Decompiler

What Does Decompiler Mean?

A decompiler is a programming tool that converts an executable program or low-level/machine language into a format understandable to software programmers. It performs theoperations of a compiler, which translates source code into an executable format, but in reverse. A decompiler’s recipient is a human user, whereas the compiler’s is the machine.

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Techopedia Explains Decompiler

A decompiler, like a disassembler, works via reverse engineering. The decompiler translates a compiled code or an executable file into high-level code.

A decompiler can be useful in some cases for the following purposes:

  • Recovery of lost source code to archive or maintain the code
  • Debugging programs
  • Antivirus capability to find vulnerabilities in the program
  • Interoperability to facilitate migration of a program across platforms
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.