.DAT File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .DAT file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

DAT File Recovery

What is a .DAT 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.

What Are Common Causes of ".DAT" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".DAT" file loss or failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: The most common cause is accidentally deleting the ".DAT" file. This can happen when you are cleaning up your computer or storage device and mistakenly delete the file.
  2. File system corruption: If the file system on your computer or storage device gets corrupted, it can lead to ".DAT" file loss or failure. This can happen due to power outages, improper shutdowns, or hardware issues.
  3. Virus or malware attacks: Viruses or malware can infect your computer and corrupt or delete ".DAT" files. These malicious programs can gain access to your system and cause data loss.
  4. Software or application errors: If there is a bug or error in the software or application that uses ".DAT" files, it can lead to file loss or failure. This can happen during the installation, update, or usage of the software.
  5. Hardware failure: Issues with the hard drive or storage device can also cause ".DAT" file loss. This can occur due to physical damage, manufacturing defects, or wear and tear over time.
  6. Formatting or partitioning errors: If you accidentally format or partition the wrong drive or volume, it can result in the loss of ".DAT" files stored on that drive or volume.
  7. Software conflicts: Sometimes, conflicts between different software or applications can cause ".DAT" file loss or failure. This can happen when multiple programs try to access or modify the same file simultaneously.
  8. Human error: Human error, such as improper handling of files, accidental overwriting, or incorrect file transfers, can also lead to ".DAT" file loss.

It is important to regularly back up your ".DAT" files to prevent loss or failure. Additionally, using reliable antivirus software, maintaining a healthy file system, and being cautious while handling files can help minimize the risk of ".DAT" file loss.

How to recover lost ".DAT" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".DAT" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".DAT" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".DAT" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".DAT" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".DAT" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".DAT" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo data File image file file?

Programs that open ".DAT" files

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Additional Information

  • File type: Data File

  • File extension: .DAT

  • Developer: Невідомо

  • Category: Data Files

  • Format: Text and Binary

  • Mime-type: application/octet-stream

  • HEX: 5A 4F 41 47 5A 49 50


  • File types that use the extension .DAT:

    • Data File

    • Inno Setup Uninstaller Data File

    • Minecraft Data File

    • Piriform Key File

    • Porteus Save Container File

    • Exchange E-mail Attachment

    • Piriform DAT File

    • Windows Registry Hive File

    • Nonimmigrant Visa Application Data File

    • SimCity 4 Game Data File

    • VCD Video File


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 14:18 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .DAT files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is a .DAT file and what is its purpose?

    A .DAT file is a generic data file that stores information in an unstructured or binary format. It is a common file extension used for various purposes, and its specific purpose depends on the context in which it is used.

    In some cases, a .DAT file may be used as a simple data storage format, where it contains data in a raw or proprietary format that can be read or processed by a specific software application. These files may store various types of data, such as configuration settings, game progress, or user preferences.

    Additionally, .DAT files can also be used as temporary files by different programs to store intermediate or temporary data during their execution. These files may contain information that needs to be accessed quickly or temporarily, but is not meant to be stored permanently.

    It is important to note that since .DAT files are not associated with any specific program or standardized format, their content can vary widely. Therefore, understanding the purpose and content of a .DAT file often requires knowledge of the specific software or system that generated it.

  • How can I open a .DAT file and view its contents?

    To open and view the contents of a .DAT file, you can try the following methods:

    1. Use a text editor: Open the .DAT file with a text editor like Notepad, Notepad++, Sublime Text, or any other similar software. This method works best if the .DAT file contains plain text or if you want to view the file's content in a raw format.
    2. Use a file viewer: Various file viewer applications, such as File Viewer Plus, Free File Viewer, or File Magic, can open and display the contents of different file types, including .DAT files. These viewers often support multiple file formats, providing a convenient way to explore the contents of a .DAT file.
    3. Rename the file extension: In some cases, a .DAT file might actually be another file format that has been renamed. If you suspect this is the case, try renaming the file extension to the appropriate format and then open it with a compatible program. For example, you could change the file extension to .txt for a text file, .jpg for an image, or .mp3 for an audio file.
    4. Use specialized software: If the .DAT file is associated with a specific program or application, you might need to use that software to open and view its contents. For example, if the .DAT file is related to a game, you may need to use the game's modding tools or a dedicated file extractor to access the data within.
    5. Convert the .DAT file: If none of the above methods work, you can try converting the .DAT file to a more common format using specialized conversion tools. This can help extract the data from the .DAT file and make it accessible with standard software.

    Note that the effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on the nature and purpose of the .DAT file. It is recommended to create a backup of the original .DAT file before attempting any modifications or conversions.

  • Are there any specific software or tools required to open and access the data in a .DAT file?

    The .DAT file extension is a generic file format that can be used by various applications to store data. As such, there is no specific software or tool required to open or access a .DAT file. It entirely depends on the application or program that created the file.

    To determine which software or tool you need to open a .DAT file, you can follow these steps:

    1. Check the file's properties: Right-click on the .DAT file, select "Properties", and look for any clues about the associated program. Sometimes, the file properties may mention the software used to create or open the file.
    2. Identify the file's origin: Try to remember or find out which program generated the .DAT file. If you know the application, it is likely that you will need to use the same software to access the data.
    3. Research the file type: Search online for information about the specific .DAT file format you are dealing with. There might be tools or software specifically designed to handle that type of file.
    4. Try common software: If you're unsure about the file type or origin, you can attempt to open the .DAT file using some common software like text editors (e.g., Notepad, Sublime Text), media players, or database management tools. However, keep in mind that this may not always work, as the file may be in a binary format or require a specialized program.

    In summary, the software or tools required to open and access a .DAT file depend on its specific format and the program that created it.

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