.EXE File Extension
What is an .EXE file?
.EXE is Windows Executable File
An EXE file contains an executable program for Windows. EXE is short for "executable," and it is the standard file extension used by Windows programs. For many Windows users, EXE files are synonymous with Windows programs, making ".exe" one of the most recognizable file extensions.
EXE files contain binary machine code that has been compiled from source code. The machine code is saved in such a way that it can be executed directly by the computer's CPU, thereby "running" the program. EXE files may also contain resources, such as graphics assets for the GUI, the program's icon, and other resources needed by the program.
On non-Windows platforms, such as macOS and Linux, EXE files are not used for executables. macOS, for example, uses .APP files to run apps. However, if you would like to run an EXE file on a non-Windows platform, you can use a virtual machine, such as Parallels Desktop or VM VirtualBox, which allows Windows to be run within a non-Windows environment.Common EXE Filenames
Setup.exe - A very common name for software program installers. When opened, it starts the installation process.
Install.exe - Another popular name for software installers.
cmd.exe - The shell program used by Windows 2000 and later, replacing the COMMAND.COM shell.
Computer program that can run from a portable device such as a USB flash drive, iPod, or portable hard drive; contains user settings on the portable device, allowing the program to run the same on multiple computers.
Portable apps use the compound file extension .PAF.EXE.