How open files EXE. You have downloaded a file from Internet To use specific software, you need to work. Among the instructions attached to the download, it is indicated that you must run the .EXE file related to the program but you have no idea what it means.

If you do not know what an EXE file is, it is a type of file that generally contains a series of data that can be in any form (text, images and graphic models) with a code to run a software.

These files are mainly used in the Windows environment, but can also be run, through third-party tools, in different OS, like macOS.

How to open EXE files in Windows

If your intention is open an EXE file in WindowsIn the following paragraphs, I will show you some solutions that will ensure you run or extract the contents of an EXE file in a few simple steps.

Run an EXE file

Run an EXE file en Windows it is an operation that takes only a few seconds. In almost all cases, in fact, when double-clicking (with the left mouse button) on such a file, this is done automatically and the content is displayed on the screen, through a graphical interface, as a software or an installation procedure.

However, if the Windows security settings have not changed, when you double-click, a screen appears. Windows user account control that asks the user whether or not to accept the execution of the file.

An affirmative answer implies the effective display of the contents of the EXE file; however, in case of rejection, Windows does not execute the file.

However, in some cases, an EXE file cannot be started in the version of Windows installed on the PC, as it is not supported.

In this case, there are two solutions: you are looking for an updated version of the software referenced by the EXE file, or you are using Windows compatibility parameters.

In this regard, if you are having trouble running an EXE file, you can try right-clicking on it and selecting property, from the context menu.

On the screen that appears, then select compatibility and try using the combinations of settings that best suit the correct execution of the EXE file.

However, often, most compatibility issues can be resolved by running the EXE file with administrator permissions.

De compatibility, you must put a check mark in the box Run this program as administrator and press the button to accept. In this way, the EXE file will always be opened with this type of permissions.

Alternatively, you can run the EXE file with administrator permissions only in that specific session, by right-clicking on it and selecting Run as administrator, in the context menu.

If the problem is related to the System architecture, there's not much to do. If, for example, you are trying to run a 64 bits in a operating system 32-bit, there will be no compatibility settings to allow you to reach your goal. The only solution to the problem will be to download a 32-bit version of the software to run or switch to a 64-bit system.

warning: As el malware and viruses are also in EXE format, always pay attention to the executables that you start on your PC. Launching software from untrustworthy sources (eg peer-to-peer circuits) could actually lead to infection of the system by malicious code. Find some tips on how recognize infected files, see the guide I dedicated to the subject.

Extract an EXE file

If you need extract an EXE file, to view the content even before running it, some software used for this purpose can be useful, such as 7-Zip o WinRAR.

The program 7-Zip, a software that allows you to manage the content of different files, such as  7z, GZIP, totally free. In addition, it manages to extract the content from many other formats, such as those with extensions EXE.

Download 7-Zip, go to the official website of the program and click Download, which you will find at the top, next to the words related to the architecture of the PC processors.

After downloading the .EXE file, click Yes, on the User Account Control screen and press the button install, in the program installation interface.

Presione el botón Close, to complete the procedure.

Now, to extract the contents of an EXE file, right click on the latter and in the context menu select the item 7-Zip. From the options you see, select Extract to "filename /", so that the content of the file is exported to a folder with the same name as the file, located in the same location where it is located.

After that, once the process is complete, go to the folder you just created 7-Zip to view the extracted data. It was simple, wasn't it?

How to open EXE files on Mac

Use a Mac and couldn't open an .EXE file downloaded from the internet? In MacOS, EXE files cannot be run normally as they are custom made files for Windows systems.

However, using third-party tools, you can make them work on Apple's home system as well.

Among the tools of this type, which can help you achieve your goal, I recommend WineBottler, a software based on Wine, which allows you to create an intermediate level between macOS and EXE files so that you can run them.

Through WineBottler  you can run both software that requires installation and those that do not (ie "standalone"). If you are interested in this tool, please go to its official website and click on the item WineBottler xxx stable you find in the center of the page. Skip any ad screen and wait for the file to start downloading dmg.

Now double click on the file you just downloaded and on the screen that appears, drag the Wine de WineBottler in the folder applications by macOS.

Once this is done, launch the application WineBottler, through its icon present in the Launchpad.

In the Download WineBottler already finds some Windows software preconfigured to run on macOS.

If you want to start any EXE file, go to the tab advanced and press the button Select File, which you will find next to Installation program.

Once done, select one of the options listed under Installation mode : Run file (installer), if the EXE file you want to run is an installation file, Copy file (program) to application package, if it is a separate file that does not depend on other files, or Copy the file (Program) and all files in the folder to the Application Package if it is an EXE file for portable software that depends on other files in the folder where it is located.

At this point, select the latest version of Windows for which the software is compatible, using the drop-down menu next to System version information and make sure the boxes next to the items are checked Includes jumpsuit y Includes Gecko.

Now press the button install, choose a name to assign the link and its location, confirming the procedure with the key Save.

Then wait for the process to progress, and if the EXE file requires installation, follow the instructions on the screen.

Now, to start the EXE file, double click on the link that WineBottler you have created and, in case you are asked with which process to execute the file, choose the one associated with the program, through the drop-down menu on the screen that appears. Now you just have to wait for the software interface to load.

It wasn't difficult, was it? In any case, if you want to delve into the topic of how to open an EXE file in macOS, I recommend that you read my guide dedicated to the subject

How to open an EXE file online

If you need to extract an EXE file but don't want (or can't) install new software on your PC, you can take advantage of online services that allow you to do so.

Among these, what I recommend is File Extractor, which allows you to extract content from more than seventy different file extensions, including self-extracting ones in EXE format.

If you are interested in this service, go to the link to the website that I have provided and press the button Choose files from the PC, which you will find in the center of the page.

Now, locate the EXE file to open and hit the button open. Alternatively you can use the following words to import a file directly from your service cloud storage favorite ( Google Drive o dropbox ) or from a link ( URL ).

At the end of the analysis process, you will be able to see the contents of the EXE file on the screen: clicking on each individual file will download the file.

By pressing the button instead Save everything as a ZIP, the entire file will be downloaded in format postal, more manageable and compatible with various operating systems.