Open EXE files on macOS

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp


There are many programs available for Apple's macOS operating systems, especially multimedia file editors and other programs for designers, artists and musicians. Despite this, some specific applications, including games, are not available for this platform, but yes for the Windows family of operating systems. There are several alternatives for running Windows programs on MacOS, that we would like to present next.

Run EXE on macOS

Of course, the executables for “Windows” By themselves they won't work on Mac: Microsoft and Apple operating systems are too different. Despite this, there are possible options to work with them, In other words, install Windows as a second system via Boot Camp, use a virtual machine or the Wine emulator.

Method 1: install Windows using Boot Camp

Apple computers originally ran on RISC and MIPS processors that were hardware incompatible with the x86-64 architecture., but the MacBook and iMac have used Intel solutions for a decade, which makes it possible to install the Windows operating system on these machines. And the latter is quite officially supported: Not a long time ago, Apple began integrating the Boot Camp tool into its desktop products, which offers the opportunity to install a Microsoft operating system as a second desktop. One of our authors prepared a manual on its use that you can read here.

Lesson: Instale Windows 10 on a Mac using BootCamp

This option is the perfect answer for our current task: All hardware functions of the machine and Windows software functions are available, which enables you to work with all compatible programs without any problem. Despite this, this method requires restarting the computer and also takes up a good amount of storage space.

Method 2: virtual machine

The next method to run EXE files on macOS is to install a virtual machine, followed by an installation of one of Microsoft's systems on it. There are several for the Apple operating system, the best of which are presented in a separate review.

More information: Virtual machines for macOS

We are going to teach how to work with this software using Parallels Desktop software as an example..

Download Parallels Desktop from the official web portal

  1. Download the application and install it. Once the procedure is finished, you will need to install the Windows version in your environment. There are two options available: automatic, through the application itself, activated by pressing “Install Windows”.. This will load the latest version of “10”.

    Press the button “jump”. It will allow you to self-direct the correct version of Windows from the image.

  2. To install the operating system automatically, click the button mentioned in the previous step and wait for the program to download, install and configure the system yourself.

    The manual option is to use free trial images from Microsoft, bootable flash drives or ISO files.

    Choose the appropriate option for your situation and install Windows; technically, the installation procedure does not differ from that of a normal computer.

    Lesson: Instale Windows 10 from a flash drive

  3. When the process is finished, you will receive the respective message.

    By default, environment runs in full screen mode; to narrow the window, use shortcut Ctrl + Altand then click the minimize button in the window header.

  4. You can use the virtual environment: Parallels Desktop supports main OS and guest OS integration, so you just have to drag and drop the exe file into the app space to open it. The subsequent manipulation of this file does not differ from that of a full Windows.

    We will discuss the additional features of Parallels Desktop in another post..

  5. Parallels Desktop is one of the most powerful solutions, but the app is distributed for a fee and the full version is quite expensive. Fortunately, there are free alternatives, even though not so feature rich. Despite this, note that virtual environments may not work properly or not work at all in hackintos.

Method 3: came

Linux kernel system users are familiar with Wine, which is a “front cover” software to run Windows applications on UNIX kernel operating systems. There is a version of this software for macOS, but you need to pay attention that it is not yet compatible with the latest version of Catalina 10.15 at the time of writing this post.

Download Wine from the official web portal

  1. We suggest downloading the stable version of the APP for stable operation.

    You will also need to download a software component called XQuartz; without this frame, Vine won't work.

    Download the latest version of XQuartz

  2. After download, install the two necessary components: first XQuartz.

    Then, instale Wine.

  3. After the installation is complete, navigate to the location of the EXE file. How can you replace, your icon now looks like a Wine icon; means that the application is related to the translator.

    To run an executable, just double click on it.

  4. When you run the program for the first time, the configuration update will run, wait until finished.

    If a message appears throughout the procedure stating that additional components need to be installed, accept each.

  5. After a short time, the program will start and be ready to use.
  6. Wine is a good solution to our current problem, but disadvantages in the form of compatibility issues prevent us from calling it ideal.


This concludes our guide to running EXE files on the macOS operating system.. In summary, we would like to point out that in terms of compatibility, optimal Windows installation via Boot Camp is best, while Wine leads in terms of ease of use, and the virtual machine option occupies a middle place between them. From.

We are glad we were able to help you with your problem..

Describe what didn't work for you.
Our specialists will try to respond as soon as possible.

Has this post helped you?

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We will not send you SPAM mail. We hate it as much as you.