Files with exe extension can also be found as special self-extracting compress archives. They are basically archives with a small executable program added so the end-user does not require any software to decompress it. Can be password protected.

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

exe icon.exe - Program executable [common]

empty icon.exe - Canvas X slide show

Detailed description

Software that open exe file

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EXE file extension - Self-extracting compressed file archive

What is exe file? How to open exe files?

File type specification:

Archive and compressed file type icon Archive and compressed file type

exe file icon: exe filetype icon

File extension exe is also commonly used for so called self-extracting compressed file archives.

Depending on which program produced the archive you may be able to open this file in an unzipping program and extract files directly from it. In general, however, this file is designed to run and perform an extract just by double clicking on the file.

Updated: April 6, 2024

The default software associated to open exe file:

WinRAR icon

win.rar GmbH logoWinRAR  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
win.rar GmbH

A file compression and archive utility. Along with WinZip and 7-Zip is one of the most common compression programs for Windows. Its native format is as the name implies RAR and uses rar file extension.

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format.

WinRAR is also able to unpack CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ, ACE, UUE, BZ2, JAR, ISO, 7Z, Z archives. It consistently makes smaller archives than the competition, saving disk space and transmission costs. WinRAR offers a graphic interactive interface utilizing mouse and menus as well as the command line interface.

WinZip icon

WinZip Computing, S.L. logoWinZip  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
WinZip Computing, S.L.

A very popular shareware archiver for Microsoft Windows. The first release of WinZip was in 1991. WinZip supports ZIP, ARJ, ARC, LHA, BZ2 and RAR archive formats. ZIP archives can be encrypted by the 128- and 256-bit key AES encryption.

The developer of WinZip was acquired by Corel in 2006 and first version for Mac appeared in 2010.

7-zip icon

Igor Pavlov logo7-zip  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
Igor Pavlov

A free file archiver developed by Igor Pavlov featuring higher compression ratios with LZMA and LZMA2 compression.

It is mainly available for Windows platform (for Mac and Linux are available command line tools) and is the primary program to handle 7z archives. However, also supports various compression file formats.

Supported formats:

Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM


Related articles:

Useful information about multi-volume archives

Help how to open:

These files are executables. Opening should result in files being extracted.

How to convert:

In order to convert these archives to something else, you would first need to decompres the contents and then re-pack it again. Some programs do it automatically during the conversion process.

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

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 - Self-extracting compressed file archive

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.

Microsoft Windows:

Main software associated with exe file by default:
WinRAR small icon WinRAR
WinZip small icon WinZip
7-zip small icon 7-zip

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