Can't open .EXE files in Windows 7/Vista

10:48:00 AM | , ,

You receive errors, or nothing happens when you start an .EXE file in Windows 7 or Windows Vista. Additionally, you may receive messages saying that you have a virus.

This issue can occur if a virus or other 3rd party application has changed or corrupted some default registry settings.

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50850

If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Let me fix it myself

To resolve this issue, you can reset the registry settings to their default settings. To do this, follow these steps.
  1. Click the Startbutton and type regedit in the Search box
  2. Right-click Regedit.exe in the returned list and click Run as administrator
  3. Browse to the following registry key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe
  4. With .exe selected, right-click (Default) and click Modify…
  5. Change the Value data: to exefile
  6. Browse to and then click on the following registry key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile
  7. With exefileselected, right-click (Default) and click Modify…
  8. Change the Value data: to "%1" %*
  9. Browse to and then click on the following registry key:

    KEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open
  10. With openselected, right-click (Default) and click Modify…
  11. Change the Value data: to "%1" %*
  12. Close the Registry Editor and restart your PC