Is it possible to install and launch Microsoft applications on Mac OSX? Can I play games and open .exe files on Mac? Absolutely! There are many ways to tap into the thriving ecosystem of Windows software without buying a PC. For example, a virtual machine can turn a Mac into a veritable Windows-based computer that can run programs such as Microsoft Office. However, this approach presupposes license purchasing, which dissuades many Mac users who want to execute .exe files without installing Windows. There’s no surprise that numerous members of the Apple crowd stick to free methods of running Windows software. After all, why does anyone have to fork over cold, hard cash for a Windows license, if they want to run only one piece of PC software on their Mac? The best way to go about this task is to use programs like Wine or WineBottler (which is, actually, based on the Wine source code) instead of a VirtualBox emulator. To be specific, Wine is not an app, but rather a compatibility layer for running Windows apps on UNIX-based systems. WineBottler takes .exe files emulation a step further. Not only can you extract, read and run .exe files, but also convert specific files and turn them into the .dmg application bundle.
WineBottler Mac Download & Installation
WineBottler is a free software that works on older versions of Mac OS X such as El Capitan and Mavericks and on newer versions of macOS such as Sierra and High Sierra. Use this tutorial to install the emulator on your Mac. If after using the app for some time you no longer find it useful, you can uninstall it by following the steps listed in the penultimate section of the article. Start by downloading .dmg file on the developer’s website. After the download is successfully completed, go through the steps below:
- Open the downloaded file by double-clicking on it;
- In a Finder window that opens, drag and drop Wine and WineBottler to the Applications folder;
- Locate WineBottler and Wine in the Finder;
- Unmount them by clicking the Eject arrow;
- Delete the .dmg file to free up space on the Mac.
Now WineBottler can be launched from the Applications folder. The benefits of using the app are obvious: it includes a variety of Windows apps that you can easily install. Web developers will appreciate running Internet Explorer and other browsers to test websites. As for the gamers, they will love the Steam app for running Windows games on a Mac. Select among the available options to download, install, and set up the apps automatically.
How to Use WineBottler to Launch Windows Programs and Open .exe files on Mac
Wine is an open-source app, so other developers have used its free source code to build more advanced OS X apps for running .exe files. WineBottler is a Wine-based wrapper for adapting games and programs to run natively on Mac OS X El Capitan and Sierra. The emulator has received positive user reviews mainly for its ability to convert Windows apps into .dmg files. The utility’s users can run web browsers like Internet Explorer or Microsoft Office programs on their Mac with Wine-based compatibility layers. If you are a reader, who wonders “Do I need to access third-party libraries or runtime arguments to run .exe files?”, the answer is “Yes”. However, most applications can be executed without a custom digital “opener.” Here’s what needs to be done to setup and use WineBottler on an Apple machine.
The app installation is a fairly straightforward drag and drop procedure. It should be kept in mind, however, that the downloaded disk image consists of two files both of which should be transferred to the Application folder. Once you have installed WineBottler, click on the Create Custom Prefixes tab on the left. Customize the installation by selecting the file you want to install and checking the Self-Contained box. A self-contained app can be executed even on those Macs that do not have WineBottler. Skip the step if you don’t want to run the app on other machines. If a file you want to install is executable, check the Copy Only box. It is also necessary to put a tick in the Silent Install box and click on the Install button. At some point during the installation process, a Windows installer will appear. Then, follow the on-screen instructions. Then, choose the start file and click the OK button. Be careful and select the proper item, which will be opened every time the app is launched. If you fail to specify the correct start file, repeat the installation process. All Windows programs installed on the Mac can be found by clicking on the On My Mac tab.
After following the instructions above, the Windows program can be opened just like any other Apple app. It is also possible to run executable files without installing them on the Mac with the help of WineBottler. To this end, control-click the file and use the Open With option to run it with WineBottler. Then click on the Go button. Note that depending on the type of a program, you may need extra libraries, DLL override options, or runtime arguments to run it. Therefore, if you can’t execute a Windows program, conduct a quick web search using its name as a part of the search query to find out how to make it work.
There are two main ways of running Windows apps on Mac OS X: using virtual machines or special emulators like WineBottler or Wineskin. The use of emulators is less resource-consuming, which is especially important for those intending to run heavy games on their Mac. However, if you are planning on running multiple apps and not sure whether they are compatible with WineBottler, it is better to stick to virtual machines.