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File Extensions

DAT File Format

SUMMARY: Just what are .DAT files, and are they readable?

The DAT file extension refers to a data file created by an application or the operating system. This type of file can contain virtually anything, such as:

* Application help text, such as for a spreadsheet

* High score files for a game

* Software configuration options, such as the default font used in word processor documents

DAT files are application-specific. Normally only the application that created a specific DAT file can read the DAT file, unless the application developer has released information to the public on how to read such file. DAT files may be unreadable, yet opening them in a text editor might display some legible information.

Windows users: NOTE that unless you have configured your computer with the file extension viewing tweak, it is possible that a filename that looks like it ends with ".dat", especially one attached to an e-mail message, actually has a hidden OTHER extension, meaning that if you double-click the file, it may actually run a computer virus!

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.