List of Executable File Extensions

An Incomplete List of Executable File Extensions

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A file with an executable file extension means that the file format supports some ability to run an automatic task. This is in contrast to other file formats that just display data, play a sound or video, etc.

In other words, if you open a file with one of these file extensions, your computer could, without your continued permission, run one or more operations programmed into that file.

Those additional operations would be welcome and necessary if, for example, you were to run a program set up for a free software program you just downloaded from a trusted website.

Those operations could be damaging if, for example, you were to run a virus-infected executable file that you received via email from someone you don't know.

Important: Please exercise caution before opening any executable file, especially those received in suspicious emails or downloaded from unfamiliar websites.

Note: This is not a complete list of executable file extensions, nor is it a list of dangerous but non-executable file types. If you know of more executable file formats or believe one deserves a change in risk level, please let me know so we can discuss it.

High-Risk File Extensions

I've rated the following executable file types as High Risk because essentially all computers with the listed operating system installed have the ability to carry out the commands contained in the executable file.

In other words, files with the extensions listed below can be executed with some basic part of Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.

No additional program is required.

ExtensionFormatOperating System(s)
ACTIONAutomator ActionMac OS
APKApplicationAndroid
APPExecutableMac OS
BATBatch FileWindows
BINBinary ExecutableWindows, Mac OS, Linux
CMDCommand ScriptWindows
COMCommand FileWindows
COMMANDTerminal CommandMac OS
CPLControl Panel ExtensionWindows
CSHC Shell ScriptMac OS, Linux
EXEExecutableWindows
GADGETWindows GadgetWindows
INF1Setup Information FileWindows
INSInternet Communication SettingsWindows
INXInstallShield Compiled ScriptWindows
IPAApplicationiOS
ISUInstallShield Uninstaller ScriptWindows
JOBWindows Task Scheduler Job FileWindows
JSEJScript Encoded FileWindows
KSHUnix Korn Shell ScriptLinux
LNKFile ShortcutWindows
MSCMicrosoft Common Console DocumentWindows
MSIWindows Installer PackageWindows
MSPWindows Installer PatchWindows
MSTWindows Installer Setup Transform FileWindows
OSXExecutableMac OS
OUTExecutableLinux
PAFPortable Application Installer FileWindows
PIFProgram Information FileWindows
PRGExecutableGEM
PS1Windows PowerShell CmdletWindows
REGRegistry Data FileWindows
RGSRegistry ScriptWindows
RUNExecutableLinux
SCRScreensaver ExecutableWindows
SCTWindows ScriptletWindows
SHBWindows Document ShortcutWindows
SHSShell Scrap ObjectWindows
U3PU3 Smart ApplicationWindows
VBVBScript FileWindows
VBEVBScript Encoded ScriptWindows
VBSVBScript FileWindows
VBSCRIPTVisual Basic ScriptWindows
WORKFLOWAutomator WorkflowMac OS
WSWindows ScriptWindows
WSFWindows ScriptWindows
WSHWindows Script PreferenceWindows 

[1] To execute an INF file, you must open the pop-up menu (usually by right-clicking on the file) and choose Install.

Other Executable File Extensions

The following file extensions are only executable if you happen to have the software installed that carries out the commands contained in the file.

If you do have one of the programs below installed, consider files with the associated extensions as executable and High Risk. If you don't have a particular program installed and you try to execute a file with that extension, either a harmless error will appear or nothing at all will happen.

ExtensionFormatProgram
0XERenamed Virus FileF-Secure Internet Security
73KTI-73 ApplicationTI Connect
89KTI-89 ApplicationTI Connect
A6PAuthorware 6 Program FileAdobe Authorware
ACGNU Autoconf ScriptAutoconf
ACCGEM Accessory FileGemulator
ACRACRobot ScriptACRobot
ACTMAutoCAD Action MacroAutoCAD
AHKAutoHotkey ScriptAutoHotkey
AIRAdobe AIR Installation PackageAdobe AIR
APPFoxPro ApplicationVisual FoxPro
ARSCRIPTArtRage ScriptArtRage Studio
ASAdobe Flash ActionScript FileAdobe Flash
ASBAlphacam Stone VB MacroAlphacam
AWKAWK ScriptAWK
AZW2Kindle Active Content App FileKindle Collection Manager
BEAMCompiled Erlang FileErlang
BTM4DOS Batch File4DOS
CELCelestia ScriptCelestia
CELXCelestia ScriptCelestia
CHMCompiled HTML Help FileFirefox, IE, Safari
COFMPLAB COFF FileMPLAB IDE
CRTSecurity CertificateFirefox, IE, Chrome, Safari
DEKEavesdropper Batch FileEavesdropper
DLDEdLog Compiled ProgramEdlog
DMCMedical Manager ScriptSage Medical Manager
DOCMWord Macro-Enabled DocumentMicrosoft Word
DOTMWord Macro-Enabled TemplateMicrosoft Word
DXLRational DOORS ScriptRational DOORS
EARJava Enterprise Archive FileApache Geronimo
EBMEXTRA! Basic MacroEXTRA!
EBSE-Run 1.x ScriptE-Prime (v1)
EBS2E-Run 2.0 ScriptE-Prime (v2)
ECFSageCRM Component FileSageCRM
EHAMExtraHAM ExecutableHAM Programmer Toolkit
ELFNintendo Wii Game FileDolphin Emulator
ESSageCRM ScriptSageCRM
EX4MetaTrader Program FileMetaTrader
EXOPCExoPC ApplicationEXOfactory
EZSEZ-R Stats Batch ScriptEZ-R Stats
FASCompiled Fast-Load AutoLISP FileAutoCAD
FKYFoxPro MacroVisual FoxPro
FPIFPS Creator Intelligence ScriptFPS Creator
FRSFlash Renamer ScriptFlash Renamer
FXPFoxPro Compiled ProgramVisual FoxPro
GSGeosoft ScriptOasis Montaj
HAMHAM ExecutableHam Runtime
HMSHostMonitor ScriptHostMonitor
HPFHP9100A Program FileHP9100A Emulator
HTAHTML ApplicationInternet Explorer
IIMiMacro MacroiMacros (Firefox Add-on)
IPFSMS Installer ScriptMicrosoft SMS
ISPInternet Communication SettingsMicrosoft IIS
JARJava ArchiveFirefox, IE, Chrome, Safari
JSJScript Executable ScriptFirefox, IE, Chrome, Safari
JSXExtendScript ScriptAdobe ExtendScript Toolkit
KIXKiXtart ScriptKiXtart
LOInterleaf Compiled Lisp FileQuickSilver
LSLightWave LScript FileLightWave
MAMAccess Macro-Enabled WorkbookMicrosoft Access
MCR3ds Max Macroscript or Tecplot Macro3ds Max
MELMaya Embedded Language FileMaya 2013
MPXFoxPro Compiled Menu ProgramVisual FoxPro
MRCmIRC ScriptmIRC
MS3ds Max Script3ds Max
MSMaxwell ScriptMaxwell Render
MXEMacro Express Playable MacroMacro Express
NEXEChrome Native Client ExecutableChrome
OBSObjectScript ScriptObjectScript
OREOre ExecutableOre Runtime Environment
OTMOutlook MacroMicrosoft Outlook
PEXProBoard ExecutableProBoard BBS
PLXPerl ExecutableActivePerl or Microsoft IIS
POTMPowerPoint Macro-Enabled Design TemplateMicrosoft PowerPoint
PPAMPowerPoint Macro-Enabled Add-inMicrosoft PowerPoint
PPSMPowerPoint Macro-Enabled Slide ShowMicrosoft PowerPoint
PPTMPowerPoint Macro-Enabled PresentationMicrosoft PowerPoint
PRCPalm Resource Code FilePalm Desktop
PVDInstalit ScriptInstalit
PWCPictureTaker FilePictureTaker
PYCPython Compiled FilePython
PYOPython Optimized CodePython
QPXFoxPro Compiled Query ProgramVisual FoxPro
RBXRembo-C Compiled ScriptRembo Toolkit
ROXActuate Report Object ExecutableeReport
RPJReal Pac Batch Job FileReal Pac
S2ASEAL2 ApplicationSEAL
SBSSPSS ScriptSPSS
SCAScala ScriptScala Designer
SCARSCAR ScriptSCAR
SCBScala Published ScriptScala Designer
SCRIPTGeneric ScriptOriginal Scripting Engine1
SMMAmi Pro MacroAmi Pro
SPRFoxPro Generated Screen FileVisual FoxPro
TCPTally Compiled ProgramTally Developer
THMThermwood MacroMastercam
TLBOLE Type LibraryMicrosoft Excel
TMSTelemate ScriptTelemate
UDFExcel User Defined FunctionMicrosoft Excel
UPXUltimate Packer for eXecutables FileUltimate Packer for eXecutables
URLInternet ShortcutFirefox, IE, Chrome, Safari
VLXCompiled AutoLISP FileAutoCAD
VPMVox Proxy MacroVox Proxy
WCMWordPerfect MacroWordPerfect
WIDGETYahoo! WidgetYahoo! Widgets
WIZMicrosoft Wizard FileMicrosoft Word
WPKWordPerfect MacroWordPerfect
WPMWordPerfect MacroWordPerfect
XAPSilverlight Application PackageMicrsoft Silverlight
XBAPXAML Browser ApplicationFirefox, IE
XLAMExcel Macro-Enabled Add-InMicrosoft Excel
XLMExcel Macro-Enabled WorkbookMicrosoft Excel
XLSMExcel Macro-Enabled WorkbookMicrosoft Excel
XLTMExcel Macro-Enabled TemplateMicrosoft Excel
XQTSuperCalc MacroCA SuperCalc
XYSXYplorer ScriptXYplorer
ZL9Renamed Virus FileZoneAlarm

[1] By "Original Scripting Engine" I mean whatever program created the script. It would be impossible to list, and keep updated, the number of scripting engines that might use these file extensions.