Windows 10 accepts the exe format

File extensions always provide information about what type of file it is. The ending .exe stands for "executable" ("executable" in German) and is a Application specifically for Windows-based systems. Most programs on a Windows machine will run through Double click on the corresponding .exe file or the respective link. In addition, programs before the Install execution on the computer.

We'll show you how to open .exe files on your Windows PC or Mac.

How can I open an .exe file?

The .exe is opened by double-clicking on the file. Alternatively, you can open a selection menu by clicking the right mouse button. Select "Open" here. With many operating systems, a warning appear. If you've downloaded a file from the Internet, you should check again to see if it's from from a safe and reputable source originates. In particular, you should avoid .exe files that you have received as an attachment to an e-mail, even if you know the sender.

On Windows computers, the visibility of file extensions can be set in the folder options.

If there are problems opening the .exe, this can indicate a faulty file. There is also the possibility that the file was developed for an outdated version of Windows. So check the Compatibility of the .exe with your operating system.

If you rule out both sources of error, the problem is likely that Windows no longer knows what the file extension is all about. So you have to use the .exe format again associate with the file type.

Via the command line:

  1. Simultaneously press the Windows key and open the run dialog.
  2. Give cmd or command in the input field to open the command prompt.
  3. Enter the following command: assoc .exe = exefile

Via the registry:

  1. Simultaneously press the Windows key and open the run dialog.
  2. Give the command regedit one to the Registry editor to open.
  3. Open the folder HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.exe. Double click on the key in the right part of the window default opens a dialog box. Enter there under value the command exefile and confirm with OK.
  4. Open the folder HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTexefileshellopencommand. In the right area of ​​the window change the value under defaultso that it reads as follows: "%1" %*
  5. Close the registry editor and restart your system. You should be able to open the .exe files normally.

How to open an .exe file on Mac

On the macOS operating system and on Android devices, .exe files cannot be opened simply because they are Application files specifically for WindowsSystems. With the mobile operating system, it is almost impossible to open such a file, since only programs from the Google Play Store are provided here anyway.

With macOS, however, there are various detours with which the .exe files can be opened:

  • Emulators: A software like CrossOver for macOS can also run Windows files. In the program, you can select the desired .exe file and install it on your Mac for use.
  • Virtualization: Another option is to run Windows on the Mac in a virtual machine. The operating system then behaves like a normal installation on a PC.
  • Boot camp: You can simplify the parallel use of Windows and macOS with the Boot Camp software.
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