What is an Executable File

The extension of a file, which is part that makes up its full name, is a suffix that is at the end and that tells the operating system of the computer, as well as the user, what it is for and with what software must be open said file. What is an Executable File executable file extension executable code windows executable file extensions

In this sense, executable files are known as those files that run a program, and most users are generally familiar with the name of the EXE file, as this is the most popular and frequent executable file extension.

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We well know that to open a file on the PC we must click on it with the mouse and in this way we can see its content, but now, what happens when we click on an executable file? When carrying out this action we will see that a different operation is carried out automatically, that is, it is not a file that we can see as we do with a text document, for example, or visualize how we do it with a digital photograph .

When executing an executable file automatically, a built-in routine is applied, that is, a procedure is started that performs different functions through a specific code , which tells the operating system how to act with said file. Precisely for this reason, executable files are those through which it is possible to install and launch software programs, as well as to make certain specific routines be carried out. executable code

Due to their characteristics, mainly because they are files that are compiled by their creator, most executable files cannot be edited by users, since in most cases they are files to install or run software programs, due to which they are usually protected by copyright laws, except those that belong to the world of OpenSource or the public domain.

An executable file is one that we can, for example, download from the official website of the developer of a computer program, and that allows us precisely to install that application on our PC. It is also used to have portable applications, that is, those programs that we can carry on a pendrive or external memory, and by connecting the storage unit to a PC we can run said executable file to use that program without installing anything

Often many users tend to access executable files through the internet, since from there we can find a wide range of programs of different types that can be useful on the computer. Of course, just as in this way we can access applications, plugins, add-ons and others, we are also exposed to certain risks.

We must always bear in mind that executable files can be potentially harmful to our computer, since these types of files are often used to distribute viruses and malware. Hidden under the guise of a common executable file, a malicious software may be hidden that will try to infect our PC.

Later in this article we will see how to avoid being deceived by an executable file whose content is harmful to our computer equipment. For now, let’s go over some of the most common executable file extensions.

Most common executable extensions What is an Executable File

In general, users tend to call executable files as EXE files, because this is undoubtedly one of the most popular extensions of executable files, which is because files with an EXE extension are one of the File formats of its type that can be all versions of the Windows operating system, or that offer some mechanism to support them, such as Linux through Wine.

However, there are other formats and extensions of the executable file type , some of which are specifically created and used for a certain operating system, since these files are designed and compiled taking into account the characteristics of the operating system and its configuration.

Here are some of the most common executable file extensions that are usually related to different operating systems:

Windows: Executable file extensions that work on this operating system are EXE, DLL, PIF, CMD, WSF, AIR, VB, BAT, COM, GADGET, DS or DSA, APP through WinRar, CGI with Notpad.

Android: The executable file extension that works in this operating system for mobile devices is the APK.

MacOS: Executable file extensions that work on this operating system are EXE, AIR, VB, BAT, COM, APP, DS or DSA, CGI.

iOS: The executable file extension that works on this operating system is IPA.

Linux: It could be said that the executable file extensions that work in this operating system are EXE and CGI among others, but the truth is that in the case of the Linux system the executable files are not determined by a specific type of extension but by a attribute, that is, they are characterized by including execution permissions.

Executable files function

Depending on the type of format and extension that an executable file has, possibly its specific function may vary, not only does it make it possible to open it and run it on a certain operating system, but it also carries with it the specification of a specific function according to its extension.

We well know that within the different extensions of executable files, EXE is the best known and is usually used in a huge variety of program installation files, mainly in Windows. Among its main characteristics we can mention that it is a compiled file, so we cannot open it to modify it, and it also maintains the size of the executable.

Another of the extensions that Windows users know in terms of executable files is DLL, which is precisely an exclusive format of said operating system, so it does not work on other platforms. It is basically a generic code that allows its use in various applications, it also includes additional information from executable libraries and is usually less heavy and requires less system performance to operate than executable EXE files.

In the case of the MacOS operating system, the executable file extension par excellence is APP, which is considered the Mac EXE version. It is basically a container file, that is, a package, which includes the necessary data to execute a routine or specific operation, so that the file also includes the extension of the software it contains and its resources, that is, libraries, for example.

If we talk about Android, the executable file extension is APK , which is mainly characterized by having a permission request format, since it includes a compiled Android program and other parts in another single file, so it is a package. In general, it is usually used for versions of applications for Android without support or beta versions, since they are not for official use. executable code

In the case of the iOS platform, the executable file extension par excellence is IPA, and they are usually the executable files of applications that are transferred by iTunes. One of their characteristics that differentiates them from the rest is that they are executable files that are stored in zip files, so we must unzip them in case we want to verify their content.

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