Open exe Files on Android
How to

2 Methods to Open .exe Files on Android

The executable file which is lovingly called the dot exe file is the staple of modern programs. It was made to be the doorway to an application and is still extremely popular on the Windows platform. If you are a designer, a gamer or anyone who like productivity you would have faced this very common file format in your life. But why can’t you open exe files on Android?

Well the short answer is that you can open exe files on Android but…well there is always a but in cases like these unfortunately. You can only open certain exe files on Android devices and that too with extremely limited usage. Some advanced users especially gamers who are into old video games can actually use the feature to run some games with limited controls on Android.

However in the grand scheme of things, you just can’t randomly drop a full video game on your Android device and start playing. If you are here because you wanted to play Half Life or Counter Strike on your Android device, this article will definitely disappoint you. But if you are insistent on making old-school games working via emulation, you can achieve that too.

Doom for instance can run by using Windows 98 emulation. If you are here because you are curious, I will try my best to satisfy your curiosity without killing you (this is the cat joke, I like you though). However I request you to go on your own quests for knowledge because this article is not about running Diablo II on Android.

Suffice to say if you are not adapt in opening, running or making exe files this article will confuse you. If you do know how the magic happens and just want a simple answer, this article will nudge you in the right direction. I will still use the overly simplified terms which Joy of Android is known for so that everyone will understand what mumbo jumbo I’m writing to some extent.

Method 1: Use a DOS BOX

If you don’t know what a Dos Box is, well you should probably don’t move ahead with this method. But for the sake of ease, a dos box is an app which opens up a command line on your Android phone. Much like the one you can open on your Windows by pressing Windows + R and typing in CMD.

There are a lot of DOS boxes available on the Google Play Store. I prefer aFreeBox which provides some additional features. Here is a link for that if you are interested:

Download-on-Google-Play

1.

Download the app and install it on your Android device.

2.

Place the exe file you are going to run in the root folder and name the folder something convenient. For the sake of this guide let’s say the folder is called Spongebob.

3.

Run the app that was just installed and when it is fully active, type in “cd\Spongebob” into the command line. Here Spongebob is a place holder folder name. It could be anything you desire. Press enter on your Android keyboard. Don’t worry about case sensitivity; there is no need for that.

1

4.

Now you will be inside the folder in which the exe resides. From there type in the exe name in the command line, you don’t need to put in the .exe at the end too.

5.

If the exe is compatible, you will be able to run exe file on Android.

Method 2: Use Inno Setup Extractor

This method will allow you to extract Inno setup files on your Android device. This is a very straightforward method and won’t even need to be explained in steps. If you don’t know what inno setups are, this is probably not the method for you. Here is the link of the app:

Download-on-Google-Play

1.

Download and install it. After that, simply place the setup files on your Android device, locate them with a good file manager for Android and open them with this app. The app will automatically extract the files which can be further pursued at your own leisure and convenience. And yes there are no extended steps for this method.

Conclusion

Android is a very open platform and there is no doubt that one day it will even be able to run full Windows programs on smartphones and tablets. Until that future day arrives, we are not going to access exe files on Android with ease and with full functionality. This is just a jury-rigging method which will only work for advanced Android and Windows users. There are some good videos on Youtube about using DOS Boxes on Android; I recommend that you watch them too. If you have any questions or suggestions, kindly talk to me in the comments below.

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56 Comments

      1. Hi Dani…
        I’ve installed Innmo Setup Extractor from PlayStore but it doesn’t give the option where to install it, just installs it. So I don’t know where it is on my Android Table as I don’t the name of what I’m looking for to extract it.
        Can you help. I’m using a Samsung Galaxy Tav S2 and File Mananger

        many thanks…,

        Brian

  1. I have put together a small program using MS Access. Basically it just displays stuff from a table record by record. I’ve turned it into an executable file and want to use it on my Motorola android phone. Is this possible?

    1. Hi Ron,
      Is it a Windows .exe program? To run that you basically need desktop Windows running on an x86 PC system. Which Android on a Motorola phone is not of course.

      There was a project to port WINE to Android, but that seems to have died. WINE is intended to run Windows .exe applications on *NIX OSs. Hope to hear from you soon.

        1. Hi Ron,
          Welcome back! Windows Phone is not the same as Windows for a PC, whatever impression the marketing people might give. I’m sure that an executable compiled for a PC will not run on a Windows phone (different OS and different computer architecture). Hope this helps

    1. Hi Ron,
      Welcome back! It´s good to hear from you again. You are most welcome for the help and with the extra money go and buy yourself something nice. I´m sure you deserve it! =-)

  2. I tried both ways to open
    BearShareSetup-r7-n-be.exe
    Neither way worked.
    There is a song I want. It is on my sd card (from Bearshare), but I forgot to hit “convert to mp3” (never knowing I would need to. It played on my Verizon phone. The display stays black now). I use a tablet now. I can’t find any music players that will play that song. I figure if I download it fresh, I’d be all set. Can you help me?

      1. Hi, I’m an Android phone user with a Samsung Galaxy a5 and was wondering if u might know any way of rooting without a pc? I did it successfully in the post on an Alcatel one touch, but have had 0% luck with my (oh yeah, I 4got 2 mention this part b4) Android 6.01 version or after. I would appreciate any help u might be able 2 offer.

  3. Now I can’t type the visual keyboard on DosBox on android , no character, I just see the spacebar on the black screen. How can I fix this ?

    1. Hi Pika Rizard,
      Have you tried clearing cache or uninstalling and re-installing? Sometimes these basic solutions actually work. Hope this helps. =-)

  4. Hey i have this .exe file that i made as a .bat file and then converted into .exe. will this be able to run on android???

    1. Hi Magnus,
      .exe files are windows binaries that can´t be executed natively on Android, but there are methods that have managed to open some but not all. Those methods are the ones mentioned above. Give it a try and hopefully, it will open. Thanks for commenting. =-)

    1. Hi Touya,
      Just like the post says, is it´s compatible then it should work, but not all of them are. Give it a try. Let em know if there is anything I can help you with. Thanks for commenting. =-)

    2. If it runs on MS-Dos, then it works. You can test it either by:
      -Gut feeling (Mostly right)
      -VirtualBox of MS-Dos (Or VMWare if you prefer.)
      -The DosBox app

  5. Am using Samsung galaxy duos. I downloaded a game dress up time tried opening it buh I ws told unable to find application to open dis file. pls Is dere any app dat can help me open it

    1. Hi Angela,
      Have you tried the steps in the article? If so, then I’m afraid the files can’t be opened since not all EXE files can be opened on Android. Thanks for commenting. =-)

    1. Hi Shatya,
      Not all exe files are supported, only a few. Maybe a re/read of the article might help? Thanks for commenting. )/(

  6. Hello, I have a game i created on my computer, and i am wondering what i can use to run and play that game, i made this game using RPG maker VX Ace. Is there anyway i can play this?

      1. Can’t even start typing nothing appears or seems to be typed after ” . And honestly I never find a better working answer for anything I need to install or playing…. on my android phone….

  7. Okay so I got my free dosbox however the keyboard doesn’t register so can’t create new folder with which to copy exe to (got a star trek game on wiki link from the 70s running on 32K, read some of the 64 paged txt file having unzipped doc in word but android just not running the exe or DOS perifferals from android not interfacing to get even the instruction and I’m glad the pull down menu from 64 bit cartridge games we missed soo much just one scroll from 32K and as for Yellow River Kingdom on 16K I need to get that to read beyond 5 digit numbers to make that epic! please advise perhaps it’s more emioj keyboard download skins I need, thanks.)

  8. i feel quite helpless as i downloaded inno but unable to open inno
    i then tried few dosbox but i cannot type any letters in the command using the provided virtual keyboard.
    i looked for solutions on other websites but no one gave any real solutions to both problems. the mobile phone i’m using is galaxy mega 2

    1. Hi, Yasar. Did you try both of the methods given in the post? Could you describe exactly what the problem or problems were? Thanks!

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