An Incomplete List of Executable File Extensions

By Tim Fisher, Guide

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 simply 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 setup 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

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.

Extension Format Operating System(s)
ACTION Automator Action Mac OS
APK Application Android
APP Executable Mac OS
BAT Batch File Windows
BIN Binary Executable Windows, Mac OS, Linux
CMD Command Script Windows
COM Command File Windows
COMMAND Terminal Command Mac OS
CPL Control Panel Extension Windows
CSH C Shell Script Mac OS, Linux
EXE Executable Windows
GADGET Windows Gadget Windows
INF1 Setup Information File Windows
INS Internet Communication Settings Windows
INX InstallShield Compiled Script Windows
IPA Application iOS
ISU InstallShield Uninstaller Script Windows
JOB Windows Task Scheduler Job File Windows
JSE JScript Encoded File Windows
KSH Unix Korn Shell Script Linux
LNK File Shortcut Windows
MSC Microsoft Common Console Document Windows
MSI Windows Installer Package Windows
MSP Windows Installer Patch Windows
MST Windows Installer Setup Transform File Windows
OSX Executable Mac OS
OUT Executable Linux
PAF Portable Application Installer File Windows
PIF Program Information File Windows
PRG Executable GEM
PS1 Windows PowerShell Cmdlet Windows
REG Registry Data File Windows
RGS Registry Script Windows
RUN Executable Linux
SCT Windows Scriptlet Windows
SHB Windows Document Shortcut Windows
SHS Shell Scrap Object Windows
U3P U3 Smart Application Windows
VB VBScript File Windows
VBE VBScript Encoded Script Windows
VBS VBScript File Windows
VBSCRIPT Visual Basic Script Windows
WORKFLOW Automator Workflow Mac OS
WS Windows Script Windows
WSF Windows Script Windows
[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.

Extension Format Program
0XE Renamed Virus File F-Secure Internet Security
73K TI-73 Application TI Connect
89K TI-89 Application TI Connect
A6P Authorware 6 Program File Adobe Authorware
AC GNU Autoconf Script Autoconf
ACC GEM Accessory File Gemulator
ACR ACRobot Script ACRobot
ACTM AutoCAD Action Macro AutoCAD
AHK AutoHotkey Script AutoHotkey
AIR Adobe AIR Installation Package Adobe AIR
APP FoxPro Application Visual FoxPro
ARSCRIPT ArtRage Script ArtRage Studio
AS Adobe Flash ActionScript File Adobe Flash
ASB Alphacam Stone VB Macro Alphacam
AZW2 Kindle Active Content App File Kindle Collection Manager
BEAM Compiled Erlang File Erlang
BTM 4DOS Batch File 4DOS
CEL Celestia Script Celestia
CELX Celestia Script Celestia
CHM Compiled HTML Help File Firefox, IE, Safari
CRT Security Certificate Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari
DEK Eavesdropper Batch File Eavesdropper
DLD EdLog Compiled Program Edlog
DMC Medical Manager Script Sage Medical Manager
DOCM Word Macro-Enabled Document Microsoft Word
DOTM Word Macro-Enabled Template Microsoft Word
DXL Rational DOORS Script Rational DOORS
EAR Java Enterprise Archive File Apache Geronimo
EBS E-Run 1.x Script E-Prime (v1)
EBS2 E-Run 2.0 Script E-Prime (v2)
ECF SageCRM Component File SageCRM
EHAM ExtraHAM Executable HAM Programmer Toolkit
ELF Nintendo Wii Game File Dolphin Emulator
ES SageCRM Script SageCRM
EX4 MetaTrader Program File MetaTrader
EXOPC ExoPC Application EXOfactory
EZS EZ-R Stats Batch Script EZ-R Stats
FAS Compiled Fast-Load AutoLISP File AutoCAD
FKY FoxPro Macro Visual FoxPro
FPI FPS Creator Intelligence Script FPS Creator
FRS Flash Renamer Script Flash Renamer
FXP FoxPro Compiled Program Visual FoxPro
GS Geosoft Script Oasis Montaj
HAM HAM Executable Ham Runtime
HMS HostMonitor Script HostMonitor
HPF HP9100A Program File HP9100A Emulator
HTA HTML Application Internet Explorer
IIM iMacro Macro iMacros (Firefox Add-on)
IPF SMS Installer Script Microsoft SMS
ISP Internet Communication Settings Microsoft IIS
JAR Java Archive Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari
JS JScript Executable Script Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari
JSX ExtendScript Script Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit
KIX KiXtart Script KiXtart
LO Interleaf Compiled Lisp File QuickSilver
LS LightWave LScript File LightWave
MAM Access Macro-Enabled Workbook Microsoft Access
MCR 3ds Max Macroscript or Tecplot Macro 3ds Max
MEL Maya Embedded Language File Maya 2013
MPX FoxPro Compiled Menu Program Visual FoxPro
MRC mIRC Script mIRC
MS 3ds Max Script 3ds Max
MS Maxwell Script Maxwell Render
MXE Macro Express Playable Macro Macro Express
NEXE Chrome Native Client Executable Chrome
OBS ObjectScript Script ObjectScript
ORE Ore Executable Ore Runtime Environment
OTM Outlook Macro Microsoft Outlook
PEX ProBoard Executable ProBoard BBS
PLX Perl Executable ActivePerl or Microsoft IIS
POTM PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Design Template Microsoft PowerPoint
PPAM PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Add-in Microsoft PowerPoint
PPSM PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Slide Show Microsoft PowerPoint
PPTM PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation Microsoft PowerPoint
PRC Palm Resource Code File Palm Desktop
PVD Instalit Script Instalit
PWC PictureTaker File PictureTaker
PYC Python Compiled File Python
PYO Python Optimized Code Python
QPX FoxPro Compiled Query Program Visual FoxPro
RBX Rembo-C Compiled Script Rembo Toolkit
ROX Actuate Report Object Executable eReport
RPJ Real Pac Batch Job File Real Pac
S2A SEAL2 Application SEAL
SCA Scala Script Scala Designer
SCB Scala Published Script Scala Designer
SCR Generic Script Original Scripting Engine1
SCRIPT Generic Script Original Scripting Engine1
SMM Ami Pro Macro Ami Pro
SPR FoxPro Generated Screen File Visual FoxPro
TCP Tally Compiled Program Tally Developer
THM Thermwood Macro Mastercam
TLB OLE Type Library Microsoft Excel
TMS Telemate Script Telemate
UDF Excel User Defined Function Microsoft Excel
UPX Ultimate Packer for eXecutables File Ultimate Packer for eXecutables
URL Internet Shortcut Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari
VLX Compiled AutoLISP File AutoCAD
VPM Vox Proxy Macro Vox Proxy
WCM WordPerfect Macro WordPerfect
WIDGET Yahoo! Widget Yahoo! Widgets
WIZ Microsoft Wizard File Microsoft Word
WPK WordPerfect Macro WordPerfect
WPM WordPerfect Macro WordPerfect
XAP Silverlight Application Package Micrsoft Silverlight
XBAP XAML Browser Application Firefox, IE
XLAM Excel Macro-Enabled Add-In Microsoft Excel
XLM Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook Microsoft Excel
XLSM Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook Microsoft Excel
XLTM Excel Macro-Enabled Template Microsoft Excel
XQT SuperCalc Macro CA SuperCalc
XYS XYplorer Script XYplorer
ZL9 Renamed Virus File ZoneAlarm
[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.