exe has stopped working

When a program stops running or shuts down all of a sudden, you may receive an error message saying “exe has stopped working“. This is a common PC problem, but luckily it’s fixable. In this post, we will show you how to solve the exe has stopped working issue, easily and quickly.

What is exe file

EXE is short for “executable”, and exe file is a common file format that can be automatically executed and run when you double click it. It’s used to install or run a program.

How to fix exe has stopped working

Although there are various causes for the “exe has stopped working” error, you can try these general fixes to troubleshoot the problem:

  1. Restart the program
  2. Run the program in compatibility mode
  3. Run the program as administrator
  4. Configure Data Execution Prevention settings
  5. Scan for virus and malware
  6. Repair Windows system files
  7. Update your device drivers
  8. Reinstall the program
The screenshots below are from Windows 10, but the fixes also apply to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Fix 1 – Restart the program

Sometimes this issue is caused by insufficient system resources or unexpected file corruption. It’s usually temporary, and a simple relaunch will get everything right. But before doing that, make sure to close all the related processes running in the background.

1) On your keyboard, press Ctrl, Alt and Delete at the same time. Then, click Task Manager.

2) Right-click the faulty program and click End task. (Slack for example in the image below)

Now start the program again and see if it works. If you’ve restarted it several times but the problem just doesn’t go away, proceed to the next fix.


Fix 2 – Run the program in compatibility mode

Incompatibility could be a primary reason for the ‘application stops working’ issue. Programs designed well for earlier versions of Windows may hardly work on the newest one, so you could run them in a selected version of Windows system to see how thing goes.

1) Right-click the program, and click Properties.

2) Tick Run this compatibility mode for and select another version. Then, click OK.

You could try the different options until you find the one that makes your applications run smoothly. But if this method doesn’t work, move on to the next solution.


Fix 3 – Run the program as administrator

Running your programs in the administrator mode is a solid approach for various types of program issues. Give it a shot to see if that helps your case.

1) Right-click the program and click Properties.

2) Check Run this program as an administrator and click OK.

Launch the program to test. Still no luck? Check out more fixes below.


Fix 4 – Configure Data Execution Prevention settings

Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is a feature that protects your computer from viruses or other security threats. However, according to some users, it can cause the exe file to stop working and you should manually change the DEP settings to fix it.

1) Click the Start button. Then, type control panel in the search box and click Control Panel.

2) Select View by: Category. Then, click System and Security.

3) Click System.

4) Click Advanced system settings.

5) Click the Advanced tab, and click Settings under the Performance section.

6) Select the Data Execution Prevention tab, and click the Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only option. Then, click OK.

Does the same error message reappear? If yes, check out the fifth fix.


Fix 5 – Scan for virus and malware

If an exe file is infected by malware or virus, it won’t operate correctly and will trigger the error alert. To fix it, you can perform a thorough scan with your anti-virus program.

Check if your program runs well after the malware or virus is removed. If the issue persists, turn to more workable fixes below.


Fix 6 – Repair Windows system files

When the system files are missing, damaged or incorrectly modified, PC problems such as the “exe has stopped working” error will arise. And you’ll need the help of the Windows built-in tools to repair your system files.

  • System File Checker (SFC)
  • Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)

Run System File Checker (SFC)

1) Click the Start button, and type cmd in the search box. Then, right-click Command Prompt, and click Run as Administrator.

2) Click Yes when you’re prompted.

3) Type sfc/scannow and press Enter.

sfc/scannow

Wait for the scan process to complete. You may see the message that Windows Resources Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.

Then, open the problematic application and test if the problem is resolved. If not, you can continue with the DISM tool.

Run Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)

1) Click the Start button, and type cmd in the search box. Then, right-click Command Prompt, and click Run as Administrator.

2) Click Yes when you’re prompted.

3) Type the following command, and press Enter.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Wait until the whole process finishes, and open the program to test if the problem is resolved.

If everything is fine with your system files but the issue reoccurs, the cause may lie in somewhere else. Then, read on to the next fix.


Fix 7 – Update your device drivers

Many kinds of computer problems are associated with driver issues, so is the “exe has stopped working” error. Corrupt or old device drivers will stop your application from functioning perfectly. That’s why you should always keep your drivers in a good and up-to-date condition.

There are two ways to update your device drivers: manually or automatically.

Manual driver update – You can update your device drivers manually by going to the device manufacturer’s website, and searching for the most recent correct driver. Be sure to choose only drivers that are compatible with your Windows version.

Automatic driver update – If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update your drivers manually, you can, instead, do it automatically with Driver Easy. Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the exactly correct drivers for your devices, and your Windows version, and it will download and install them correctly:

1) Download and install Driver Easy.

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.

3) Click the Update button next to the flagged driver to automatically download the correct version of that driver, then you can manually install it (you can do this with the FREE version).

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system. (This requires the Pro version which comes with full support and a 30-day money back guarantee. You’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All.)

You could do it for free if you like, but it’s partly manual.
The Pro version of Driver Easy comes with full technical support.
If you need assistance, please contact Driver Easy’s support team at support@drivereasy.com.

If you’ve installed all the latest device drivers but still encounter the problem, move towards the next fix.


Fix 8 – Reinstall the program

If all the solutions above don’t help, you should consider reinstalling the application. And also don’t forget to clear the remaining files. Here’s how:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run command.

2) Type control and click OK to open Control Panel.

3) Expand the drop-down menu next to View by and click Category. Then, click Uninstall a program under Programs.

4) Right-click the faulty program and click Uninstall. Then, follow the on-screen instruction to complete the process.

5) Again, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run box. Then, type %appdata%, and click OK.

6) Delete the program folder.

7) Download the latest version of that program from its official website. Then, follow the on-screen instruction to install it on your computer.

Now you’ll get a fresh new program that should be working properly and smoothly.


We’ll be glad if one of the fixes above solves your “exe has stopped working” issue. If you have any questions, suggestions or effective methods, please share with us in the comment below!

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