SFX file icon

SFX File Extension

Windows Self-Extracting Archive

What is SFX file?

SFX is an data self-extracting archive format. SFX files store archived data along with archive extraction code. Self-extracting archive do not require additional software to extract the contents. It is worth mentioning that no additional files can be added to such an archive once it has been compressed. It is also impossible to establish what kind of compression algorithm was used for given archive.

Self-extracting archives.

Most archiving and compression tools offer the option to create self-extracting archives. The most popular such self-extracting formats are EXE and SFX. It can happen for various reasons that a SFX file cannot be extracted. In such case the problem can be resolved by changing the SFX extension to EXE. SFX files are typically blocked by mail server when attached to email messages due to their executable nature.

Programs which support SFX file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with SFX files, divided into 2 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with SFX extension, just like any other file formats, can be found on any operating system. The files in question may be transferred to other devices, be it mobile or stationary, yet not all systems may be capable of properly handling such files.

Programs that support SFX file

Updated: 06/17/2022

How to open file with SFX extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening SFX files on given system. What is important, all common issues related to files with SFX extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.

Step 1. Download and install Microsoft Windows

Install software to open SFX file The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening SFX files is that no program that can handle SFX files is installed on user’s system. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Microsoft Windows or different compatible program, such as WinZip, 7-Zip, WinRAR. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. If you want to download Microsoft Windows installer in the most secured manner, we suggest you visit Microsoft Corporation website and download from their official repositories.

Step 2. Update Microsoft Windows to the latest version

Update software that support file extension SFXIf the problems with opening SFX files still occur even after installing Microsoft Windows, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Microsoft Windows is available. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. This can be one of the causes why SFX files are not compatible with Microsoft Windows. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using Microsoft Windows.

Step 3. Set the default application to open SFX files to Microsoft Windows

If you have the latest version of Microsoft Windows installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage SFX on your device. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with SFX file on Windows

Selecting the first-choice application in Windows

  • Clicking the SFX with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • Finally select Look for another app on this PC, point to the folder where Microsoft Windows is installed, check the Always use this app to open SFX files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button
Associate software with SFX file on Mac

Selecting the first-choice application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the SFX file and select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with SFX extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Ensure that the SFX file is complete and free of errors

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper SFX file. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

Check SFX file for viruses
1. Verify that the SFX in question is not infected with a computer virus

If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the SFX file hinders attempts to open it. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. If the scanner detected that the SFX file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Ensure the file with SFX extension is complete and error-free

Did you receive the SFX file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. When downloading the file with SFX extension from the internet an error may occurred resulting in incomplete file. Try downloading the file again.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open Microsoft Windows

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support SFX files. Close all running programs and try opening the SFX file.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Windows Self-Extracting Archive file. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle SFX files.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the SFX file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on SFX file.

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