General Question

JonnyCeltics's avatar

How do I run an exe. file on a mac?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2690 points ) September 28th, 2010

I’ve been told of “emulators” or virtual machines but they freak me out. I downloaded virtual box but it is impossible to use….help! Any quick fixes (oh woah is me and my new machine…)

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9 Answers

Nullo's avatar

You cannot run an executable file on a Mac because the operating system doesn’t know what to do with it. Sorta like giving a kid a cassette and telling them to listen to it, I imagine.

Don’t fear the emulator; it is just a program that was made to run another program. I cannot guarantee that the program will run, though.—Last I used a Mac, it had Virtual PC on it, which was basically Windows being emulated by OS9; you could install there, but you could also only access it there.
The business with Boot Camp may have changed this some.

Ideally, you’d stick with programs that were made for your computer.

jrpowell's avatar

Virtualbox is very easy to set up and use. But you will need a copy of Windows to use it. It basically runs Windows inside a window. It works really well. Other than that you will not be able to use the exe file. There might be another option but if Virtualbox is hard to use it will be damn near impossible.

rooeytoo's avatar

Bootcamp and Parallels allow you to run Windoze on your Mac. Or something that makes your mac into a pc otherwise no exe!

crisw's avatar

No quick fixes :>) And, as mentioned, you’ll need a Windows CD. If you want to boot into Windows, try Boot Camp from Apple, But, if you want to just run it in a window, Parallels (as mentioned) or VMWare are the way to go.

jerv's avatar

Bootcamp is the best solution, but it requires a full version of Windows, so it’s a few hundred dollars to go that route.

Virtualbox is good, but definitely not n00b-friendly, so I am not surprised you are scared. Hell, it scares me a little bit! @johnpowell I beg to differ. It may be easy for you or I, but that doesn’t mean that it actually is easy to use. And it also require a Windows install disc, so the total setup isn’t cheap.

VMWare is decent enough, but also pretty pricey at $189.99

Parallels is an easy solution, and reasonably priced at ~$80.

Of all the solutions, I would say Boot Camp if you want to fully dual-boot or Parallels if you don’t.

@Nullo Given the “fun” I’ve had with WINE over the years, I have to groan and agree with you; there is no guarantee emulation will work in all cases. Then again, Wine Is Not an Emulator

DeanV's avatar

I recommend you play a little bit with Winebottler, which, if you’re going to use WINE is the easiest (and most N00B proof) way I know how, but I’d recommend not really bothering or getting your hopes up. The easiest thing to do would be to dualboot Windows or run it through Paralells if this is going to be a regular thing.

Nullo's avatar

@jerv It’s another recursive acronym, huh? I always thought that it was Windows Emulator.

ricardo811's avatar

Mac operating system doesn’t know how to run windows or any operating system file. But if you have Linux wine or similar to wine, you can run any type of program.

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