A type of file
that contains other files that have been compressed
(typically through a ZIP
program) for more efficient transfer of the data. The self-extracting file contains within it the program software
needed to “unzip” the file and execute
the intended application
. The end user
, therefore, does not need any special software to execute the file. Simply executing the file (which typically involves saving the files on a computer
s hard drive
) will unzip the data and run the application.
Self-extracting files, which typically end with the .EXE file extension, are commonly used to transfer large data files efficiently. For example, a software upgrade will often come in the form of a self-extracting file that a user can download from the Internet or detach from an e-mail and execute. Self-extracting files typically can be deleted once they have been executed.