Cannot open the file

The file that was sent appears to be grayed out.

It sounds like you received an email about your data extract being ready for download, but that you were unable to download it. Is that correct?

If so, you should be able to download the file by logging into your account on IPUMS USA and navigating to the My Data page (see below). Once there, click the green Download .DAT button and extract the file to a working folder. If you’re not seeing any extracts on this page, try clicking on Show All on the far right. If there is an extract but no green download button, you will have to click Resubmit and wait for your file to be prepared. Once you’ve downloaded and extracted your file, use the provided command files to input the data into your statistical package of choice. You may find these online tutorials helpful if you encounter any difficulties.

Good Afternoon Ivan,

Thank you very much for your helpful instructions. I will try that now.



I did what you said and when I click to download the file it looks like its trying to download as the green bar is starting to go from left to right as usual. But then it quickly disappears and defaults to an empty zip file.
The tutorials don’t seem to address this. Will tech support help?


Hi Joseph,

I was able to download your extract and the data was in the .dat.gz file. Could you tell me which statistical software you’re trying to open the data in and which folder you’re downloading the data to? Depending on the software, you should follow the corresponding online video tutorials and download the data to a folder you can access.


I’m not aware of a statistical software that I have. I’m trying to load to my documents or my downloads. There is a box that pops up at the end which asks “how to you want to open this file?” I’m not sure where to go from there.

I see the two dat.gz files but can’t open

I tried to change it to open it in adobe but now each file defaults to adobe which will not open either.

You will need to use a statistical package such as Stata, SAS, SPSS, R, or Excel to open and view these data.

Thank you for your response, Ivan. I have excel so let me try to see if I can make that work.
I seem to have inadvertently changed the files to adobe hidrate white and hidrate black that I cannot open.
I’ll work on it. I really appreciate your help!


To open the data in Excel, you’ll need to revise your extract and change the data format to comma delimited (.csv). From the My Data page, click revise under Revise Extract. Then, follow the steps in this video tutorial (starting from 10 seconds in). I hope that helps.

That’s a major help. No way I would have figured that out!!

Thank you, Sir!

Hello Ivan,

I finally figured how to open the file in 7 zip but my second go round won’t open because the file is too big.
I’m not see how to limit it just to New York. Will please help me again?

Thank you,


My apologies for the delayed response Joseph. To limit your extract to include only respondents from New York State you’ll need to first add the variable STATEFIP to your cart. Then finish creating your extract and click the Select Cases option from the Extract Request page (see the screenshot below). You will be able to filter by checking the box next to STATEFIP and highlighting 36 New York. This IPUMS CPS tutorial video goes through the extract system step-by-step, including showing how to select cases, and should be a helpful reference if you find yourself stuck.

Good Morning Ivan,

Thank you very much! Really appreciate it.

Have a great day,