How to Open DAT Yahoo! Message Archive Files

Written by alan bradford
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How to Open DAT Yahoo! Message Archive Files
(Erik Snyder/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Yahoo! Messenger provides the ability to save all chat that you participate in. These chat sessions are saved to a specific profile folder in your Yahoo! program directory in the DAT file format. If the chat session archives that you want to open were created on your computer while you were signed into your account, they can be accessed in Yahoo! Messenger. If the DAT archive files are from another computer or a log in name other than your own, a Yahoo! message archive decoder utility must be employed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Yahoo! Messenger installed on your computer
  • Yahoo! message archive decoder utility

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  1. 1

    Launch Yahoo! Messenger.

  2. 2

    Click the "Messenger" tab at the top of the program. Select "Preferences."

  3. 3

    Click the "Archive" category.

  4. 4

    Click "View Archive."

  5. 5

    Pick a chat contact in the Messages tree. Select a date from the list on the right side of the menu to view the chat sessions with that contact, on that date. Use this message archive viewer to view all chat sessions with all contacts that have been recorded.

  1. 1

    Determine which archive decoder software you want to use. Two popular choices are Super Yahoo Messenger Archive Decoder! and Yahoo Message Archive Decoder. Both essentially do the same thing with slightly different user interfaces. Both are free to try for a limited number of decodings, after which, you must pay for the full version.

  2. 2

    Download and install the archive decoder software of your choice (See References).

  3. 3

    Launch the archive decoder software. The program automatically searches for Yahoo! Messenger profiles on your computer and displays the available chat sessions for viewing.

  4. 4

    Select the profile to view the chat sessions for that profile.

  5. 5

    Employ the program tools to locate and open DAT files that are not associated with a profile on your computer. DAT files on your local hard drive or files that are shared on a network can be opened. The exact process will vary, depending on which archive decoder software you chose.

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