If I have a compressed file that's stored as a self-extracting archive for Windows, i.e., a .exe file, is it possible to convert it to a zip file that can be unzipped under OS X? Alternatively, is there Mac program that can open one of these archives?

  • I think that depends on how the file was created. Do you know that?
    – bdecaf
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 13:06

8 Answers 8


This is an old question, but I thought I'd throw this in anyway. With self extracting archives, you might be able to simply just run the sfx file and it should do it's thing. Make sure to give it executable permissions (chmod +x filename.sfx) and simply run that file in terminal (./filname.sfx) and it might just work.

  • @Uri as I understand the question, it's about .EXE self-extracting archives (or SFX for short), not .SFX files.
    – gronostaj
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 22:11
  • 3
    @gronostaj yes the original question is specifically about EXE but I was looking for .SFX and found this question. This answer helped me; I don't think it should be chosen as the correct answer, but I also don't think it merits a negative score.
    – Uri
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 13:31
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    This may not exactly answer OP's question, but Google sent me here and this was the answer I needed, so I'm upvoting.
    – RyanHennig
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 18:54
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    Ditto @RyanHennig -- I wanted to know how to open .sfx files on a Mac OSX system, and enabling executable mode on the file and running it from the terminal worked perfectly in my case.
    – jacobq
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 15:43

The Unarchiver supports this, and is an all round great extraction utility.

  • 1
    The Unarchiver was able to handle multi-part, self-extracting archives for me. Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 21:56

The command line unzip in the terminal should be able to do it (it will report that it skips bytes at the beginning but should work fine otherwise).

List files:

unzip -v windowsfile.exe


unzip windowsfile.exe 

The freeware Keka is able to do that, too.

It first extracts a .zip file from the .exe file, which you have to open again with any zip-extracting tool that can handle password encrypted archives.

But if you just change the file extension from '.exe' to '.zip' you can skip the conversion and are asked for the password right away.

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    Keka did not work for me. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 12:07

UnRarX handles this perfectly on OS X for me.

  • It doesn't work at this moment Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 12:50

I was unable to get unzip, The Unarchiver, nor Stuffit Expander to unpack an old self-extracting zip. I finally tried opening it in CrossOver Mac and it worked perfectly.


Checkout iZip unarchiver, great program for mac, that comes with the ability to extract .exe files.


Or find it on the app store:



First (and easiest!) thing to try is simply to change the extension from .exe to .zip, then double-click the .zip file to extract it. Worked for me on macOS Monterey.

  • 1
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