Many users probably have encountered problems in receiving files with dot dat extension (.dat) and wonder what to do with them. There are various possibilities of what these dat files are. Generally files with dat extension can be a generic data file created by a specific application; or an exchange e-mail attachment sent from Microsoft Exchange Server; or also possibly a VCD video file. Users need to know the original source of the dat files in order to tackle and get the right way to open them. Different types of dat file require different tricks to open them.
If users are quite certain that the original format for the file with dat extension is originally a word document file, users can try to convert it back to a word document and open it with Microsoft Word. To convert a dat file to a word document, the simplest way is to change the file extension. Users can easily change the file extension by going to Windows Explorer, right click the file, choose rename and change the extension to doc. In the event users cannot locate the file extension from Windows Explorer, users need to go to Tools->Folder Options, View tab and uncheck the option “Hide extensions for known file types”. Besides this method, another easy way to open a dat file which was originally a doc file is via word editor programs such as Microsoft Word, Notepad, etc. Users just need to right click the particular dat file and select “Open with” and thence select the relevant programs in Windows Explorer.
If the dat file that users intend to open is an attachment from an email, then most likely this particular file is an exchange e-mail attachment which normally carries the file name winmail.dat or ATT0001.dat. This email is usually sent out via Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or MS Exchange Server. The easiest way to open this type of dat file is to use an online converter such as Winmaildat.com. Users can upload their files to this online service and extract them accordingly. For a VCD video file, users can easily open them with some media players such as VLC Media Player, etc.