See this fix, if you can't open .EXE files in Windows 10/8/7. .EXE files are usually used to install programs in Windows operating systems.

.EXE files or executable files are usually used in Windows to install programs/software. But sometimes due to corruption of registry because of installation of third-party programs, you might not able to open .EXE files. So if you can’t open .EXE files, it is pretty obvious that you can’t install programs. While opening .EXE files, you may see the error shown in below screenshot.

FIX Cant Open .EXE Files In Windows 10

In case if you’re also facing this trouble and can’t open .EXE files, here is how you can fix it.

FIX: Can’t Open .EXE Files In Windows 10/8/7

FIX 1 – General Suggestions

1. Run System File Checker scan.

2. Boot into Safe Mode and check if issue still persists.

3. If issue continues, try clean boot.

4. Install latest Windows Updates.

5. Upgrade to latest Windows 10 version.

If above points didn’t helped you, try the registry solution mentioned below and it will solve this problem.

FIX 2 – Via Registry

Registry Disclaimer: The further steps will involve registry manipulation. Making mistakes while manipulating registry could affect your system adversely. So be careful while editing registry entries and create a System Restore point first.

1. Press W8K + R and put regedit in Run dialog box to open Registry Editor (if you’re not familiar with Registry Editor, then click here). Click OK.

Windows 10 Registry Editor

2. In left pane of Registry Editor window, navigate to following registry key:


FIX Cant Open .EXE Files In Windows 10

3. In the right pane of .exe registry key, look for registry string (REG_SZ) named as (Default). Double click on this registry string to modify its Value data:

FIX Cant Open .EXE Files In Windows 10

4. Set the Value data to exefile and click OK. Then go to following registry location:


FIX Cant Open .EXE Files In Windows 10

5. Double click on (Default) registry string  (REG_SZ) to modify its Value data and set it to "%1" %*. Close Registry Editor and reboot the machines to make changes effective.

FIX Cant Open .EXE Files In Windows 10

After restarting your system, you should be able to open .EXE files without any error.

Drop us a comment, in case if you still face the issue!

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Recent Comments

  • R.Tan : I have a windows 7 running quite well on HP probook 4540s w/ 8 GB RAM....

    5 hours ago

  • polzmacher : Same for my, if you use HP u can disable HP LAN/WAN/WWAN Switching UWP...

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  • Kapil Arya : ^^ Glad to help, Tin!...

    11 hours ago

  • Tin : Thanks a lot - eveything back as it should be with Defender (Win 10 19...

    12 hours ago

  • Kapil Arya : ^^ Thanks for confirming this, David!...

    1 day ago