DAT files, what are they? what are they for?

.DAT, or data files, contain genetic data that can be used by several programs depending on the structure of the data. DAT files are compatible with various programs, but generally are not designed to be opened manually. If opened, its contents can be displayed in a text editor, due the original DAT file is saved as text information. If required to display a DAT file, you need to first find out under what program the file was created. Some instant messaging programs keep the conversation history in DAT files, so an instant messaging program is needed to access them.

Technical details about the DAT files

Data stored with the file extension .DAT are contained usually in PK3 / PK4 with DLL files. There is no specific program that uses DAT files, but many programs can use this type of file for reference. Currently no longer generated regularly and programmers are the ones who often create and use them. Some computer users receive email DAT files, but generally to a bug during shipment causing the original file and its extension is not received properly. Viewing and editing DAT files are not usually necessary for most computer users.

How to open a .DAT File?

Run a .DAT file, or any other file on your PC, by double-clicking it. If your computer is configured correctly with files associations, the application designed to open .DAT files will open. It is also possible that you may need to download or buy the correct application. Usually .DAT files can be opened with a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad or Gedit from GNU/LINUX. It is also possible that you have the proper application on your PC, but even DATs are not associated with it. In this case, when you try to open a .DAT file you can tell your OS what application is correct for that file. In the future, when opening a file .DAT the correct application opens.

A special type of .DAT files, index.dat

In Windows OS, index.dat is a data file used by Internet Explorer browser. It is used to improve performance. The index.dat file is a data file. It is a repository of information such as URLs, searches and recently opened files. Its purpose is to allow quick access to the data used by Internet Explorer. For example, each visited Internet address is archived in this file, allowing Internet Explorer auto complete quickly as the user types the web address. The index.dat file is specific to the user and is open while the user is registered.

The index.dat file is never removed or resized. Too large index.dat file can affect performance.

A real controversy

The Internet privacy group consider the use of index.dat on Windows operating systems are an invasion of privacy. The information contained in these may be private to the user. One of the complaints held is that the file can not be removed easily. This is because Windows prevents locked files from being deleted.

While some claim that the Windows OS deliberately hidden index.dat files, others point to the fact that Windows Explorer offers a detailed view of the contents of the files when the content folders is scanned, even allowing for the removal of specific entries.

Some free programs can completely remove index.dat files until it is re-created by Windows. These programs do not eliminate the index.dat file in the folder of temporary Internet files containing a copy of the cookies.