How to Extract .exe Files On Mac?

How To Extract .Exe Files On Mac

Exe files are made for the windows operating system. But, when you are using Mac, opening .exe files can be a bit complicated. However, it is not impossible to extract .exe files on Mac. If that is the case then you might wonder how to extract .exe files on Mac.

Although Mac OS does not support.exe files, these files can sometimes contain Mac-compatible files such as graphics or sound. So, in a nutshell, you can simply extract.exe files on a Mac using third-party software or creating a windows environment.

If you have lots of .exe files on your Mac and you need to open them in an emergency, then you are in the right place. Today we will give you a complete guide on how to extract .exe files in three different ways.

Can I Extract .Exe File On Mac?

Yes, it is possible to extract the .exe file type open on the Mac operating system. For this, you need to use third-party apps like Boot Camps, Wine, and more.

EXE files are Microsoft Windows executable files and are unsuitable with macOS. But, often, these files contain useful information for your Mac like software, games installation files, and more. Hence, there are many ways to extract the EXE file on Mac.

Can I Extract .Exe File On Mac

Launching EXE files on a Mac is feasible, but via covert methods; as a result, you must use third-party software to run these executable files. For you to be able to execute EXE files on your Mac computer, these types of applications usually have particular requirements.

Why Would I Need To Open Exe Files On Mac?

Sometimes it is essential to open .exe files, and the majority of times, .exe files include Mac-compatible files. So, they are many reasons to open Exe files on Mac. Some of them are:

To Run A Specialized Windows App

Mac OS and Windows are completely different operating systems. Hence the software and programs created for them also vary. When it comes to software compatibility and options, windows has more options than Mac.

Programs and applications for windows are more readily available, and most times, even paid programs can be cracked for free.

Whereas free programs are limited for Mac, and it is often hard to crack paid software on Mac. So, using .exe files, you will be able to run a windows-only app on your Mac efficiently, or else it would be impossible to run a windows specific app on your Mac.

Smoother Gaming Experience

Exe files are easier to install compared to other types of files. As games come in lots of different file segments, .exe files make it easier to compile the whole game together for installation.

Additionally, it also takes less time to install .exe files. Games come in a large size, and hence when you use .exe files, you can install the whole game in much less time.

No Need For Another Computer

Sometimes, you will come across many fully Windows-based applications, and you cannot run them on your Mac. You may prefer using Mac over windows. Thus buying a new computer only to run one or two applications can be expensive.

With the ease of use of .exe files, you can save money as you will not need to buy a new computer to run windows based programs and can simply use your Mac to run the same program.

However, you need to remember that .exe isn’t a self-extracting file you require third-party software to open it on your mac device.

When you try to view these .exe files, they will often seem like text or document formats, but when you open them, all you will see is a collection of unintelligible symbols that make absolutely no sense, and you won’t be able to open them in any way.

How To Extract .Exe Files On Mac?

Down below, we will discuss three easy ways using which you easily extract .exe files on Mac.

How To Extract .Exe Files On Mac

Method 1: Using A File Archiving App

Using A File Archiving App

As all .exe files are meant to be utilized in a Windows environment, there is no built-in program for opening them on a Mac. To extract.exe files, you’ll need to download and install third-party software.

There are a plethora of third-party applications that can accomplish this, and you can simply locate them by browsing the App Store or the internet. Some of the best apps are Keka, WineBottler, and many more. You can choose the one that best suits your need.

After you have installed your preferred third-party app, you need to right-click the .exe file as shown in the picture below with an option saying “open with,” and the app will come. Select the app, and the extraction will begin.

Using third-party applications

Extract the .exe File Using Keka

Keka is free software that can be downloaded from their site, just search for Keka on google you will get it. Once downloaded, install this app following the instructions. It will be added to your context menu after it is configured, and you can open a file using the instructions below.

Step 1: Finding the .exe file

Click the finder at the top of the screen on your Mac, then find the .exe file you want to open.

Finding the .exe file

Step 2: Using the app to open the file

After you have located your required file, you need to right-click the file (or tap with two fingers together on some Macbooks), and you will find the “extract using Keka” option; click that.

Using the app to open the file

Step 3: Extracting files

Keka will now automatically create a new folder with all the items inside that .exe extension. Here all files will be extracted entirely, and you will have the complete freedom to use all these files whether copy, open, cut, or use them for anything in any way you want to.

Extracting files

Method 2: Using A Windows Environment

When some .exe files become impossible to open with third-party apps, then the only option for you is to create a windows environment. There are numerous outstanding Windows programs that have never made it to macOS and are unlikely to do so in the future.

Boot Camp makes running EXE files on a Mac convenient and straightforward. You are free to use any. It all relies on personal choice and what is more comfortable for you.

Extract the .exe File Using Boot Camp

Using Boot camp, you can install windows on your Mac and use whichever you want to. You can shift between windows and Mac OS just by restarting your computer.

Step 1: Downloading ISO

Get the ISO file of either windows 8, 8.1, or 10. Boot camp only works with these three versions.

Downloading ISO

Step 2: Finding utility folder

Open the Utility folder on Mac. Take help from the image if you are unable to find it. The simplest way is to type utilities in the search bar, and you can easily find them.

Finding utilities folder

Step 3: Searching for Boot Camp

Inside the Utilities folder, you will find an app with the name Boot Camp; double-click that.

Searching for Boot Camp

Step 4: Partition Process

You’ll be prompted to select the Windows ISO file and the disk on which you want to install it and after that restart your Mac. Pick the Windows ISO, choose the disk from which you wish to install Windows, and you will be able to select your partition memory according to your choice.

Suppose you’re using a USB disk to install Windows. Throughout this operation, you will be asked to connect the disk. Finally, the Mac will automatically restart.

Partition Process

Step 5: Restarting in Windows OS

While restarting, you need to keep holding the option key, and you will see the start-up manager. Release the option key when you see this. Now click the “Boot Camp,” and your Mac will start in windows format. You will be able to use your Mac as a window and run every type of windows .exe file.

See AlsoHow Can A User Opening Msg File On Mac?

8 Ways To Open Exe Files On Mac

So far, we have learned different methods to extract .exe files on your Mac. Now we will look into 8 different ways to open Exe files on Mac.

1. Parallel Desktop

Parallel Desktop

Parallels Desktop is a virtualization technology that is widely regarded as one of the most acceptable methods to run.exe files on a Mac. It is one of the most popular and extensively used Mac emulators, with a wide range of capabilities.

Parallels Desktop is paid, although there is a free version available. You can install .exe files on Parallel Desktop and use them as a Windows operating system on your Mac.

Simply shut the program when you are finished using it, and it will return you to your Mac, where you may return to Parallel Desktop with a single click.

2. Wine

Wine is a compatibility layer that is free and open-source. It lets Mac users run Microsoft Windows applications, games, and apps. It works by creating the folder patterns used by Windows so that Mac Os may run .exe files.

3. VirtualBox

Oracle’s VirtualBox is a free, open-source tool or application that may be used to run Windows or Mac OS X. VirtualBox does not have a sophisticated UI and is relatively easy to use with only the essential functionality. It is incredibly efficient in running .exe files.

4. VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion allows you to run Windows apps on your Mac. Many of the same capabilities are included, such as the option to use it full-screen so that your Mac looks precisely like a windows pc.

It is not free to use, and there is no free trial. However, it’s a safe, adaptable, and very well tool.

5. Crossover

CrossOver operates in a unique way. It is different from other simulators. It converts Windows commands to Mac commands, allowing you to run Windows programs on your Mac.

Crossover run applications as though they were developed just for Mac. CrossOver is a single application that interacts with a wide range of software, including productivity tools, utility apps, and games. This includes all types of.exe files as well.

6. Using Mac Terminal

The Terminal, in general, is the Mac operating system’s forerunner, and Apple created it. The impartial programming language was responsible for its creation.

It’s a little more challenging to open a .exe file with a terminal, but it’s still achievable. You can find it in the utilities.

7. WineBottler

Winebottler is a package manager that packages your Windows apps on your Mac operating system, as well as running and opening.exe files.

8. 7-Zip

Another common program for running the EXE file is 7-Zip. The file will open in the 7-Zip archive explorer. However, keep in mind that 7-Zip does not support all EXE files.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can use Boot Camp to use both Windows and Mac OS on the same Mac.
  • Mac can open most .exe files using a third-party app
  • A third-party app can’t open some .exe files; you can use virtual machines like Parallel Desktop and VirtualBox
  • Keka and Wine are the most popular apps for opening .exe files on Mac


When it comes to .exe files, they are mostly meant to function with Windows OS. However, often you will need to open them on your Mac. Thus you will need to know how to extract .exe files on Mac.

There are many methods like third-party apps, creating a windows environment, and more which you can use to extract and run .exe files on Mac. We have already discussed all these methods in this guide today. So, make sure to read this guide properly and follow the method that best meets your needs.

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