How to open dat file Mac

Preliminary information

Prima di enter the live of the tutorial and spiegarti how to open dat file on mac, it seems only right to clarify what we are talking about.

Dat files are files, so to speak, without identity. As already mentioned at the opening of the post, they can contain texts and resources of all kinds: text files, images, videos or other.

In most cases, they are found as attachments to emails, due to some "conversion" operations performed by Outlook and other email management software produced by Microsoft, but they can also be found in the installation folders of some programs : in the latter case it is better to leave them where they are, not to move them and / or not to rename them, as this could compromise the correct functioning of the software to which they refer.

If you are reading this tutorial it is because you have received a dat file by email and, from the information contained in the message, you cannot understand what it is. I guessed it, right? In that case, read on: I will point out some programs that can correctly interpret the contents of dat files and extract it.

After that, in case the reported software does not satisfy you, I will give you some suggestions to try to identify "manually" the content of your dat files without resorting to external software. Happy reading and good luck for everything!

Programs to open dat files on Mac

The easiest way to open dat files on Mac is to use programs fit for purpose, able to identify the content of the latter and show it to the user: here are a couple that could be for you.

TNEF’s Enough

TNEF’s Enough is a free application for macOS that automatically analyzes the content of files in dat format and allows you to extract it. Let's see how it works right away.

The first step you need to take is to connect to the Mac App Store page that contains TNEF's Enough, accept the opening of the store (by clicking on the appropriate button, if necessary) and start the application download, by clicking on the button Ottieni / Installa, located at the top right.

If requested, verify your identity by entering the password dell'ID Apple o touch ID (as long as your Mac has this component).

Once the installation is complete, start TNEF’s Enough, select the items File> Open from the menu bar (the one at the top of the screen) and open the file winmail.dat that you received as an attachment via email.

A window will open in which you will find the list of all the documents contained in the dat file: to extract them in a folder of your choice, drag them out of the box at the bottom of the program window or, if you prefer, select the voice Export all from the menu Fillet (top left) and select a destination path.

You will then get the files with their real extension and can open them normally with any program suitable for the purpose (eg. Preview for images and PDFs, QuickTime for videos, and so on). It was easy, wasn't it?

Winmail.dat Viewer

Winmail.dat Viewer is another software that can open dat files by correctly identifying their contents. It can be downloaded and used for free for 14 days (period which should be more than enough to decrypt the dat files in your possession), after which it continues to show the text of the open files, but to extract the attachments (photos, videos, PDFs etc. ) requires the purchase of a license, the cost of which is 10,99 euros.

To download Winmail.dat Viewer on your Mac, open the program tab in the Mac App Store, accept the opening of the store (by pressing the appropriate button, if necessary) and start the download by clicking on the button Ottieni / Installa located at the top right.

You may be asked to verify your identity by entering the password dell'ID Apple o touch ID (if your Mac has a fingerprint sensor).

Once the installation is complete, start Winmail.dat Viewer and follow the initial tutorial: then click on the button Continue, to browse the various screens that are proposed to you. Then, when the program asks you to install AppleScripts, close the window and click on the button Continue without installing scripts, to refuse and move on (these are non-essential components for what your needs are).

Successively click on your button Continue, choose whether to associate the program with dat files or other supported file types, press again on Continue, indicates the software you use to manage e-mail (eg. Mail o Thunderbird) and press again on Continue, to conclude the initial configuration process of Winmail.dat Viewer.

From this moment on, to view the content of a dat file, all you have to do is drag it into the Winmail.dat Viewer window: this will open a window of your favorite email client with the text and attachments present in the selected file.

How to identify a dat file on Mac

If the solutions mentioned above did not allow you to read the contents of your dat file correctly, you can go “by trial” and try to understand, firsthand, what it is.

The first step you need to take, therefore, is to find out what is the original format of the attachment you received: whether it is a simple text file, a Word document, a PDF or a multimedia file, such as example a photo or video.

In this case, the wisest thing to do is certainly ask the sender of the email what type of file he had sent, but you can also try to find the right extension independently. First, open TextEdit (macOS default text editor, which you can find in the folder Other Launchpad) and drag the program icon that appears on the Dock bar the dat file to identify.

At this point, try to analyze the contents of the document: if you can read some understandable text in advance or followed by a series of apparently incomprehensible characters, you are probably dealing with a Word document. If you don't find traces of understandable text, you are almost certainly dealing with an image, PDF document, or other media file.

Based on this analysis, select the dat file with the mouse, press the key Submit on the Mac keyboard and make several attempts to change the file extension (ie the three letters after the period in the file name). Try these extensions.

  • Simple text document: .txt
  • Word document: .Doc
  • Excel document: .xls
  • PDF document: .pdf
  • Gallery: .jpg; .gif; .bmp; .png

After renaming the file, press Submit, confirm the extension change and try to open it by double clicking: if you guessed the right extension, you should finally be able to consult its contents with the most suitable software (eg. Word, in the case of text documents, or Preview, for the photos).

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