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How to Run EXE Files on a Mac

How to Run EXE Files on a Mac

what to know

  • An EXE file is an executable file that runs an application or an application installer.
  • Mac has a utility called Boot Camp that you can use to install a copy of Windows to run Windows EXE files on some Macs.
  • Alternative to Boot Camp: The WineBottler app converts EXE files into files that macOS can understand.

This article explains two ways to run Windows EXE files on your Mac, using the Boot Camp software that comes pre-installed on some Macs, or using the WineBottler application, which translates Windows files for use on Macs.

Can my Mac run Windows EXE?

No, you cannot run Windows EXE files without help. However, with a translator or compatible Windows installation, you can get a working Windows EXE file on your Mac. Fortunately, the Mac has some built-in features to make this process easier, and if you’d rather not use the Mac’s features, there are apps available to help.

How do I run an EXE file on a Mac?

There are two ways to make Windows EXE files on a Mac. One is to use the Mac’s Boot Camp feature. The other is to use an app like WineBottler, which translates apps from Windows to Mac on the fly.

How to Install Windows EXE Files on Mac with Boot Camp

Boot Camp is a utility that comes pre-installed on some Macs that lets you install an instance of Windows on your Mac so you can switch between the two operating systems. When using Boot Camp, you will have to create a Windows partition, format that Windows partition and install the Windows operating system on your Mac. You will also need a valid Windows license key to complete the installation. Boot Camp is only supported on Macs with Intel processors. Currently, Apple is moving away from using Intel processors for its home processors. If your Mac has an M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max, you won’t be able to use Boot Camp. If this is the method you would like to follow, you can follow our guide to using Boot Camp to install Windows on your Mac to get started.You will need enough resources available on your Mac to run macOS and the Windows operating system of your choice. The two operating systems do not run simultaneously. At boot time, you must choose whether your Mac will boot into Windows or macOS.

How to Install Windows EXE Files on Mac with WineBottler

WineBottler is another option for running Windows EXE files on a Mac. WineBottler is a compatibility layer that converts Windows Application Programming Interface (API) calls made by Windows applications into Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) calls that macOS can use. The caveat is that it is not always completely reliable. WineBottler will not translate all Windows API calls entirely, so sometimes Windows applications will not work as expected or at all. Still, this is another option that you might find useful if you have the occasional need to run Windows apps on your Mac.

  1. Go to the WineBottler website and download the version of WineBottler that is compatible with your macOS installation.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file and drag Wineand Wine Bottle into the Forms folder to start the installation process. It may take a few minutes for the installation to complete.

How to Run EXE Files on a Mac

3. Once the file is installed, you can browse to the EXE file in Finder. Then, right-click on the file to open a drop-down menu.

4. Select Open with .

5. Choose Wine .

6. A pop-up window appears asking you to choose how to run the file. Select Run directly at [address] .

7. Then click Go and your file should start uploading.

If your file doesn’t start loading, it’s probably not supported by Wine, which means you’ll have to use the Boot Camp option listed at the beginning of this article (if your Mac can use Boot Camp).

Common questions

  • How do I see all files on my Mac?

Open Finder > in the left pane, select All My Files . Newer versions of macOS don’t have this option, so you have to search for files using Finder.

  • Where are downloaded files saved on Mac?

To find downloads on a Mac, open Finder > go to the left pane and select Downloads . Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + I to open the Downloads folder.

  • How do I unzip files on my Mac?

To unzip a file on Mac, open it like any other file by double-clicking. To compress a file, right-click and select Compress .

  • How do I select multiple files on my Mac?

To select multiple files on a Mac, press the Command key as you choose your files. Or click and drag files with your mouse. To select all files in a folder, press and hold Command + UMA .

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