How to Open ex_file Files in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic By: Ivan Jenic
3 minute read

Home » How to Open ex_file Files in Windows 10

While using Windows 10 you might have noticed an unknown ex_ file extension. Today we’re going to tell you more about this extension and show you how to open ex_ file extensions in Windows 10.

So what is an .ex_ file? Although its name is quite unusual this is just a compressed executable file, also known as .exe. As you know .exe files are used for or sorts of things, such as starting setup processes for example. Sometimes in order to make the files smaller the developers compress the .exe file into a .ex_ file.

Here’s Microsoft’s definition of an .ex_file:

Windows executable file renamed from “.exe” to “.ex_”; contains the exact contents of an .EXE file; commonly found on installation CDs, where the installer must first rename the file before executing it.

We also have to warn you that .ex_ and ._ex files are not the same. While the former are compressed .exe files the latter are sometimes used for spyware. Now when we know what is .ex_ file extension let’s see how to open .ex_ files.

Steps to open ex_file files in Windows 10

As we said earlier .ex_ files are just compressed .exe files, and in order to open it you’ll have to decompress them. Although this sounds a bit complicated it’s actually a lot simpler than it sounds.

To decompress .ex_ file you need to do the following:

  1. Open Command Prompt. You can open Command Prompt by pressing Windows Key + R and typing cmd.
  2. When Command Prompt starts you need to navigate to the folder where .ex_ file is stored. In our example we’ll assume that .ex_ file is located in c:my documents. To navigate to a specific folder using Command Prompt type this and press Enter:
    • cd c:my documents
  3. After you’ve successfully changed the folder you need to type the following and press Enter to run it:
    • expand filename.ex_ c:newfilename.exe
  4. Make sure that filename.ex_ matches the exact name of your .ex_ file.
  5. Now close Command Prompt, and you’ll be able to run your newly created .exe file.

If you get the message ‘Error Msg: Can’t Open Output File <filename.ext>’ while trying to perform step 3, you need to do the following:

  1. Right click filename.ex_ and select Properties.
  2. Make sure that Read Only checkbox isn’t checked.
  3. Click Apply and OK and repeat the process.

Since an .ex_file is a compressed .exe file and you need to simply decompress it, maybe you want to learn more about file compression and decompression tools. Here are some posts that may interest you:

That’s about it, I hope this article helped to better understand ex_file extension in Windows 10.

If you have any comments, or questions, just reach for the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.

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