How to Open a DAT File in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Opening a DAT file in Word might sound complicated, but it’s pretty straightforward once you know the steps. All you need is a computer with Microsoft Word installed and a .DAT file you want to open. Let’s dive into the details and get that file open in no time!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Open a DAT File in Word

Before we jump into the steps, know that DAT files aren’t designed for Word. They usually contain data for software to handle, not for reading as text. But sometimes, these files have text that Word can display. So, we’ll try opening it in Word and see what we get.

Step 1: Locate the DAT file on your computer

Find the .DAT file you want to open on your computer.

It’s essential to know where your DAT file is saved. Check your downloads folder, email attachments, or ask the person who sent it to you if you’re not sure.

Step 2: Make a copy of the DAT file

Right-click the file, select “Copy,” then right-click on your desktop or another folder and select “Paste.”

Always make a copy of the original file before trying to open it in different software. This way, you won’t mess up the original data if something goes wrong.

Step 3: Rename the file extension to .TXT

Right-click the copied file, select “Rename,” and change the extension from .DAT to .TXT.

When you change the file extension, your computer might warn you about the file becoming unusable. Don’t worry; since we’re working with a copy, your original file is safe.

Step 4: Open the renamed file in Word

Right-click the renamed .TXT file, choose “Open with,” and select “Word.”

If Word isn’t listed immediately, you may need to look for it in the “More apps” section or “Choose another app” if you’re on Windows 10.

After completing these steps, Word will attempt to open your file. It might look like gibberish if the DAT file doesn’t contain text data. But if there is readable text, you should see it displayed in Word.

Tips for Opening a DAT File in Word

  • Double-check that you’re working with a copy of the DAT file to avoid any data loss.
  • If Word can’t read the file, it might not contain text data.
  • Try opening the file in Notepad or another text editor if Word doesn’t work.
  • Keep the original DAT file safe until you’re sure you have the information you need.
  • If the DAT file is an email attachment, ask the sender for the file in a different format if you can’t open it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I open any DAT file in Word?

Not all DAT files will work in Word, as they can contain various types of data not meant for text editors.

What if the text in the DAT file looks weird in Word?

The DAT file might include non-text data, which won’t display correctly in Word. You might need specialized software to read it.

Is it safe to change the file extension to .TXT?

It’s safe as long as you work with a copy of the original DAT file. The original file won’t be affected.

Can I change the .TXT file back to .DAT?

Yes, you can rename the extension back to .DAT if you need to.

What should I do if I can’t open the DAT file in Word?

Try using a different text editor like Notepad, or ask the sender for the file in another format.


  1. Locate the DAT file on your computer.
  2. Make a copy of the DAT file.
  3. Rename the file extension to .TXT.
  4. Open the renamed file in Word.


By now, you should have a good understanding of how to open a DAT file in Word. While it might seem a bit technical at first, following these simple steps can make the process a breeze. Remember, not all DAT files will contain readable text, so don’t be discouraged if Word can’t display the data correctly. It’s always important to make a copy of your DAT file before attempting to open it, just to be on the safe side.

With a little bit of patience and problem-solving, you’ll become proficient at handling DAT files and any other file types that come your way. If you’ve found this guide helpful, why not share it with friends or colleagues who might also benefit from learning how to open a DAT file in Word?

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