.EXE - File Extension for Windows Executable Code

Q

File extension EXE is used for executable files ready to be executed on computer systems. An EXE sample file is provided.

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A

File Extension: .EXE

File Content: Executable code.

What is EXE? EXE is a short name for executable code, which is generated by an object code linker.

EXE is the file extension for files storing executable codes.

EXE files are machine dependent, because they contain machine codes. EXE files may also contain application data, symbolic information, and debugging information.

.EXE files are binary files. Here are the first 128 bytes of a sample EXE file dumped in HEX values:

4d 5a 90 00 03 00 00 00 04 00 00 00 ff ff 00 00 MZ..............
b8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 d8 00 00 00 ................
0e 1f ba 0e 00 b4 09 cd 21 b8 01 4c cd 21 54 68 ...........L..Th
69 73 20 70 72 6f 67 72 61 6d 20 63 61 6e 6e 6f is.program.canno
74 20 62 65 20 72 75 6e 20 69 6e 20 44 4f 53 20 t.be.run.in.DOS.
6d 6f 64 65 2e 0d 0d 0a 24 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 mode............

The dump shows that "MZ" is the magic number for EXE files. "MZ" is actually the initials of Mark Zbikowski, one of the developers of MS-DOS.

EXE sample file: Click sample.exe to download.

2012-07-01, 2556👍, 0💬