How to Fix Cannot Open .EXE Files in Windows 10 Error?

Admin | May 19th, 2020 | Windows OS

Even if a Windows user is using the latest version of Windows, opening, and accessing .exe files can be difficult. Many related questions have been submitted to Microsoft forums, but no viable solution has been provided to resolve cannot open .exe files in Windows 10 OS issue.

When a user tries to open a .exe file, it can also receive an error message such as a denied access or a runtime error. What is the actual reason behind this question?

Reasons of Cannot Open .EXE Files in Windows 10 Error

According to Microsoft experts, this issue is caused by corrupted registry settings or system issues due to virus infection or the installation of third-party tools. Installation of third-party software can change the default settings for running a .exe file, and as a result, attempts to run a .exe file often fail.

Now, it is very easy and convenient to fix this issue without using third-party tools.

Top Solutions to Open EXE File in Windows 10 OS

There are several ways to resolve this error. Here we will show you the most convenient way to open .exe files in Windows 10.

1. Change the Registry Value
For unknown reasons, system registry values are often modified and you cannot open your .exe file. You can change the default registry settings by following the steps below.

  • Open Command prompt (Press Win+R & Type cmd)
  • Type regedit then press Enter
  • Registry Editor will open, click HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.exe from left pane of screen
  • In Registry keys, click Default key and set data value to EXE file
  • After changing value, click HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTexefileshellopencommand key
  • Click Default key and change value to “%1” %*
  • Finally Restart Windows to fix the issue

Depending on the user, this solution may operate in a safe mode. However, if that doesn’t work, check out the alternatives below.

2. Turn Off Windows Firewall
All real Windows have integrated firewall protection to protect your system from outside malware attacks. As some users have reported, Windows Firewall can fix this issue too. To disable Windows Firewall, you need to boot your computer into Safe Mode and perform the following steps:

  • After starting your PC in Safe Mode, press Windows + S to enter Windows Firewall and select Windows Firewall from there
  • In the left pane, click Enable or Disable Windows Firewall. In the wizard that opens, select Disable Windows Firewall for private and public network settings and click OK to save your changes
  • After Disable Windows Firewall, see if the problem still exists or not.

Well, it is not recommended to disable Windows Firewall on your Windows system to protect your data from malicious attacks. But if it solves some issues, you can try it.

Additional Solutions to Fix Cannot Open EXE Files Error

Using the above method, you can easily solve the problem of opening a .exe file. However, if you still can’t access the .exe file, you can follow these general solutions:

1. Use System File Checker
This is a built-in tool that Microsoft provides users to repair data files. This software allows you to scan Windows and restore files.

2. Try a Clean Boot of the System
A clean startup is a process of getting Windows started with minimal programs and services. Also, if Windows starts with minimal resources, you can use the hit-and-trial method to find the third-party application that is affecting your files.

To start the system with a clean boot, you must run the msconfig command in the Run dialog box. This will bring up the System Configuration Utility.

Go to the Services tab, hide all Microsoft services and click the Start tab to locate and disable the offending software. Now restart your system. That way you will not face the problem again.

3. Install the Latest Update
Check for the latest Windows 10 updates and install them on your system. If you do not have the latest update, download and install it. This is because older versions may not be able to open .exe files.

To check Windows 10 Updates, go to System Settings >> Update & Security >> Windows Update.

If your Windows system is corrupted then none of the solutions will work for you. However, you can use Windows Data Recovery software to help recover the files on your system.

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Conclusion

EXE is an executable file format used by different applications. However, users can find it difficult to open and access .exe files on Windows systems. We described many solutions to fix cannot Open .EXE files in Windows 10 error. Hope this article helps you to solve the problem.