DAT, Data File (.dat)
The DAT System file format
DAT, or Data Files, contain generic data which may be utilized or referenced by other programs. Various programs can use this file, but the DAT files are not generally intended to be opened manually. If opened, the contents can often be viewed in a text editing program if the original DAT file has been saved as text information. If viewing of the DAT file is necessary, finding out which program created the file is required. Some instant messenger programs save the conversation history in DAT files meaning that an IM program is needed to read the files.
Technical details of DAT files
Data found in the DAT file extension is often contained within PK3/PK4 files or alongside DLL files. No specific programs utilize DAT files but many programs can use the files for reference. They are not commonly generated nowadays anymore and programmers are the only people who may regularly use and create these files. Some computer users receive DAT files in emails, but it is common that the file was received by mistake, meaning that something went wrong while sending and the file and file extension were not properly sent or received. The viewing and editing of DAT files is usually not necessary for the majority of computer users.