Home > All, Hacks/Tricks, Internet > How To Email Executable (EXE) Files

How To Email Executable (EXE) Files

We’ve all run into this problem before. You’ve got a cool program that you want to send to someone. So what do you do? You open up your email and you try to send it.

Well, this is where you run into problems. Most email services (Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, etc.) will not send files that end in .exe (executable files), for the simple fact that executable files often contain viruses, and all it takes is a click to activate it.

Here’s a workaround for that problem. It’s very simple.

All you have to do is rename the file. Say you have a file called “program.exe” that you want to send to a friend. All you need to do is rename it to something like “program._xe,” or “program.exe1.” Something like that. Your email program will not recognize it as an executable file and will send it without any problems.

The part about this process that gives people trouble is the fact that Microsoft doesn’t make renaming file extensions very easy for the lay-user – especially since Windows XP and now, Vista. You can’t simply change a file extension by right-clicking and selecting “Rename,” or pressing F2. Not immediately, at least. Here’s how you can make this possible though…

Open up the Control Panel. Then select “Folder Options.” In Vista, you’ll have to switch to “Classic View” first. After opening Folder Options, select the “View” tab. Look down that list until you see where it says, “Hide extensions for known file types.” Make sure this box is NOT checked. Click apply, and you’re ready to go. Now you can rename files and change their extensions by just pressing F2 or right-clicking and selecting “Rename.”

In order for your recipient to use the file you’ve sent, they must rename the file back to “program.exe.” You can explain them the entire process, or simply refer them back to this entry.

Read a book.

Categories: All, Hacks/Tricks, Internet
  1. speedo
    Tuesday September 16, 2008 at 11:02 AM


    thank u very much …guys it really works

  2. balaji
    Monday November 10, 2008 at 5:23 AM

    thnaks for the dea,….

  3. Dragon
    Tuesday November 11, 2008 at 8:05 PM

    saved me sooooo much work with ftp clients and such

  4. Ian
    Tuesday December 30, 2008 at 8:55 AM

    This technique should work OK, although you could also place the .exe file in a ZIP package, or use a file sharing site, eg RapidShare.

  5. Tuesday December 30, 2008 at 12:09 PM


    As far as I know, even placing an EXE file in a ZIP format still results in not being able to send the file. The email client will detect that there is an EXE inside the ZIP, and the file will not be sent.

    If you have evidence otherwise, I’d love to see it. This is the only way I’ve been able to send EXE files.

    Which email client were you able to send an EXE file with?

  6. Ian
    Tuesday December 30, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    This is an area where it is hard to give general advice, as there are so many different e-mail clients, and many e-mail servers automatically filter out and do not deliver .exe, .scr, .bat and .paf attachments. Also, I tried renaming a program to .exe1 as suggested, but it was not delivered, possibly because somewhere along the way it was filtered as an unrecognized file type. Windows also warns that changing a file extension may make the file unusable.

    Rather than risking more controversial advice, here is something that definitely did work for me today. Use WinRAR and encrypt the file, selecting “Encrypt file names”. Windows Vista Mail said “***UNCHECKED*** WARNING: MESSAGE ENCRYPTED”, but did let me open the file and the program worked OK.

    Since programs are often several MB or more they do not make ideal e-mail attachments, and the main disappointment is that it is no longer possible to send self-extracting archives with the .exe file extension. File sharing websites like RapidShare make no fuss about .exe files, so they are probably the most hassle free way of sending executable files.

  7. crazy
    Sunday January 18, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    zip doesnt work
    but if you use winrar and make a rar file
    it works perfect


  8. Saturday March 7, 2009 at 3:14 AM

    Keep working ,great job!

  9. Thursday April 16, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    I usually do not comment on blog posts but I found this quite interesting, so here goes. Thanks! Regards, P.

  10. Friday April 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    Great information…!!!!

    Keep it up….

  11. Yong Pomerantz
    Monday April 27, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place.

    • Monday April 27, 2009 at 5:19 PM


      I’m not in the business of programming email clients, regulating internet security standards, etc. So, “looking at why there is a problem in the first place” is a little above my pay grade.

      All I can do is solve the problem, right? I don’t see how I’ve created any problems here. The issue is resolved, and I didn’t have to learn how to program an email client or regulate any international internet security standards. Much easier.

    • Mark
      Thursday May 7, 2009 at 3:26 PM


      The reason email services are not allowing .exe files to be email is because they are potentially dangerous to the receiving user and therefore filtered out. The problem was created by “bad” people sending malicious programs and not by the person asking the question.

  12. Brad
    Wednesday May 13, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    thanks! am learning to program in C and wanted to show my friend. this helps! Shame on email providers trying to regulate email traffic.

    • waqgf
      Thursday October 25, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      they’re doing it to protect inexperienced users from viruses, doesn’t seem shameful to me

  13. J
    Monday May 25, 2009 at 11:08 PM

    So are there any mail services that allow you to email exe?
    Cause I’d love to send some bad programming to these damn spammers.

    • Tuesday May 26, 2009 at 3:02 AM

      Unfortunately, no. Apparently it was set up as a standard that executable files are not allowed to be sent via email. I totally agree with that sentiment.

  14. John
    Tuesday August 4, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    It doesn’t work. I’ve tried it. “Hide extensions for known file types” is already unchecked and it just isn’t working.

    • Tuesday August 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

      What isn’t working? After un-checking “Hide extensions for known file types,” do you see the extension of the file you’re trying to send?

  15. bruno
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    actually, last time I checked yahoo allowed .exe files through. but fewer people have yahoo these days.

    with gmail it works to compress the file in winrar and split it in parts. but some filters will still see those.

    a good one is using Word, and embedding the file in a doc file. seems to work for most.

    • Thursday August 20, 2009 at 2:01 PM

      Yeah, I never use Yahoo. Gmail seems to be the only relatively spam-free email service these days. And Hotmail… forget it. I’m lucky if I get less than 200 spam messages in my inbox per day.

      I’ve tried compressing files, but not splitting them up. I’ll have to try that.

      As far as embedding an EXE in a DOC file, how does that work?

  16. Paul
    Friday September 25, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    Yahoo mail definitely allows you to send executable files.

    They have anti virus software that the checks the “executable file” for viruses. They have never let me down!!!!

  17. Friday February 12, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    I have the same problem sending demo software by email. Zip files won’t email nor changing the exe file to exa or whatever. The only way to email an exe file is to have the recipient change his email browser security settings to allow executable files to download. Make sure you know who is sending the file and then re-check that option back on when done. Cick on Tools, Options and and put a check mark in the proper line to allow or dis-allow downloads.

    • crazy
      Friday February 12, 2010 at 4:09 PM

      RJ, that is completely untrue. If you make a .rar file out of the .exe file(rarlabs.com), you can email anything.

  18. Rajesh
    Friday February 26, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    thats great…………its useful.

  19. Dan
    Saturday February 27, 2010 at 5:18 AM

    I can’t believe no one has suggested this: rename the file extension with another KNOWN file extension, which does not closely resemble “exe”

    attachment.exe -> attachment.jpg

    It will look like just a huge jpeg file, which nothing will block. Then change it back to .exe after. Using “exe1” is asking for trouble, either because it still has “exe” in it, or because there is no such file extension in the first place.

    Why risk it failing? Change it to something recognisable like “.mp3” or “.jpg”

  20. txgeekgirl
    Thursday March 4, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Windows 7 is just as jerky about renaming an .exe. I finally moved to a server and renamed it there.

  21. WARUNA
    Saturday April 24, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    It really works. i too tried it and found successful.

  22. showmeokie
    Sunday April 25, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    Fabulous/It worked

  23. Kuldeep
    Saturday May 1, 2010 at 2:44 AM

    it can work if one archieved it to .rar file…
    i tried it with both rediff and gmail

  24. jsmith
    Monday May 24, 2010 at 5:05 AM

    Changing the extensions works with Gmail. Just change it from .exe to .xxx.

  25. SIm
    Wednesday June 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    I got it to work also, thanks for the tip!

  26. manish
    Wednesday July 7, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    it really works
    thanks a lot friend
    u solved my problems

  27. Akansha
    Thursday September 30, 2010 at 2:12 AM


  28. Akansha Jindal
    Thursday September 30, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Akansha Jindal :

  29. Karen
    Thursday October 7, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    I tried this, because Windows will no longer allow one to unzip a zipped folder containing an executable file. So I change the extension from .exe to .ex_, then emailed the zipped file from my Win 7 machine to my Vista machine. Saved the zipped file, and extracted fine. Changed the extension back to .exe. Then tried to run it:

    “Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.”

    I guess MS does not allow me to run *my own code* for crying out loud.

    Where is the setting that says hey, I am a grown up, I will take my chances?

    • Karen
      Thursday October 7, 2010 at 2:02 AM

      To be specific… Windows will not allow you to unzip and executable file when it has been received via email.

    • Karen
      Thursday October 7, 2010 at 2:12 AM

      If I open the email containing the zipped file with the altered file extension to .ex_ on my Windows 7 machine, unzip the file and change the file extension back to .exe, I still can’t run the resulting executable. Windows tells me it came over the internet and will not open it.

      I need to be able to send this to a colleague. What am I to do?

      • Jesse
        Thursday March 3, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        go to properties and choose unblock. should work

  30. Rithunsi
    Wednesday March 23, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    It Really Works Yaar….!! thanzz

  31. iagina
    Tuesday April 26, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Good work. I kept thinking that there was a way until I found you in Google. What would the world be like without this piece of writing!!

  32. Dan
    Tuesday May 24, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Thank You so much. It works really great

  33. james
    Tuesday June 14, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Thank You!!

  34. Toirleach
    Monday October 17, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    This is pretty difficult to do these days because the email filters are getting quite smart. The way I manage to do it is to add the exe to an encrypte/password protected zip file. This encrypts the contents from prying filters. Of course you will need to provide the receiver with the password.

  35. bishal
    Friday January 6, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    thank u fr dt!!! :D

  36. Wednesday April 25, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    Hey you can also use forgetbox for sending your exe file, even if its a really big one !
    Like that you can share your entire project :p

  37. Sori Kim
    Friday May 18, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Thank you very much,~
    But there is one problem… I sent the email the renamed .exe file, and I got it back from the email and I renamed it again to the original. but, It’s not working. To inform about the .exe file, I made it with the program called “Small Basic”.

    Can anyone give me answer about this?

  38. kavaliero
    Friday May 18, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    If you launch the original exe in the same directory of your renamed exe , it works or not ?
    Maybe it’s a link problem . Otherwise, use forgetbox for send your exe without rename it .

  39. kavaliero
    Friday May 18, 2012 at 6:05 AM

    if you launch your original executable in the same directory as your exectuable renamed is that it works? I think it is a problem with the link library. Otherwise use Forgetbox to send your executable without renaming it and it should work. Godd luck ;)

    • Sori Kim
      Wednesday May 23, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      Thank u very much ~ it works :)

  40. Tuesday October 23, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    My relatives every time say that I am killing my time here at web, however I know I am getting experience all the time by reading such nice articles. I also enjoyed the video you made about being able to search the YouTube comments section. I really appreciate the time you took to find out about this!

    Search YouTube Comments Using Google

  41. DebKK
    Tuesday November 20, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    It’s much earsier to just zip the file. The receiver unzips, OKs that they’re opening an exe file and goes on their way.

  42. Thursday January 17, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Why not use RAR?

  43. The Che
    Thursday February 7, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Cute idea, but a bad solution. Sending a password protected rar is much less confusing for the recipient.

  44. Saturday January 7, 2017 at 12:27 AM

    This was really really great info :)

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