Files with exe extension are best known as main program executable files since the times of MS-DOS. It was adopted for executables in Windows as well. Executables are files that launch programs.

There are 2 other file types using
the EXE file extension!

exe icon.exe - Self-extracting compressed file archive

empty icon.exe - Canvas X slide show

Detailed description

Software that open exe file

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EXE file extension - Program executable

What is exe file? How to open exe files?

File extension exe is traditionally used for program executable file since the time of first DOS. There are several versions of this file format, but all serve the same purpose - to start a program.

EXE format was, and still is utilized in many operating system, including MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2, OpenVMS and others. These files can be found in 16-bit, 32-bit as well as 64-bit versions.

Pretty much every program has one or more executables to start it, as such it is probably one of the most used file formats.

In addition to executable code, .exe files can also contain various other data, such as program icons. For example self-extracting archives (such as RAR), use exe file extension for the first part, because it also contains the executable code.

Warning: Executables are also used to spread trojans and other malicious programs. Always be careful when opening unknown exe file as this can infect or alter the settings of your system.

MIME types:


Updated: April 14, 2024

The default software associated to open exe file:

Microsoft Windows icon

Microsoft Corporation logoMicrosoft Windows  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
Microsoft Corporation

A family of operating systems developed by the Microsoft Corp. The first Windows was released in 1985 as a GUI add-on to MS-DOS. MS-DOS based Windows versions were developed to 2000, when was released the last version called Windows ME. Windows based on NT core started in 1993. Windows NT family are developed to these days, the latest version is called Microsoft Windows 11.

Microsoft Windows 11 icon

Microsoft Corporation logoMicrosoft Windows 11  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
Microsoft Corporation

Windows 11 is the latest major release of Microsoft's Windows operating system with first release in October 2021. It is a free upgrade to its predecessor, Windows 10 (2015), and is available for any Windows 10 devices that meet the new Windows 11 system hardware requirements.

Microsoft Windows 10 icon

Microsoft Corporation logoMicrosoft Windows 10  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Windows 10 is operating system for desktop, laptop and tablet computers. Windows 10 is familiar and easy to use, with lots of similarities to Windows 7 including the Start menu.

Windows 10 comes with great built-in apps like Edge, Maps, Photos, Mail & Calendar, Music, Movies & TV. And these apps use OneDrive to back up your information and sync seamlessly across your Windows 10 devices.

Microsoft Visual Studio icon

Microsoft Corporation logoMicrosoft Visual Studio  Multiplatform software

Company or developer:
Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) used to create applications for Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile, .NET Framework, Silverlight as well as dynamic websites and web applications. Visual Studio is available for Windows and Mac.

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Help how to open:

Double-clicking on exe file results in starting the program they are created for.

Do not open unknown *.exe files as these can harm your computer.

Some executables might also be decompiled with specialized software.

How to convert:

There are some options how to export *.exe files to other formats.

Find conversions from exe file:

exe to app

exe to dmg

exe to jar

exe to mp4

exe to rar

exe to swf

exe to zip

Find converter to exe file type:

app to exe

bin to exe

jpg to exe

png to exe

rar to exe

sb3 to exe

zip to exe

File identification strings:

HEX code: 4D 5A
ASCII code: MZ

List of software applications associated to the .exe file extension

Recommended software programs are sorted by OS platform (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android etc.)
and possible program actions that can be done with the file: like open exe file, edit exe file, convert exe file, view exe file, play exe file etc. (if exist software for corresponding action in's database).

Click on the tab below to simply browse between the application actions, to quickly get a list of recommended software, which is able to perform the specified software action, such as opening, editing or converting exe files.

Software that open exe file - Program executable

Programs supporting the exension exe on the main platforms Windows, Mac, Linux or mobile. Click on the link to get more information about listed programs for open exe file action.

Apple macOS / Mac OS X:


Microsoft MS-DOS:

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