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What is the .EXE File Extension?

.EXE File Extension Description:

The EXE file extension means that the file integrating it is an executable type of file, which means that it is a software program. Virtually, the programs that are running under DOS or Microsoft Windows operating systems all use the EXE file extension. In addition, EXE file extensions contain various resources such as icons and graphics, which a particular program uses for its GUI or graphical user interface.

The EXE file extension can actually contain other information that isn't a component of a program, these include: symbolic information and information pertaining to debugging, the required platform/ environment that is necessary to properly execute a program, as well as 'housekeeping' info that will be utilized by the operating system in preparation for executing the program. This information is normally not part of EXE files, where systems are embedded and only has a small room for storage. In addition, information relevant to debugging is also normally not provided with EXE files available in commercial packages.

Executable files in the EXE file extension all start with the ASCII MZ. However, more often than not, those EXE file extensions created by different compilers may contain further identification than the standard ASCII MZ. On the other hand, unless an EXE file contains computer instructions that are properly formatted, it would not be able to properly execute even if its identification is properly marked. Files in the EXE file extension run in DOS, MS Windows, OpenVMS, OS/2, and ReactOS operating systems.

There are many file formats that integrate file extension EXE, like DOS executables, 16-bit New Executables, Mixed 16/32-bit Linear Executables, 32-bit Linear Executables, 32-bit Portable Executables, and 64-bit Portable Executable files. Besides the mentioned executable files, custom file formats also use the .exe file extension such as the W3, W4, DL, MP, P2, P3 and a lot more.

Author: Microsoft Corporation
Author URL:
Related Applications: Microsoft Windows Operating Systems, DOS, OpenVMS, OS/2, ReactOS, Applications/ Software/ Programs /Freeware
Common Path: C:/ Program Files/


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The Reason for .EXE files Errors:

A common and likely reason for .EXE files errors is failure in the Windows registry - cleaning is required to avoid more damage in other applications and/or system devices. Dangers include system device damage, blue screen errors and fatal crashes.

Symptoms of .EXE files Errors:

.EXE files errors bring forth a range of symptoms, such as: pc hangs while shutting down or starting up, programs crash, reduced pc speed, case speaker beeping, trouble saving documents, slow system behaviour and program installation trouble.

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