Windows 95 Emulator for Windows 10 to Play Old School Games

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Windows 95 Emulator for Windows 10

A lot of what we love about the current version of Windows can be traced back to Windows 95. Windows 95 is the version that introduced intensive, 3D-style PC games like Doom. It was also the first Windows release to break into the mainstream. There are many emulators that run DOS software, but Windows 95 is a copyrighted platform. So, there are few emulators out there specifically for Windows 95. Older Windows 95 games can’t be played without installing third-party software. And support for older software is often patchy at best. Here’s how to download a Windows 95 emulator and Windows 95 games.

The Windows 95 Emulator

Felix Rieseberg is the well-known developer responsible for creating an Electron application with Microsoft’s Windows 95 OS (operating system). You can install and run the app right on Windows 10 to play older PC games. He’s expertly managed to fold the fully-fledged Windows 95 OS into an app that you can run on your laptop.

Once downloaded, the Windows 95 app works well on any laptop: it’s compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux distros. Where can you download the Electron app for Windows 10? Right here on the GitHub page.

How to Download and Install Windows 95 App on Windows 10

  1. Find and download the setup exe. This will install the app.
  2. Double-click the file to run the OS as an app.

That’s it. You’re done. Now you’ll be able to run a full featured Windows 95 OS that you can access any time. And when you want to exit the app, just press Esc.

Using Windows Compatibility Mode

Since Windows 2000, you can run outdated software using the Windows Compatibility Mode. If you’re a Windows OS user, you can use it to run older Windows 95 games or newer.

But before you do, consider the security risks. Older software sometimes come with security flaws that could put your PC laptop at risk. If you’re at all unsure about the particular game you want to play, we recommend using a virtual machine. This will run your game in an entirely sandboxed environment.

How to Use Compatibility Mode

  1. Open the installation folder for your Windows 95 game.
  2. Right-click the game launcher EXE (executable) file and click Properties. (You may need to follow these steps to run the game installer first. If so, locate the installer EXE file in your installation media and follow the same instructions.)
  3. Once in the Properties windows, switch to the Compatibility tab.
  4. Set the Windows compatibility option by pressing Run this program in compatibility mode and select Windows 95 from the drop-down menu. (You can use this opportunity to enable additional graphics options, like Reduced Color Mode, Run in 640×680 Resolution and Disable Full Screen Optimization).
  5. It’s unlikely that you’ll need this step. But click to enable the Run this program as administrator checkbox if your game requires administrative access to run it.

Compatibility Settings

  1. Along those lines, Windows 10 Compatibility Mode can help you determine the compatibility settings you need if you’re not sure what to do. Click the Run compatibility troubleshooter option in the Compatibility tab to launch the Windows built-in troubleshooting tool for older software.
  2. With the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter window launched, Windows 10 will scan the executable to determine the best way to run your game. Once it finds suitable compatibility settings, click Try recommended settings.
  3. The troubleshooter will confirm the settings that have been applied on the next page.
  4. Next, click Test the program to test the game or game installer with these compatibility settings applied.
  5. If the game or game installer launched correctly, click Next.
  6. Then click, Yes, save these settings for this program.
  7. If the game or game installer didn’t launch correctly, click No, try again using different settings. Or No, report the program to Microsoft and check online for a solution.
  8. You’ll then be asked for the reason why you made your selection. Click the box that applies to you and select Next. If Windows found alternative settings, it will attempt to apply them, or you can test them.
  9. Windows Compatibility Mode won’t work for every older game. So, if you’re game still won’t launch, keep reading to find alternatives to launch it.

How to Use Windows 95 in a VM (Virtual Machine)

If the older game(s) you want to play won’t launch automatically in Windows 10. And using the Compatibility Mode was a bust. Don’t lose hope yet. You can run older titles using older versions of Windows like Windows 95 in a Virtual Machine.

This is a good option because it still allows you to play older games in Windows 95 using the originally supported OS.

Virtual machines are sandboxed, which means there shouldn’t be any interaction between the host machine and the installed VM (unless you give it permission). On that note, allowing Internet or network access to an older version of Windows in a virtual machine is a security nightmare – we don’t recommend it.

You’ll need to get your hands on a copy of the Windows 95 installation files. If you have the physical disk, you can make an ISO file from the installation media. While you’re at it, you’ll also need a Windows 95 boot disk file, which you can get from a source like AllBootDisks.

Once you’ve finished installing Windows 95, it’s time to install your game. All the old games you want to play should run without hitch at this point. But if that’s not the case, keep reading.

Skip the Emulator All Together

You may be able to find the Windows 95 era game you want to play on services like GOG. It’s a gaming marketplace that specializes in packaging and providing retro games for the latest operating systems.

For some older DOS-based games, GOG includes DOSBOX. It’s free and if you already have the game you want to play in hand, you won’t have to purchase a duplicate copy. It’s available for download on multiple platforms, including Windows 10.

The caveat, however, is that DOSBOX only works with DOS-based games. Some but not all games from the Windows 95 era require DOS to work.

And while we’re on the subject, depending on how niche your game is, GOG may not have the game you want to play available.