How To Decompile and View Source Code of .NET EXE Application

Well the software and Computer Science related people will understand this concept better. If you are working in .NET and compile an application code written in c++ or C#. Then after compiling and building the application, you will get a .EXE file of .NET.

Have you ever wondered how you can get back the source code of full c++ or c# application ?

Well it is called decompiling the .NET application. There are certain tools you can use for decompiling a .EXE. You will just give the input of the .EXE which is created using .NET and the decompiler will give you source code which is written in any .NET language e.g. C++ or C#. So it is considered as a security risk. This also raises a point that we should secure our .NET exe before giving to any one for review or testing.

How To Decompile and View Source Code of .NET EXE:

Note: you can only decompile and View Source Code of .NET exe application if it was created and compiled using .NET framework libraries.

Step 1: Download Decompiler – .NET Reflector from here:
First of all you need to download a software which is called .NET reflector. This tool will give you the complete .NET source code from .EXE file. It is build by company named Red Gate. Click on below button to start download of this .NET decompiler.

Step 2: Install .NET Reflector Application:
Once setup is downloaded, start its installation. Follow the instructions until it is completely installed.

Step 3: Open .NET EXE Assembly in .NET Reflector
  1. Open the .NET reflector application.
  2. Click on File Option.
  3. Select Open an Assembly.
  4. You can choose .EXE file. (Note that this .EXE should have been compiled earlier using .NET framework).
  5. Once it is loaded you’ll see all files and source code written in VB, C++ or C#.
NOTE: If you see Red Error Saying “Not a .NET Module” Then the .EXE is either not a .NET compiled file or it may have been secured using some encryption tool like Themida.

Let me know if you hit any issues to View Source Code of .NET exe. Comment below and i will get back to you. The software .NET Reflector also gets embedded with Visual Studio 2013. The integration can help to quickly decompile and view code of exe file compiled using dot net.
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