What is EXE? What Opens a EXE? File Format List from WhatIs.com

File Extension

EXE File Format

Executable file (program)

EXE file format icon

EXE is a file extension for an executable file format. An executable is a file that contains a program - that is, a particular kind of file that is capable of being executed or run as a program in the computer. An executable file can be run by a program in Microsoft DOS or Windows through a command or a double click. 

COM and BAT are other types of executable file types in Windows.

A file whose name ends in ".exe" is really a program that when opened causes the operating system to run the program. Users who receive an .exe file as an e-mail attachment should always be sure that the file comes from a trusted source and does not contain a virus.

MIME type: application/octet-stream, application/x-msdownload, application/exe, application/x-exe, application/dos-exe, vms/exe, application/x-winexe, application/msdos-windows, application/x-msdos-program


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This was last updated in July 2010
Editorial Director Margaret Rouse

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