Why there is a net.exe and net1.exe on Windows? They look the same.

4 Answers 4


I have got Windows 2000 installed on a virtual machine and can confirm that it has both net.exe and net1.exe and I just installed Windows 95 and can see it only has net.exe

I would like to install Windows NT 4, but can't find the media anywhere.

As Windows 95 only has net.exe and it is a lot larger, I am just going to guess that the reason it is how it is, is simply just compatibility issues e.g. Microsoft thinks that a lot of third party tools use it and do not want to get rid of the tools.

I would guess that net.exe is the newest version and when a old feature is called, it passes it to net1.exe - however, this is just a guess based on the way Microsoft does compatibility in some other tools.

  • 4
    net1.exe was implemented as hotfix to the Y2K bug for windows NT 4,(some problems with the NET /TIME command) support.microsoft.com/kb/240195 and support.microsoft.com/kb/319913 think y're right, this is all what the "old feature" could be, but why they haven't just updated the old one ? and whey they keep net1.exe on new Windows releases ?
    – user8228
    Dec 3, 2009 at 19:24
  • well done - good find! Knowing Microsoft, they probably just thought it would be safer this way, and they don't want to break it now in case anyone specifically refers to net1.exe by name in a third party program... Dec 3, 2009 at 19:30
  • In Windows 10, the net.exe and net1.exe is launched simultaniously when you execute a cmd-file for instance. This would indicate that the two are linked somehow.
    – netfed
    Feb 19, 2019 at 20:17

According to the following link: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/commandlinereference/p/net-command.htm

the difference between net and net1 is:

Only in Windows NT and Windows 2000 was there a difference in the net command and the net1 command. The net1 command was made available in these two operating systems as a temporary fix for a Y2K issue the net command experienced.

This Y2K issue with the net command was corrected before Windows XP was even released but you'll still find net1 in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 to maintain compatibility with older programs and scripts that used net1 when it was necessary to do so.


Examining the two files in Windows 7, I can only tell you that net1.exe has more dependencies that don't appear in net.exe:

  • dsrole.dll
  • logoncli.dll
  • netapi32.dll
  • samlib.dll
  • ntdsapi.dll

On the other hand net.exe has some unique dependences not appearing in net1.exe:

  • mpr.dll
  • iphlpapi.dll
  • credui.dll

I hope that helps somehow.

  • are the two files linked somehow ?
    – user8228
    Dec 3, 2009 at 20:15
  • Doesn't seem so.
    – Saxtus
    Dec 3, 2009 at 23:19

A quick google search came up with these results. I'm sure if you spent 5 minutes you could get even more details. Please try that next time



  • 3
    No need to be hostile RE: Google. Your answer does not say what the difference is between the two... I also know "what" net and net1 do, but I don't have a clue what the difference is (other than file size!). Dec 3, 2009 at 17:13
  • ... RE: My comment, Rohit has edited his answer since I wrote that. Dec 3, 2009 at 17:18
  • Google net.exe vs net1.exe and the top result is ... this page, so it makes sense to collect this kind of information in a place with good systems to keep the best answers at top.
    – NiKiZe
    Feb 11, 2021 at 7:26

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