You downloaded a file from the Internet to use specific software, which you need for work. Among the instructions attached to the download, it is indicated that you need to run the .EXE file for the program but, being you at the very beginning with the world of computing, you have no idea what it means. Don't worry, I'm here to help you today.
If you do not know what an EXE file is, I can tell you, in short, that it is a type of file that generally contains within it a series of data that can be of any shape (text, images and graphic models), with the purpose of executing a code to run a software. These files are mainly used in the Windows environment, but can be run, through third-party tools, even on different operating systems, such as macOS.
Having said that, in the next paragraphs, I will illustrate you how to open EXE file on computers with Windows operating system, but also on those with macOS (therefore on Macs), using ad hoc solutions. In addition, I will explain how to extract the contents of a file with this extension, so that you can view the contents before running it. Courage, what are you still doing standing there: roll up your sleeves and get to work immediately! Sit comfortably, pay attention to the suggestions I will give you and put them into practice: I assure you that you will succeed very easily in your intent. I just have to wish you a good read!
How to Open EXE Files on Windows
If your intent is to open an EXE file on Windows, in the next few 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 su Windows it is an operation that takes just a few seconds. In almost all cases, in fact, by double clicking (with the left mouse button) on a file of this kind, this is performed automatically and its content is shown on the screen, through a graphic interface, such as a software or an installation procedure.
If, however, the Windows security parameters have not been changed, when a double click is made, a screenshot of the Windows User Account Control which asks the user whether or not to consent to the execution of the file. An affirmative answer involves the actual display of the contents of the EXE file; in case of denial, however, Windows does not execute the file.
In some cases, an EXE file still cannot be started on the version of Windows installed on the computer, as it is not compatible. In this case, there are two solutions: search for an updated version of the software referenced by the EXE file or use the Windows compatibility parameters.
In this regard, if you have problems running an EXE file, you can try to right-click on it and select the entry Property, from the context menu. In the screen that is shown to you, then select the card Compatibility and try to use the combinations of configurations that best suited the correct execution of the EXE file.
Often, however, most compatibility problems can be solved by running the EXE file with administrator permissions. From the card Compatibility, you need to put a check mark in the box Run this program as an administrator and then press the key OK. 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 the entry Run as administrator, in the context menu.
If the problem, on the other hand, is related toSystem architecture, there is not much to do: if, for example, you are trying to run a 64-bit program on a 32-bit operating system, there will be no compatibility settings that will allow you to achieve your goal. The only solution to the problem will be to download a 32-bit version of the software to run or upgrade to a 64-bit system.
Caution: Since malware and viruses are also in EXE format, always pay attention to the executables you launch on your PC. Starting software from unreliable sources (eg peer-to-peer circuits) could in fact lead to the infection of the system by malicious code. If you want some advice on how to recognize infected files, refer to the guide I dedicated to the topic.
Extract an EXE File
If you have the need to extract an EXE file, to see its contents before even running it, some software used for this purpose can help, such as 7-Zip o WinRAR. In this guide of mine I will tell you about 7-Zip, a software that allows you to manage the content of different files, such as i 7z, GZIP, ZIP totally free. Furthermore, it manages to extract the contents of many other formats, such as those with the extension EXE.
To download 7-Zip, go to the official website of the program and click on the wording Download, which you find at the top, next to the entries relating to the architecture of computer processors. Not sure if your PC is 32 or 64 bit? In this case, I advise you to consult this guide of mine to be sure of the version of 7-Zip to download.
After getting the .EXE file, click Yup, in the User Account Control screen, and press the button Install, in the program installation interface. Then press the button Close, but I will complete the procedure.
Now, to extract the contents of an EXE file, right-click on it and, in the context menu, select the item 7-Zip. From the options you see, select Extract to "filename /", so that the contents of the file are exported to a folder with the same name as the file, located in the same location where the file is.
Once this is done, when the process is complete, go to the folder you just created from 7-Zip to view the extracted data. It was simple, wasn't it?
How to Open EXE Files on Mac
I use a Poppy and failed to open an .EXE file downloaded from the Internet? It's normal. Up MacOSin fact, EXE files cannot be executed normally, as they are files tailor-made for Windows systems.
However, using third-party tools, it is possible to make them work on the Apple 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, in order to be able to run them.
Means WineBottler you can therefore run both software that requires an installation and those that do not (ie "standalone"). If you are interested in this tool, go to its official website and click on the entry WineBottler x.x.x. Stable that you find in the center of the page. Skip any advertisement screen and wait for the file download to start .dmg.
Now, double-click on the file you just downloaded and, in the screen that is shown to you, drag both the icon of Wine than that of WineBottler in the folder Applications of macOS. After that, start the app WineBottler, through its icon present in the Launchpad.
In the tab Download WineBottler already finds some Windows software preconfigured to run on macOS. If you want to start any EXE file instead, go to the card Advanced and premium tasto Select file, which you will find next to the wording Program installation.
Once this is done, select one of the options indicated under the heading Installation mode: Execute file (Installer), if the EXE file you intend to run is an installation file, Copy file (Program) to the App Bundle, if it is a standalone file that does not depend on other files, or Copy file (Program) and all files in the folder to the App Bundle, if it is an EXE file for portable software that depends on other files in the folder it is in.
At this point, select the most recent version of Windows for which the software is compatible, using the drop-down menu next to the item System Version Info, and make sure the boxes next to the items are checked Include Mono e Include Gecko.
Now, press the button install, choose a name to be assigned to the link and its position, confirming the procedure using 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 created and, in case you are asked which process to run the file with, choose the one associated with the program, using the drop-down menu in the screen that is shown to you. 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 learn more about how to open an EXE file on macOS, I suggest you read my guide dedicated to the subject.
How to Open EXE Files Online
If you need to extract an EXE file but you don't want (or can't) install new software on your computer, you can take advantage of online services that allow you to do this. Among them, what I recommend is Archive Extractor, which allows you to extract the contents of over seventy different file extensions, including the self-extracting ones in EXE format.
If you are interested in this service, go to the link to the website I have provided and press the button Choose files from computer, which you find in the center of the page. Now, locate the EXE file to open and press the button apri. Alternatively, you can use the words below to import a file directly from your favorite cloud storage service (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: by clicking on each single file, it will be downloaded. By pressing the key instead Save everything as a ZIP, the entire archive will be downloaded in ZIP, more manageable and compatible with various operating systems.