What Is Difference between .BAT and .EXE files? [Full Information]

Daisy updated on Dec 05, 2022 to Knowledge Center

The differences between .bat and .exe files are ones that can't be overlooked for any reason. However, both files often perform a similar purpose. But they make use of different file formats. BAT files also known as batch contain human-readable text that can be easily re-edited and is used for custom scripting tasks.

While EXE files on the other hand can perform more tasks than BAT files in creating executable content without any limit in its command. This type of file contains complex binary data which is built by the use of a compiler.

What Are BAT and EXE Files?

First of all, a BAT file is simply a plain text file that contains a series of Windows commands. The .bat is used to denote the name batch. BAT files make use of a language that is not too hard to learn at all most importantly when it deals with some scripting purposes.

Since a .bat file (batch file) is a plain text file, therefore it can be put simply that one of the easy ways by which you can develop a BAT file is to first develop a .txt file, then save it and after that, change its extension to .bat.

The .bat file which was newly changed can then be reopened directly in the text editor program in order to change the code.

To talk of a .exe file, a .exe file also known as an executable file is a binary file that contains a very complex binary code that can be executed as well. It is important to note that .exe files are very different from .bat files simply because the former contains executable binary data and the latter contains a plain text command.

The .exe files are kept in a format is known as Portable Executable (PE) format which Windows uses in both 32-bit and 64-bit Operating Systems (OS) to keep executable files. Some part of a .exe file has a program code whereas other file types might have resource data. Also, the .exe file has numerous sections and headers which inform Windows how to run a program so that whenever a .exe file is opened, then Windows places the executable code in memory, and finally runs the program.

What Is The Difference Between These 2 Files Formats?

The difference between these two-file formats is that the exe file supports a more complex command than bat files. Furthermore, their differences are tabularized below.

Difference between .bat and .exe files:

BAT file EXE file  
A BAT file processes files in a sequential manner An EXE file does not sequentially process files
A BAT file is not secure as an EXE file An EXE file is more secure than a BAT file
These types of files are not supported in all Windows versions These types of files support almost all Windows versions
This file is not a unique type of file This file is a unique type of file
A BAT file is not secure as an EXE file An EXE file is more secure than a BAT file

What Are The Disadvantages of Converting BAT to EXE?

The disadvantages of converting BAT to EXE are very numerous. Below are some of the disadvantages you need to be aware of:

  • The first disadvantage to talk about is that all batch scripts are being executed in the same system process which is known as the cmd.exe. This enables the scripts to exchange environment variables.
  • An EXE file is executed in a separate system process and thus this exchange is not being accepted simply because only the return code can be made use of.
  • Also, a batch file is always platform-independent whenever you convert bat to exe. So, with this result, a batch file does not stay dependent.
  • Another disadvantage of converting BAT to EXE is that during the process of compilation of a batch script, it turns into a binary file which does not allow you to use any text from it. For instance, you are not allowed to be able to make use of a type %0 command in showing the source of a batch script.

What Are The Advantages of Converting BAT to EXE?

The advantages of converting bat to exe are discussed here below. Ready? Then, let us get started:

  • Firstly, one of the advantages of converting bat to exe is that when you have source data, the script is being compiled to hide that needed source data that contains some personal details such as the password, and username of an administrator.
  • Another advantage is that after the process of compilation, it does not make itself to be seen by anybody.
  • The script execution speed increases gradually as well which depends on the compiler.
  • Also, compilers add new features into a single identity file like additional data and extended command set.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, we discussed about what you need to know about BAT and EXE files, such as their meanings, differences in the comparison table, disadvantages, and advantages. Therefore, you have the required knowledge now about the topic of discussion.

However, the conversion of bat file to exe file can be necessary in some cases whereby exe files support a more complex command than bat files which makes Windows applications be kept in the exe format.

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