File
Windows
Electronic Arts SimCity 4
Electronic Arts Building Architect Tool
iLive Reader
DatGen
Mac
Electronic Arts SimCity 4
File Type 11 VCD Video File
Category: Video Files Format: Binary

Video stream from a Video CD (VCD) disc; typically saved in MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format; contains the actual video data that is played from the VCD.

NOTE: Video CD players should play the video from the DAT files without having to open the files manually.

Programs that open VCD Video File
Windows
File Viewer Plus
CyberLink PowerDirector 15 Ultra
CyberLink PowerProducer 6
Nero 2018
GRETECH GOM Player
VideoLAN VLC media player
VCDGear
MPlayer
Mac
Eltima Elmedia Player
VCDGear
VideoLAN VLC media player
MPlayer
Linux
VCDGear
VideoLAN VLC media player
MPlayer

How to solve problems with DAT files

  • Associate the DAT file extension with the correct application. On :
    Windows: Right click on any DAT file and then click "Open with" > "Choose another app". Now select another program and check the box "Always use this app to open *.DAT files". Mac: Right click (or Ctrl-click) the DAT file, then click "Open with" > "Other...". Then choose another program and check the "Always Open With" box. Linux: Right click on the file, and select "Open with" and choose another program. iPhone: Tap the file. If you do not see an app to open the file, then tap Share "Share" and choose an app. Alternatively, save the file. Then open the Files app Files app. There long-press on the file, then release your finger. You will see a black menu bar. Then tap "Share" and select an app. Android: Tap the Settings icon on your smartphone, then tap on the Apps section. There tap the Options icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen to change the default apps.
  • Update your software that should actually open .DAT is Data File. Because only the current version supports the latest DAT file format. Search, therefore, e.g. on the N/A manufacturer website after an available .DAT is Data File update.
  • To make sure that your DAT file is not corrupted or virus-infected, get the file again and scan it with antivirus software.

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