20 Best EXE Decompilers 2022 (Ranked and Reviewed)

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Today I’ll give you an ultimate list of the best EXE decompilers. These tools will allow you to decompile EXE (executable) files to view the actual source code behind them. Decompiling a .exe file is helpful if you want to understand how the program works without having access to the original source code.

If you know the name of the programming language in which the source code of your EXE file was written then it will be very helpful. Because most of the EXE decompiler tools are language specific.

For example, EXE to C++ decompiler, EXE to Python decompiler, EXE to C decompiler, EXE to C# decompiler, EXE to Java decompiler, EXE to AU3 decompiler, EXE to MFA decompiler, etc.

In case you don’t know the language, then don’t worry. There are some decompilers that can convert the .exe file to your specified programming language source code.

To make things easier for you, I have selected the best EXE decompilers for many popular programming languages.

This ultimate list is consist of free, paid, open source, and online EXE decompilers.

Let’s look at each of them and then select the best option that can fulfill your specific requirements.


dotPeek

dotPeek is a free-of-charge standalone tool based on ReSharper‘s bundled decompiler. It can reliably decompile any .NET assembly into equivalent C# or IL code.

The decompiler supports multiple formats including libraries (.dll), executables (.exe), and Windows metadata files (.winmd).

dotPeek can also decompile .baml files, enabling you to reconstruct XAML UI definitions.

In addition to traditional assemblies and executables, you can have dotPeek open archives (.zip.vsix, or .nupkg) and folders. You can also find and load NuGet packages (and their dependencies) from any online package source, or load packages listed in packages.config file in your Visual Studio project.

Features

  • Free
  • Libraries, executables, and more
  • Show or hide compiler-generated code
  • Explore running processes
  • View IL code in a separate view
  • View IL code as comments to decompiled C#
  • Use your preferred color theme
  • Navigate decompiled code in different ways: Find usages of any symbol, Highlight usages in code viewer, Explore current document, Jump to any code, Set bookmarks, Navigate contextually, Navigate class hierarchies, and Explore inheritance chains
  • Make sense of assemblies: Manage assembly lists, Explore assembly contents, Explore assembly metadata, View dependencies between assemblies

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Decompiler – Binary executable decompiler

Decompiler reads program binaries, decompiles them, infers data types, and emits structured C source code. Designed with a pluggable architecture, it currently has:

  • support for x86, 68k, PowerPC processors (partial support for Arm, Mips, Sparc, Z80, m6502, PDP-11)
  • support for EXE, Elf, AmigaOS Hunk executable formats
  • support for MS-DOS, Win32, U*ix, AmigaOS (partial for C64, ZX-81)

Decompiler comes with a GUI and a command-line interface.

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Telerik JustDecompile

Telerik JustDecompile is one of the fastest decompilers for DLL files which are coded in .NET and C#. It offers an open API for everyone to create extensions. You can easily search the code once it is decompiled with JustDecompile.

The Telerik JustDecompile engine is open source. It means you can easily extend its functionality as well as leverage everyone else’s fixes and additions.

Features

  • Free
  • Open source decompilation engine
  • 10 times faster than other DLL decompilers
  • Open API for everyone to create extensions.
  • Supports .NET 2.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, WinRT Metadata, C#5, APPX and WinMD.
  • Code becomes easily searchable with JustDecompile.
  • Create a Visual Studio project from a decompiled assembly.
  • JustDecompile integrates with JustCode and JustTrace.
  • Switch easily between different methods and assemblies in one JustDecompile instance.
  • Decompile referenced assemblies in a Visual Studio project. Supported Visual Studio versions: 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
  • Extract resources From assemblies.
  • Usage Analysis: Bookmark usages in loaded assemblies.
  • Export code directly from the command prompt.
  • Integrate With Windows Explorer Context Menu: Decompile an assembly after browsing to it in Windows Explorer.

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VB Decompiler

VB Decompiler is an advanced tool that can decompile programs (EXE, DLL, or OCX) written in Visual Basic 5.0/6.0 and disassemble programs based on .NET technology. As you know, programs written in Visual Basic can be compiled to interpreted p-code or to native code, and a .NET assembly is always compiled to Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL).

Features

  • Decompiling of the forms (frm and frx) and usercontrols (ctl, ctx)
  • Code decompilation for the P-Code compiled applications. Recovery pseudo code to the standard Visual Basic instructions with the highest success rate. Processing COM OLE objects, API calls, etc.
  • Native Code procedures disassembling (with powerful Pentium Pro disassembler, with support of the MMX and FPU instruction sets)
  • Partially Native Code decompilation (using code emulation engine)
  • Disassembling Visual Studio .NET (VB, C#, etc.) applications
  • Universal x86 unpacker for packed applications (supported UPX, NSPack, and other popular compressing tools)
  • Two decompilation schemes (with and without stack parsing)
  • Recovery and edit the String References with Unicode support
  • Syntax coloring in decompiled code
  • Recovery API calls. Recovery prototypes of most standard Win32 APIs
  • Fast decompilation scheme
  • Anti-decompilation features to protect your software (obfuscator)
  • Powerful HEX Editor with Copy/Paste and Undo/Redo features
  • Save decompiled data to the single file
  • Save procedures list to the MAP file, IDA script, or to the HIEW Names file
  • Using VB Decompiler to decompile copyrighted code, commercial code, malware analysis, and/or decompile code for any commercial project
  • Activation and using VB Decompiler in a company (one license for one developer)
  • Tracing code from procedures and functions of Native Code compiled Visual Basic 5.0/6.0 applications. Code will not start and will be emulated by VB Decompiler.
  • Get Analytic Report on the areas (procedures and functions) of the program that perform various manipulations with files, registry, windows, processes, as well as using service functions of Visual Basic to call functions by name (CallByName) and direct access to memory addresses (VarPtr).

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.NET Reflector

Decompile, understand, and fix any .NET code, even if you don’t have the source. By using .NET Reflector you can easily look inside any .NET code.

Standard Edition Features

  • Decompilation: Decompile, browse, and analyze any .NET assembly to C#, VB.NET, or IL.
  • Desktop application: Use the standalone application to explore and navigate decompiled code.
  • Search Filtering: Get results as you type and find what you’re looking for easily.

VSPro Edition Features

  • Use the Visual Studio debugger: Use your regular debugging techniques on any decompiled assemblies as if they were your own, using the Visual Studio debugger.
  • Debug third-party assemblies: Generate .pdb files for decompiled assemblies and save them so you only need to enable debugging once for each assembly.
  • Dynamic decompilation: Assemblies decompile seamlessly in Visual Studio so source code is always available for your libraries.
  • Use VS shortcuts: Use F12 to “Go To Definition”, F9 to “Set Breakpoints”, and F11 to “Step Into” any decompiled code.
  • C#7 decompilation: .NET Reflector supports C#7, .NET 4.7.2, and .NET Core and Standard.
  • Browse assemblies: .NET Reflector VSPro adds the Reflector Object Browser into Visual Studio. Use the tree view to navigate through code.

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Visual Studio Decompiler

Are you a software developer? Then, you’d certainly appreciate an advanced tool, such as Visual Studio Decompiler. What if you worked for a client years ago and asks for new modifications, only you long lost the source code? Or if you’re asked to add something to an application that was developed by a freelancer who didn’t share the code? Then all you have to decompile the binary files with this utility and get access to a code that you can edit.

Features

  • Decompile any .NET binary files like executable files (EXE) or dynamic linked libraries (DLL) to C# or VB.NET code
  • Highlight the code syntax to easily browse through the code
  • The interface looks a lot like Visual Studio
  • The code structure is clean and you’ll easily identify the variables, functions, types, properties, objects, etc
  • Support for all .NET specific constructs: events, methods, fields, nested types, properties & attributes
  • Works with binaries generated from VB.NET and C#
  • To help you understand the code better, it generates helpful comments in the code
  • It’s free to use, so you can keep the money in your pocket
  • Requires .NET framework 4.0 to run (as expected from a program that decompiles .NET binaries)

Download Visual Studio Decompiler if you need access to the sources of .NET applications.

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unEbookWorkshop

unEbookWorkshop is an .EXE e-book decompiler and extractor. unEbookWorkshop can decompile any .EXE e-books that were compiled by ebook Workshop and extract all source files from the e-book! Run unEbookWorkshop, simply select an e-book that was made by e-book Workshop, press the button “Start”, select a folder for output, and in a short time you will get all source files of the ebook!

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Resource Hacker

Resource Hacker™ is a resource editor for 32bit and 64bit Windows® applications. It’s both a resource compiler (for *.rc files), and a decompiler – enabling the viewing and editing of resources in executables (*.exe; *.dll; *.scr; etc) and compiled resource libraries (*.res, *.mui). While Resource Hacker™ is primarily a GUI application, it also provides many options for compiling and decompiling resources from the command line.

It is also known as a freeware resource compiler & decompiler for Windows® applications.

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PyInstaller Extractor

PyInstaller Extractor is a Python script to extract the contents of a PyInstaller generated Windows executable file. The contents of the pyz file (usually pyc files) present inside the executable are also extracted.

The header of the pyc files are automatically fixed so that a Python bytecode decompiler will recognize it. The script can run on both Python 2.x and 3.x. Pyinstaller versions 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 5.0, 5.0.1, 5.1 are tested & supported. Probably will work with other versions too.

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RetDec

RetDec is a retargetable machine-code decompiler based on LLVM.

The decompiler is not limited to any particular target architecture, operating system, or executable file format:

  • Supported file formats: ELF, PE, Mach-O, COFF, AR (archive), Intel HEX, and raw machine code
  • Supported architectures:
    • 32-bit: Intel x86, ARM, MIPS, PIC32, and PowerPC
    • 64-bit: x86-64, ARM64 (AArch64)

Features

  • Static analysis of executable files with detailed information.
  • Compiler and packer detection.
  • Loading and instruction decoding.
  • Signature-based removal of statically linked library code.
  • Extraction and utilization of debugging information (DWARF, PDB).
  • Reconstruction of instruction idioms.
  • Detection and reconstruction of C++ class hierarchies (RTTI, vtables).
  • Demangling of symbols from C++ binaries (GCC, MSVC, Borland).
  • Reconstruction of functions, types, and high-level constructs.
  • Integrated disassembler.
  • Output in two high-level languages: C and a Python-like language.
  • Generation of call graphs, control-flow graphs, and various statistics.

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Spices .Net Decompiler

Recover source code from crashes and convert .NET executables to C#, VB.Net, J#, Delphi.Net and managed C++.

Spices.Net Decompiler offers a productivity package for .NET software developers that is exceptional in the industry for ease of use and top-of-the-range performance.

Spices.Net Decompiler is an efficient and flexible tool, that converts .NET binaries (.EXE or .DLL) from binary format to a beautifully formatted, optimized, and commented source code, generates equivalent and recompilable code that is remarkably close to the original source code, product of well known Spices.Net products family.

.Net Decompiler is completely integrated with Spices.NET and offers tools to decompile or visually represent .Net code, helps to recover or convert .Net code to one of six supported languages: MSIL, C#, VB.NET, Delphi.NET, J#, or managed C++.

Features

  • C#/VB Language features supported
  • Multiple languages decompilation/disassembling
  • Well-formed and optimized code
  • Code flow obfuscation
  • Own metadata access engine
  • Visual Decompiler
  • Correctly decompiles a wide range of assembly types
  • Any scope of decompilation/disassembling
  • .NET versions support: Spices.Net Decompiler supports all known types of assemblies format, generics, new MSIL instructions etc.
  • Output directions
  • Multiple selection decompilation
  • Whole assembly decompilation
  • Optimizations/refactoring
  • Active hints
  • Code outlining/folding
  • Supports all modifiers
  • Supports all keywords
  • Complex Nested statements
  • Variables arrangement
  • Variable names extraction
  • COM/Interop/Unmanaged code
  • Unsafe code, pointers
  • Custom attributes
  • Method overloading, interface implementation, overriding recognition
  • Generics support
  • Completely integrates with Spices.NET environment and Visual Studio IDE as part of Spices.VSIP.NET (Visual Studio Integration Package).

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Decompiler.com

Decompiler.com offers the functionality of an EXE decompiler online.

Drag and drop your artifact into the online decompiler to view the content online or download it. .exe and .dll .NET decompilation back to the C# project. Navigate through and inspect decompiled code online without installing anything.

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PE Explorer Disassembler – Dig into Executables

The PE Explorer Disassembler is designed to be easy to use compared with other disassemblers. To that end, some of the functionality found in other products has been left out in order to keep the process simple and fast. While as powerful as the more expensive, dedicated disassemblers, PE Explorer focuses on ease of use, clarity, and navigation.

The PE Explorer disassembler assumes that some manual editing of the reproduced code will be needed. To facilitate additional hand coding, however, the disassembler utilizes a qualitative algorithm designed to reconstruct the assembly language source code of target binary win32 PE files (EXE, DLL, OCX) with the highest degree of accuracy possible.

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C4Decompiler

C4Decompiler is a general machine code C decompiler.

C4Decompiler is a free program that allows you to perform analysis that reveals the full details of the function’s interaction with the app. The program deduces the data types from the operations performed on them and then propagated and synchronized globally.

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Boomerang

A general, open source, retargetable decompiler of machine code programs.

After a program has been thrown into the world in binary form, it can boomerang back as source code. The Boomerang reverse engineering framework is the first general native executable decompiler available to the public.

This project is an attempt to develop a real decompiler for machine code programs through the open source community. A decompiler takes as input an executable file and attempts to create a high-level, compilable, possibly even maintainable source file that does the same thing. It is therefore the opposite of a compiler, which takes a source file and makes an executable.

However, a general decompiler does not attempt to reverse every action of the decompiler, rather it transforms the input program repeatedly until the result is high-level source code. It therefore won’t recreate the original source file; probably nothing like it. It does not matter if the executable file has symbols or not, or was compiled from any particular language. (However, declarative languages like ML are not considered.)

The intent is to create a retargetable decompiler (i.e. one that can decompile different types of machine code files with modest effort, e.g. X86-windows, sparc-solaris, etc). It was also intended to be highly modular so that different parts of the decompiler can be replaced with experimental modules. It was intended to eventually become interactive, a la IDA Pro, because some things (not just variable names and comments, though these are obviously very important) require expert intervention. Whether the interactivity belongs in the decompiler or in a separate tool remains unclear.

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REC Studio

REC Studio is an interactive decompiler.

It reads a Windows, Linux, Mac OS X or raw executable file, and attempts to produce a C-like representation of the code and data used to build the executable file.
It has been designed to read files produced for many different targets, and it has been compiled on several host systems.

REC Studio 4 is a complete rewrite of the original REC decompiler. It uses more powerful analysis techniques such as partial Single Static Assignment (SSA), allows loading Mac OS X files and supports 32 and 64 bit binaries.
Although still under development, it has reached a stage that makes it more useful than the old Rec Studio 2.

Features

As mentioned, Rec Studio 4 is still under development. Most target independent features have been completed, such as:

  • Multihost: Rec Studio runs on Windows XP/Vista/7, Ubuntu Linux, and Mac OS X.
  • Symbolic information support using Dwarf 2 and partial recognition of Microsoft’s PDB format.
  • C++ is partially recognized: mangled names generated by gcc are demangled, as well as inheritance described in dwarf2 is honored. However, C++ is a very broad and difficult language, so some features like templates won’t likely be ever supported.
  • Types and function prototype definitions can be specified in text files. Some standard Posix and Windows APIs are already provided in the Rec Studio package.
  • Interactivity is supported, limited to the definition of sections, labels, and function entry points. Will need to improve it to support the in-program definition of types and function parameters.

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IDA Pro

The best-of-breed binary code analysis tool is an indispensable item in the toolbox of world-class software analysts, reverse engineers, malware analysts, and cybersecurity professionals.

IDA Pro as a disassembler is capable of creating maps of their execution to show the binary instructions that are actually executed by the processor in a symbolic representation (assembly language). Advanced techniques have been implemented into IDA Pro so that it can generate assembly language source code from machine-executable code and make this complex code more human-readable.

The debugging feature augmented IDA with the dynamic analysis. It supports multiple debugging targets and can handle remote applications. Its cross-platform debugging capability enables instant debugging, easy connection to both local and remote processes, and support for 64-bit systems and new connection possibilities.

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dcc Distribution

This is a heavily updated version of the old DOS executable decompiler DCC

Note that the dcc_oo.exe program (in dcc32.zip) is a 32 bit program, so it won’t work under Windows 3.1. Also, it is a console mode program, meaning that it has to be run in the “Command Prompt” window (sometimes known as the “Dos Box”). It is not a GUI program.

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Ghidra

Ghidra is a software reverse engineering (SRE) framework created and maintained by the National Security Agency Research Directorate. This framework includes a suite of full-featured, high-end software analysis tools that enable users to analyze compiled code on a variety of platforms including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Capabilities include disassembly, assembly, decompilation, graphing, and scripting, along with hundreds of other features. Ghidra supports a wide variety of processor instruction sets and executable formats and can be run in both user-interactive and automated modes. Users may also develop their own Ghidra extension components and/or scripts using Java or Python.

In support of the NSA’s Cybersecurity mission, Ghidra was built to solve scaling and teaming problems on complex SRE efforts, and to provide a customizable and extensible SRE research platform. NSA has applied Ghidra SRE capabilities to a variety of problems that involve analyzing malicious code and generating deep insights for SRE analysts who seek a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities in networks and systems.

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Reko

Reko (Swedish: “decent, obliging”) is a decompiler for machine code binaries. This project is freely available under the GNU General Public License.

The project consists of front ends, a core decompiler engine, and back ends to help it achieve its goals. A command line, a Windows GUI, and an ASP.NET front end exist at the time of writing. The decompiler engine receives inputs from the front ends in the form of either individual executable files or decompiler project files. Reko project files contain additional information about a binary file, helpful to the decompilation process or for formatting the output. The decompiler engine then proceeds to analyze the input binary.

Reko has the ambition of supporting the decompilation of various processor architectures and executable file formats with minimal user intervention. For a complete list, see the supported binaries page.

Please note that many software licenses prohibit decompilation or reverse engineering of their machine code binaries. Use this decompiler only if you have legal rights to decompile the binary (for instance if the binary is your own.)

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