How to Remove EXE Files

Written by eric pederson
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How to Remove EXE Files
Files written to a hard drive can be erased quickly. (deleting data image by dinostock from

Any file with the ".exe" extension is an executable file. Clicking these files will install or run a program. Once the program is installed, however, the ".exe" file remains behind. These files can be relatively large in size and often are entirely unnecessary after the program is installed. Reclaiming precious hard drive space is sometimes a difficult task, but deleting these ".exe" files is a quick way to rid yourself of space-consuming files.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Open the folder in which the ".exe" file is stored. If you downloaded the file it will more than likely be located in the "Downloads" folder.

  2. 2

    Highlight any and all of the ".exe" files you want to delete and right-click on them. To select multiple files at once, hold "Ctrl" and click on the files you want. A new menu will pop up. Select the "Delete" button. The computer will ask you if you are sure that you want to delete these files. Click "Yes."

  3. 3

    Return to the desktop and right click on "Recycle Bin" and select "Empty Recycle Bin." This will permanently delete the files from your computer. If you get a warning that says something to the effect of being unable to delete the file becuase it is currently being used by the computer than proceed to Section 2. This warning is telling you that the .exe file is crucial to the program that it installed and cannot be deleted while the program is either running or installed on the computer.

  1. 1

    Open the "Start" menu and select "Control Panel."

  2. 2

    Click on "Add/Remove Programs." A list of all the programs installed on the computer will be generated.

    For Vista and Windows 7, click "Programs and Features."

  3. 3

    Locate the program that was installed from the particular ".exe" file.

  4. 4

    Click on the program name and click "Remove" or "Uninstall." The computer will prompt you about uninstalling the program. Click "Yes" or "OK" depending on what comes up. The program will then uninstall.

  5. 5

    Return to the folder with the ".exe" file that could not be deleted and right-click on it. Select "Delete" and return to the desktop. Right-click on "Recycle Bin" and select "Empty Recycle Bin."

Tips and warnings

  • Deleting an ".exe" file will remove it from your computer permanently and you will not be able to use.
  • Some programs may not run properly, or at all, if the ".exe" file is removed.

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