File Type DOS Command File IconDOS Command File
File Format Standard (developed by Microsoft)
Usage Open manually; may be referenced by an application
Rank ★ ★ ★  Common

Executable program, similar to a .EXE file, but typically smaller and uses a more basic syntax without any metadata; COM files are most often used to execute a list of instructions, while EXE files are full-fledged programs; they are written for MS-DOS, but can be executed in Windows.

Note: If a folder contains both COM and EXE files with the same filename, the COM file is run (instead of the EXE file) if the filename typed at the command prompt without the extension.

The ".com" file extension has been used by DOS and Windows files for several decades and should not be confused with the ".com" domain suffix, which became well-known with the growth of the Web.

Open With

IconMicrosoft Windows


IconParallels Desktop for Mac with Windows installed



Updated May 19, 2008
Information from the PC File Extensions Reference