wikiHow to Edit a Dat File

Five Methods:Opening and Editing a DAT FileChanging the DAT File Extension in WindowsChanging the DAT File Extension in Mac OS XMaking File Extensions Visible in WindowsMaking File Extensions Visible in Mac OS X

A DAT file is a generic file that can have nearly any kind of content in it. If you open a DAT file in the program used to create it, it will open properly, but it can be hard to know what that program is. The file extension .dat is short for data. The .dat file is used by Minecraft to track user and level data. A program called NBTExplorer is recommended for editing Minecraft DAT files.[1] By editing a Minecraft DAT file, you can modify the game content. Click here for a wikiHow article on editing Minecraft DAT files. You can open a DAT file using any text editor, but if the file is in a non-text format, it will look like nonsense. This is especially true of DAT files related to video files.[2] Sometimes, DAT files a generated by Outlook email messages sent with rich text formatting, like bolding or italics. The Outlook DAT files are used to store the rich text formatting data and are unusable otherwise.[3]

Method 1
Opening and Editing a DAT File

  1. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 1
    1
    Open the DAT file using a text editor. You can use the text editor that comes with your computer, such as Microsoft's Notepad or OS X's TextEdit.
  2. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 2
    2
    Look for clues about the file's origin. Sometimes, even if it's filled with unreadable characters, a DAT file will include some text that provides clues as to what type of file it is.[4]
    • For example, if you suspect a DAT file is actually a video file, you can try to open it in a video player.
    • If you edit a DAT file with unreadable characters and then save it, it will break the DAT file, making it unusable even if you opened it in the correct program.
  3. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 3
    3
    Edit the DAT file. Make changes to the DAT file like you would any other text file, and then save the file.

Method 2
Changing the DAT File Extension in Windows

  1. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 4
    1
    Make sure file extensions are visible. Before you can edit a file extension in Windows, you'll need to make sure file extensions visible. Open Windows Explorer. Go to a folder with files. If the file names are followed by a period (.) and three or more characters, then file extensions are visible. If not, then click here for instructions on making file extensions visible.
  2. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 5
    2
    Rename a file extension. Find the file with the extension you want to change. Right-click the file you want to change, and then click Rename. Edit the file extension, and then press Enter. In the dialog box, click Yes to complete the edit.[5]
    • If you're not sure what file extension to use, click here for some common file extensions.

Method 3
Changing the DAT File Extension in Mac OS X

  1. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 6
    1
    Make sure file extensions are visible. Before you can edit a file extension in Windows, you'll need to make sure file extensions visible. Open Windows Explorer. Go to a folder with files. If the file names are followed by a period (.) and three or more characters, then file extensions are visible. If not, then click here for instructions on making file extensions visible.
  2. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 7
    2
    Rename a file extension. Find the file with the extension you want to change. Right-click the file, and then click Get Info. In the File Info window, in the Name & Extension field, edit the file's extension. When you're done, close the window. In the dialog box, click Keep for the file extension you'd like to use.[6]

Method 4
Making File Extensions Visible in Windows

  1. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 8
    1
    Open the Control Panel. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. In the Control Panel, click Appearance and Personality.
  2. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 9
    2
    Make file extensions visible. Click Folder Options. Click the View tab, and then, under Advanced settings, uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.[7]
  3. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 10
    3
    Make extensions visible on Windows 8. Open Windows Explorer, and then click the View tab. Click Options, and then click Change folder and search options. Under Advanced settings, scroll down and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types. Click Apply.

Method 5
Making File Extensions Visible in Mac OS X

  1. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 11
    1
    Open the Finder preferences. Open the Finder. Click the Finder menu, and then click Preferences.
  2. Image titled Edit a Dat File Step 12
    2
    Make extensions visible. Click the Advanced tab. Check Show all filename extensions. Close Finder Preferences.[8]

Tips

  • Here's a list of some common file extensions:
    • .doc, .docx Microsoft Word document
    • .xls Microsoft Excel document
    • .csv Comma separated value spreadsheet file
    • .ppt Microsoft PowerPoint document
    • .pdf Adobe PDF file
    • .txt Text file
    • .rtf Rich text file
    • .jpg, .gif Image file
    • .mp3, .wav Audio file
    • .mp4, .wmv Video file
    • .exe Executable software program file

Article Info

Categories: File Manipulation | System Maintenance and Repair