How to Open MSI File on Mac

Although many files are created to be run and executed on different platforms, some are specific and can only be opened on their respective operating systems if you are also struggling with this problem. Luckily, there is always a solution available on the internet.

Even though these files have little to no use on the other platform in most cases, they can be helpful if you want to extract specific data from the file itself. In this article, we will see how you can open MSI file on Mac and whether you can install the contents within it. 

Let’s get started.

What is MSI File

The MSI files got this extension name because the original install software created to install different applications on a Windows operating system was the Microsoft Installer. The MSI files can hold various other files and folders required during installation. 

These files can range from text files to specific binary files that certain applications can only read. So even if you can access it, there is a high chance you will not be able to read the content of some files within it.

Now that we have a little information on the MSI files let’s see how you can open MSI file on Mac.

How to Open MSI File on Mac

Since we know that the macOS does not come with any built-in or native application, it is not capable of running MSI files itself. Therefore, we will have to use a third-party application to access these files.

Just like .zip and .tar files, MSI files are also designed as a package or an archive. It means there are multiple files compressed within it to save storage. So now, you just have to use Utility software to extract these files onto your Mac.

Although many utility applications are available on the internet, in this case, we will use Keka as it not only executes the job but is also available for free on their website. Once you have installed the application, simply follow the steps below.

Keka File Archiver
  • Head to your Finder, and navigate to the respective MSI file you want to extract.
  • Now, Right-click on the file and select Extract using Keka from the context menu.

Once done, Keka will create a new folder and extract all the files contained within the respective MSI files in it. Now you can simply open this folder and access any file you wish. Remember that most of these files will be binary and need additional software to read them properly.

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Can You Install the Applications Contained Within the MSI File on Mac

Now even though you can access the contents of MSI files on your Mac, it is still limited to extractions and readability. But if you need to execute or run these files, you must install a Windows operating environment on your Mac device. The first method to this is by installing a Virtual Machine onto your Mac and then using it to install various applications and files that are designed to be executed on the Windows operating system. Some of the most popular Virtual Machines include Parallels and VMWare.

Parallels Desktop 17

The second method to run Windows applications and files on your Mac revolves around Apple’s Boot Camp. It allows you to simultaneously run a Windows environment and macOS on your Mac. So you can choose whichever operating system whenever you want. 

Once you install the Boot Camp, simply head to your Windows environment and install any applications you need. You can find more information on the Boot Camp on Apple’s support website

Can MSI File Be Malicious

Although .MSI files are usually safe to install, there are always fake websites and sources that create a chance of downloading a tempered file that, if installed, can seriously damage the hardware and performance of your system. 

To tackle this problem, always download files from their official website. You can also take additional steps like scanning files with an antivirus or Windows Defender to ensure your files are free from any kind of virus or malicious scripts.

How to Open MSI File in Windows 10

Unlike the macOS, Windows operating system comes with its designated installer so that you don’t have to install any additional applications on your system. It not only makes the process simpler but even saves time as well.

Once you have downloaded an MSI file, simply double-click on it, and it will start the installation process. In most cases, once the installation window appears, it will ask users relevant questions like installation directory, etc., after which it will finish everything on its own.

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How to Open MSI File on Linux

Like macOS, Linux also doesn’t allow users to install or run any MSI file on its platform. So similar to Mac, you will have to take the help of an additional program to complete this job. Here are the steps to it:

  •  On your system, navigate to Terminal and run it with Administrative Privileges.
  • Now use cd to switch your directories and head to the download location of the respective MSI file.
  • Once there, simply install the file by using the following command “wine msiexec /i desired_file_name.msi”.

Congrats, you have successfully executed an MSI file on Linux.

How to Open MSI File in Android

If you use an Android device and want to open MSI file, you can use the following steps:

  • Open your Application List and navigate to File Manager or My Files.
  • Now open the application and visit the directory where you have downloaded the respective MSI file.
  • Once there, tap on the file to see whether your Android supports it or not.

If your Android contains a compatible application, it will open MSI file as usual. But if you get any error, you must install an additional application on your device that is compatible enough to run it. 

Now you can either go to your application store and find a relevant application to run it, or you can search for a compatible application online. Some of the most popular apps when it comes to opening .MSI files include ES Explorer and Solid Explorer.

How Do I Convert an MSI File to Zip

The Windows operating system is second to none regarding user freedom, and the case is similar even when converting different file formats to another. It can be quickly done using a third-party application or website like ezyZip.  Here’s how you can do it:

  • Head to the official ezyZip website.
  • Open you are at the website, you can either drag & drop your desired .Msi file or click Select msi file to convert and choose your desired file using the file chooser.
  • Once selected, set your desired compression level and press Convert to ZIP.
  • Let the process finish, as it might take a few minutes.
  • Once the process finishes, click Save ZIP file to save the converted file onto your local storage device.

Viola, you have successfully converted your .MSI file to ZIP format.

Which Is the Difference Between MSI and .EXE

Windows OS comes with many executable file extensions that can be used to install different software and applications onto the device, and two of the most popular among them are .MSI and Exe, each of them holding its own importance, so let’s check what separates them from one another.

The .MSI file, or more commonly known as the Microsoft Installer, contains various files with various extensions required during the installation process. Meanwhile, on the other hand, the primary purpose of an .Exe file is just to denote that the relevant file is executable.

Another thing to note is that any application always requires at least one .Exe file to run itself properly, and this includes .MSI extension files as well since they are also used for installing software and applications onto the Windows operating system.

How Do I Run an Exe File on a Mac Without Installing Windows

Similar to .MSI files, you will need to install a third-party application onto your Mac device to run an .Exe file. To do this, you can either install Apple’s Boot Camp or use software like WineBottler to get the job done. 

If you pick the WineBottler method, here are the steps that you can use to run an .Exe file on a Mac without installing Windows:

  • Visit the official WineBottler website and download the application compatible with your macOS version.
  • Once downloaded, install the application and wait for the process to finish.
  • Now head to your desired .Exe file using Finder and press right-click on the file.
  • After this, select Open With from the context menu.
  • Choose Wine from the list of applications.
  • Now you will see a pop-up window asking you how you want to run the application.
  • Select Run directly in the address section.
  • Finally, click Go, and it will start loading your file.

Congratulations, you have successfully run an .Exe file on your Mac without installing Windows.

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq is a digital Evangelist having right commands on writing, also he is a web developer. He has a BS(Computer Science) and now he is Full-Time writer of TechanZone.

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