How to Enable 16-bit Application Support in Windows 10

If you’re running Windows 10 and still need to run legacy 16-bit programs, getting them to work correctly takes a bit of work. Here’s our guide on how to do it.

Windows 10 includes a range of options for running older programs not designed for the operating system. We previously looked at using tools to troubleshoot application compatibility, which lets you modify a program to make it think it is installing on a supported version of Windows. Much older applications that pre-date Windows 95 will sometimes require a bit more work. 16-bit applications, in particular, are not natively supported on 64-bit Windows 10 because the operating system lacks a 16-bit subsystem. This can even affect 32-bit applications that utilize a 16-bit installer.

16-Bit Apps

The solution for such a scenario is to run the operating system on an older version of Windows, requiring setting up a virtual machine. If you still utilize a 32-bit version of Windows 10, you can get the best of both worlds by enabling the 16-bit subsystem. As Microsoft’s future heads toward 64-bit computing, the company is minimizing its support for many of the legacy components in Windows. The best way to add 16-bit support in Windows 10 requires some command line work.

Configure 16-bit Application Support in Windows 10

16 Bit support will require enabling the NTVDM feature. To do so, press Windows key + R, then type: optionalfeatures.exe then hit Enter. Expand Legacy Components then check off NTVDM and click OK.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 6.58.37 PM

The next step is to install the feature through the Command Prompt. Press Windows key + X then click Command Prompt (Admin.) At the command prompt, type the following command:

FONDUE.exe /enable-feature:NTVDM

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.01.34 PM

The add feature wizard for NTVDM will launch. Click Install this feature to complete the installation. Then restart your computer if required.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.03.04 PM

Now 16-bit application support is enabled. You can proceed to install your application as normal.

install app 2

Some applications might require additional permissions. Review our compatibility article for more information about adjusting those settings.

We’re curious about what types of 16-bit applications you still are running. Leave a comment below and let us know. Also, if you’re experiencing any problems with it, head to our new and improved Windows 10 Forums for additional support.



  1. Mark Katz

    Great newsgroup – thanks for all info
    I have loads of old 16/32 bit – perhaps the best are “whereis” and “list”. 64 bit equivalents are way behind

    I tried to install NVTDM, but it did not appear in the list when I expanded legacy compeneents – or direct play was listed

    Any clues

    • Andre Da Costa

      As noted, the 64 bit version of Windows does not include NTVDM or any support for a 16 bit subsystem. Your next best option would be setting up a 32 bit version in virtual machine.

      • Kashif

        but if you want to run 16 bit dos applications in 64-bit windows then you can use DOSBOX or vDOS.

        • Chuck S

          I installed vDOS but cannot change directories to the 16 bit DOS program; it says the directory does not exist. I have a 16 bit version of SkyGlobe, the old astronomy software and would like to run it on Windows 10. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
          ~~~ Chuck S

          • Brian Gregory

            Perhaps you need to use the short 8.3 version of the directory name.
            The DIR /X command will show you the short names.

          • JS

            I understand that vDOS has a weird intentional stubborn limitation of ignoring anything that has a long file name. Short 8.3 versions of names of such files are ignored.
            VDOSplus removes that limitation.

        • Linda M Au

          vDOS specifically told me it couldn’t run my 16-bit game because it was 16-bit (on my 64-bit Win10 computer). It’s starting to sound like I’m outta luck for these old games… which would be a shame.

      • Netspin

        First thanks for you efforts to help. The problem of “bit compatibility” as Microsoft got bigger and it’s OS’s more robust has certainly rocked the software investment that floats on it. It’s Microsoft that should have maintained software compatibility for its desire to “improve”. Instead it failed to take responsibility for the millions who’ve invested millions of dollars and hours to stay afloat in the digital age.
        You said, “As noted, the 64 bit version of Windows does not include NTVDM or any support for a 16 bit subsystem.”
        As noted in THIS RESPONSE to the comments. But not in your article. Likely, these comments wouldn’t have appeared had you explicitly stated “…forget about trying to setup Win 10 64-bit to run 16-bit legacy programs: there ain’t no NVTDM there” there!]

    • Quinten Jungblut

      NVTDM, where is it. I can’t find it. Only directplay is there.

    • MANDON

      Hi, I’m using two Dbase IV programs to compile 32 bits with 16-bit executions. It works properly on a windows 10 pro 32 bit installed version 1903. I found that on a direct installation of windows 10 the mouse does not work in my Dbase IV applications while on a preinstalled windows 7 pro 32 bit evolved windows 10 the mouse works. There must be something missing that I did not know how to discover. Does anyone know how to install a 32-bit Windows XP compatibility knowing that you need to install a minimum version of your system. I am not talking about a virtual machine but compatibility modes in the properties of the executable 16/32 bits.

    • Angel Washington

      Im downloading every known complier new and old so i can cross compile and emulate for an extention of project pegasus access to help out time travellers like John Titor and to help filling up the landfill or how the phoenix az metropolitan water supply was poisioned because of computer chips the less in the ground water the more we reuse the healthier we remain. Im trying to cross complie any program with any of the others with anyone of them…so qbasic source can be translated into java or c or xml or chipmunk basic on mac 8.1. update mac os 68k to go online…or send a winpsk file as a voicemail to an aprs ham radio repeater with an old tape deck…or even to send commands to a skynet like computer in orbit a special interupt that stops a loop mid loop without exiting the program.

    • John

      Yeah, 64-bit machines don’t have NTVDM, search the web for “OTVDM” and you could possibly launch 16-bit apps from otvdmw.exe but Office 4.3 can’t install PowerPoint and MOM with OTVDM

    • Sandeep Bhat

      I have a Microsoft game which requires 16-bit Windows 2000.
      I want to install and play the game on 64-bit Windows 10 OS.

      So I have to enable 16-bit application support in Windows 10?
      Won’t I have to try that?


  2. Jerry Hill

    My Windows 10 system does not show NTVDM under Legacy Components; only DirectPlay

  3. plantroon

    You need 32bit OS for this to work. If you only see Directplay in the list you have a 64 bit OS. And you probably want to leave it that way if you use more than 4 GB of RAM.

  4. JR

    Oxford English Dictionary version 1 is a 16-bit program I still want to run. Looking into a virtual machine solution.

  5. Chris Ryan

    Its an old version of Q&A which opens in a small “dosbox” and it still does while NTVDM is activated.
    The programe run fine in Win XP, full screen.

    • Thomas Vosdoganes

      do you still remember how you installed this? Did you use the original disks or pull it off an old machine? I am going through this right now trying to get q and a in a newer computer.

  6. Dee

    Thank you!! It worked perfectly! :)

  7. NM

    We don’t need 64 bit OS’s. It serves no purpose. Only the Military needs it. 16 and 32 bit are perfect for us. Over developed OS’s are a burden to us. Useless. They’ve hit the wall.

    • AO

      Because nobody ever uses more than 4 GB of RAM.. Google Chrome alone does definitely not use multiple gigabytes of RAM, when you have more than a handful of tabs open, not to speak of modern games..

      • JS

        A 32bit OS can address way more than 4GB. I think WinXP 32bit allowed 128GB, but one of the service packs, likely SP1, disabled the PAE feature

        • Brian Gregory

          PAE takes you up to 36 bit addresses (awkwardly split in to 4 bits plus 32 bits) which is a limit of 64GB.

          The feature was disabled in non sever 32 bit versions of Windows because it can cause problems with the drivers for third party hardware.

          • JS

            MS says “64 GB or 128 GB of physical memory, depending on the physical address size of the processor”,

            unofficial patches are available to (re-)activate PAE for various non-server 32bit Windows OS-s.

            An article claimed that any problems with drivers for third party hardware were unlikely in real life. I haven’t saved that url.

    • Cheese

      I routinely do things on my 64 bit machine that a 32 bit machine can’t. How is having more capability hitting a wall?

      • JS

        WinXP 32bit could address 128GB of RAM, if you are suggesting that is what a 32bit machine cannot do.
        (The ability was removed by WinXP Service Pack 1, but can unofficially be patched back)

        • Brian Gregory

          Maybe it could access 64GB – I don’t remember – but only in a very awkward way using “pages” of no more than 4GB. If a single program needed more than 4GB it would be very inefficient.

    • Brian Gregory

      Who is “we”. Clearly not gamers, or people that want to experiment with running Linux in a virtual machine. It must be little old ladies who just use the software that came pre-installed on their PC and never try anything new.

      Also totally bizarre that you should pick the military as the only ones who need 64 bit OSs. What about scientists in general or the weather service.

    • Shian

      It’s true. We don’t need 64-bit OS. And we have never asked for it.

      • Lostinlodos

        “We” is debatable. Microsoft lost me over the 64 jump without 16 bit support. NTVDM ran fine on 7 64. No 16 bit support, official or otherwise, and the rolling broken updates: I jumped to Mac.
        I make regular use of 28gb of ram on a 32gig system. And appreciate the much higher ceiling!
        I run 16 bit windows apps with a wine bottle.
        And yes, Apple is pulling the same thing now by cutting 32-bit support.
        There’s one difference, MacOS is an open system! From the kernel to the windowing system. Everything is well documented.
        Principally it’s very easy to update an app to 64 using any of dozens of toolkits, including official ones. So little is left behind.
        Then. Two options exist that I’m aware of: MacApp+, which bottles 32-bit apps for use in 64 bit MacOS much like wine, and MAConMAC. I use that one, a mini VM kit that runs PPC or 32 bit Mac apps.
        My point: I found my solution to 16 bit windows apps. Run them on a Mac.

        • Someoneoutthere

          Thats fine but why not just run them in a virtual machine on windows. Virtualbox is free.

  8. Stephen

    I’m going to attempt to run 16 bit DOS program Orcad, schematic capture software in Win10/64bit. I’ve run it in command prompts on many WinXP machines. Don’t think I ever ran it in Win7 on a 32 bit machine. I may choose to do that if this does not work.

    • Nick

      DosBox can run many 16-bit DOS programs. That’s what I use to play all my old DOS games.

  9. Stephen

    Oops. Didn’t read the comments or try it before commenting. No NTDVM is not available. Boo!

  10. John Molina

    “Lords of the Realm 2”, one of my favorite strategy/economy bases games – precursor to AoE and Stronghold that still holds it weight.
    I’ve been getting my boy into these older games and am pleased that he appreciates and enjoys them

    • Steve Krause

      Oh wow…. Yeah, I still play stronghold personally however, I had forgotten about Lord of the Realm. Wow, takes me back!

  11. John Molina



    I understand that my 64-bit OS won’t give me the NTVDM option and I don’t want to reinstall my OS

    I am interested in the option of running a 32bit in virtual machine…. but I need a awesome-hold-my-hand-walk-through

    Can someone please offer me some help with this?

    • Supercrash from 41J

      The same problem looks like I can’t make the OS that I’m working on. ;-;

  12. Jose

    I tried this method (add feature wizard for NTVDM ). It worked on one of my PC. But didn’t work on another one. The message was “the component store has been corrupted”. Anyone can help ?


    • david

      This reeks of a late April Fool’s joke. The blurb implies that that this fix would work regardless, but the reality is that Macrosloth doesn’t want to bring back the NTVDM for 64 bit systems.
      The “Compatibility Wizard” is a joke – I’ve lost count of how many times “Win XP Service Pack 2” was the recommended solution for running 16 bit code in a 64 bit system. Their excuse is that it’s a hardware problem is a boldfaced lie, because the WINE project on Linux
      has no problem running both at the same time. The closest I’ve come to a solution is in the Windows Features tree “Virtual Machine Platform” which does nothing as far as I can tell – and certainly no new options in “Compatibility Mode”. So thanks for nothing.

  13. Jose

    My system is 32 bit.

  14. Hosein

    I just wanted to install mkke and I was given an error of 16 bit not supported

  15. Dr.s.raghunathan

    For quite some time i am searching to run my clipper exe programs. I have windows 10 64 bit but it has x86 32 bit run applications too. If any one help on this i will be much much thankful to him to resolve my unanswered quest

    • DangerX69

      its because 64 bit supports both 64 and 32 bit applications and 32 bit support both 32 and 16 bit application

  16. kevin go

    Windows Draw 6 Premier Edition Print Studio or Micrografx Draw 6
    I like this program, which I know is now part of the Coral draw program

    But I don’t like coral draw, I just want this program, If I use a x86 version of any windows it will most likely work (worked in win 7)
    And as home doesn’t have above app.

    Leaving me with 2 choices a virtual os x 86, ie vista or set up an old system using the vista disc on the shelve.
    It’s a shame you cannot alter the install so it will work with a x 64 bit OS.
    It is a straight forward program that gives superb results.

    • Jeff J

      Kevin, I’m in the same boat. I used to use Micrografx all the time! It was a great program, and I could quickly make any kind of graphic that I wanted! I used it for line drawings, flowcharts, technical drawings…anything I needed. In addition, I could easily import bitmaps into it and make the background transparent, as a part of the same graphic with line drawings. I even imported photos and cropped them the way I wanted. Why did they quit supporting it?! I don’t even remember which version of Windows that it quit running on, but it was mysterious! Seems like after an OS Update it quit working, and never again.
      Now I can’t find anything that will just create a simple outline of a complex part. I don’t need all the fancy bells & whistles, I rarely need to work on bitmaps, or if I do, I’ve got Photoshop 6 that I’m already familiar (& fast) with. I was just looking for a replacement for Micrografx when I ran across this article. (alas, I’ve got a 64-bit machine, which I love, but no 16-bit support.)

  17. kevin go

    can be downloaded from here, indicating it will work on 64 bit os


  18. Lostinlodos

    Castle of the winds. One of my all time favourite games. A 16 bit Win 3.x game

  19. NM

    “Upgrading” at this point is stupid. MS has hit the wall. An upgrade that LOSES usability makes absolutely no sense AT ALL.
    The answer is STOP SUNSETTING.
    Leave us alone. We paid MS money to be where we are.

    • Brian Gregory

      You must have chosen to upgrade to a 64 bit PC with a 64 bit OS. Your PC didn’t suddenly do it all by itself did it?

  20. Ira

    I want to run the version of Tetris Microsoft did. No other version has the same timing.

  21. A.B.

    I switched over to a primary WinXP Pro with a secondary Ubuntu after making the mistake of trying to use Win 8 64 Pro and finding I could no longer use my old, old, Quickbooks 16-bit. The Linux works for other most things I do (WINE didn’t help me) , but I’d still like to have the option of buying a new Windows machine someday that will run what I need. This page could be the helpful tip I need. Thanks.

  22. Ira Goldberg

    Tetris for Windows supplied by Mcrosot

  23. Lostinlodos

    Tetris can be found by searching the msdn threads. It’s a 32 bit app now. Someone updated the installer from a 16 bit cab system to a modern msi using windows installer. It works, I have it.
    I was trying to find someone who extracted ntvdm from 32 10 so I could use it on 64. I may give in and buy a copy of 32 10 to get this all up and running

  24. Aires

    I had many apps which was 16 bit.

  25. Portugal

    Much Helpfull, still using a 16 bit program, to design kitchens, TeoWin. :)

    Thanks a lot.

  26. Mike

    I still run home-made 16-bit accounting and database programs written in Fortran under DOS.

    • KGHN

      My homemade 16-bit accounting and database program for joint personal, family, and my partnerships is FoxPro 2.6 for DOS. My biggest problem with workarounds is printer support. I’m running Win7-32 now, but End of Life is scheduled for January 2020. Too soon.

  27. Htk

    The problem to adapt “old” programs to modern environment,
    are the datas which have been generated with those old programs.
    I am working as a freelance engineer and have to archive all my project
    datas for at least 10 years forced by law. So how to manage that, if you
    are able to backup the datas but could never run the old software again?
    There are examples: Wsketch a 2D CAD tool, SolidWorks a 3D CAD program
    even in the newer versions is not fully compatibel to old versions
    back more than 5 years. Emails under Outlook express, its a nightmare
    to transfer the files to newer programs like thunderbird.
    Only 20% of the mails could be transfered due to obvious storage
    problems of thunderbird. Could imagine how many mails are collected after 10years?

    I do not understand why software companies fail to support the duty of data
    transfer and data merging.

    • Jeff.J

      If you’re an engineer, then you should know that “data” is plural. There is no such thing as “datas.” I’m calling BS on you being an engineer! (just kidding, but you should know better ;>] )
      You make a good point, coming from a (retired) scientist POV. Often had problems with that myself.

  28. tellfile

    16 bit Visual Dbase has been my life for 30 years. Out of hobby, I use it in developing programs for successfully playing the pick 4 lottery games. It can do just about anything imaginable in showing number behavior over thousands of days. Naturally I didn’t ever want to lose an engine like that. When someone throws out an old 32 bit Windows machine that still works, I add it to my collection so that hopefully I’ll never run out of computer that can run Dbase. Will try your methods on a 64 bit machine with fingers crossed, Thanks!

  29. David Pritchard

    Old 16-bit dictionaries, including Collins English dictionary & thesaurus, and a 3-in-1 Oxford French, German and Spanish dictionary. And maybe some old games.

  30. Jose Felix

    I used to work an old signmaking software Casmate on windows XP (SP 3).
    The old PC is gone. I purchased a DELL Optiplex with Windows XP (SP3) installed but every time I try to install Casmate it restart and send a massage of error.

  31. Colin Harland

    I have a different reason. In my frivolous youth (45+ now 77) I wrote in turbo c/c++ and compiled on a 16bit computer. (pre 1990). I still dable with the progs on a 32bit machine with success. However I would like to upgrade to a 64bit,BUT, cannot run or compile my source code. I’ve purchased a few compilers but to no avail. They either will not compile or run. Anybody have any ideas..thanks

  32. Jennevelyn79

    I was trying to run Oregon Trail II from about 1995. If I change my system to run the 16 bit like mentioned above, do I have to change something back to run my computer as usual? How? lol. I don’t want to do something I can’t undo.

  33. Bill Wood

    Trying to set up Work I for my wife. She has suggested that I dig the Commodore 64 out of storage as an easier solution.

  34. Robert J. Sawyer

    I’m a professional science-fiction writer, and I still run WordStar for DOS — — and do it on 64-bit Windows using the wonderful vDosPlus emulator:

  35. Colin

    I’m 77 Y\O, and have been using turbo C/C++ for the last 25years to write and evaluate the “impossible sequencer for random numbers”.
    As the Turbo c\c++ is a legacy prog, and computers are now 64 bit, I’ve now got another “with your help” problem to solve..

  36. pixelherodev

    I’m running some old 16-bit games :D

    I received two game discs years back, which have collections of games ranging from >500 different solitaires to bullet hells to sports games to brick breaker and everything in between.

  37. Phil

    I haven’t tried this solution as yet. I have an AutoCAD Autodesk program that was installed on a 2006 Dell laptop with Windows XP. I only kept that laptop for the use of the AutoCAD, but that laptop crashed, so now I want to load it on my other laptop with Windows 10. Hopefully I can make it work.

  38. Gopal Miglani

    My Windows 10 machine shuts down randomly. Once during shutdown I caught this message: “TOO MANY OTHER FILES ARE CURRENTLY IN USE BY 16-BIT PROGRAMS. QUIT ONE OR MORE 16-BIT PROGRAMS OR INCREASE THE VALUE OF THE FILES COMMAND IN YOUR CONFIG”

    I cant figure out what 16-Bit programs may be installed or how to increase the value of the files command. If you can help please email me. I’m quite frustrated by this. The shutdown happens more frequently if I try to start too many programs too soon after boot-up. Or, if I try to use Acronis backup and iTunes sync at the same time.

    • vuzereus

      FILES=40 or bigger number
      in your config.sys…your error is really old DOS error

      On topic…
      I use Microsoft Image Composer, it beat Photoshop easily, fast start up in 1 sec, memory, speed , capabilities etc etc…

  39. Colin Harland

    Can I please ask if the following action is capable in the 16bit\64bit fiasco.
    If I remove the HD from my defunct computer and place it in my new 64 win10 computer,
    and using a bootable flashdrive, restart my 64bit with a 32bit win10 OS. I would then
    access my old HD and run the win95 16bit progs I have personnaly written and create the data
    and save it in Excell. Then later start the 64bit in 64bit win10 mode and access the data on the old HD
    for new calculations.
    Every time I ask this question I am given the old “32bit 64bit better ” answer.
    This doesn’t account for the fact that I need my data in a certain way. Thanks Colin

  40. Linda M Au

    Well, I was HOPING to run a few of my kids’ old 16-bit DOS games from the ’90s. Unfortunately, when I open the optional features on my Win10 Home 64-bit PC, I see the Direct Play listing but no NTVDM listed. Is there any hope for these orphaned games?

    • John Roads

      You can install DOSBox to play old DOS games. There’s a 32-bit installer for 64-bit Windows 10. You’ll need to read a bit to learn how to set it up and configure to play games, but it’s pretty easy. I play Commander Keen, Cosmo, the original Prince of Persia, Leisure Suite Larry, and more.

  41. Colin Harland

    I have tried (most succesfully) to run the 16bit progs in a 32 bit machine. However what I want is to compile the 16bit as a 32bit. This would then allow me to run in a 64 machine. I want to purchase a 64bit, but until I can compile my 16bit source code, I’ll wait. The reason is that I am constantly changing the prog to show the data in a different way. Crazy, maybe, but it keeps me off the street where I could get into trouble. :-)…cheers CRH

  42. Nancy

    I use DRAW.EXE (16 bit) for my business / bread & butter.
    It came with the Lexmark Printer I had years ago.
    It would cost over $500 to buy a Win 10 64 bit program (Corel Draw) to replace it.
    I just don’t have that kind of money.

    • Don mcCallum

      Try GIMP from Mozilla. I am not a power user but others have told me it does everything Corel Draw does plus its Free.

  43. Phil Schroeder

    “German for everyone” It has a 32 bit version, but uses a 16 bit loader.

  44. Joe

    I’ve been using a DOS Automotive software program since 1987, so I’m hoping I won’t have problems with my Windows 10 32 bit drive, currently I’m using Windows 7 but I know sometimes there’s always problems.

  45. Chris Hart

    Thank you so much for the direction! I haven’t tried it yet but it looks good. You asked what applications I am running. I am a technical trainer and years ago I developed a skill with AutoSketch Release 2.1. With this I could create many 2D technical diagrams and drawings. Exporting to dxf allowed me to import to PowerPoint 4, where I put in the colour and posh text. People often asked ‘How do you get such detail into PPT slides?’ My secret, not telling you.
    Later, with later versions of everything I kept (and still keep) a separate PC, with the old software installed, just for this work. Once I have everything in place, I can pick up the old PPT slides in a later version of PowerPoint and save in the new format, ready for work at my client’s premises.
    Why don’t I just move on and work with the newer software? Firstly, I believe in not fixing something unless it is broke. Second, I am a stubborn old git. But thirdly, the newer programs have not met my needs. For example, AutoSketch was bought out by another company and they changed the interface so much it was unworkable. PowerPoint changed the grid system so I could no longer move an object and then return it to it’s exact previous location. This may be OK for the pie chart brigade but for technical pictures it is a disaster. Even fixing PPT pictures into Word (for course notes) changed so much I couldn’t handle it. (So I still Use Word 2).
    Why should I spend significant man-hours learning new stuff? It’s not just money, although that is a factor, but time is life. When I die they will say (either) ‘he had a good innings’ (or) ‘what a shame he died so young’. Our lives are measured in units of time, and I resent people like MicroSoft stealing mine.
    Bitter old git? Probably, but I reiterate what I said at the beginning – why fix what is not broke?

  46. Done

    We don’t need 64 bit.
    There’s enough computing power in 16 & 32 bit.
    And, they finally got to solid state hard drives.
    I use 16 bit “draw” for my business.
    Came with a printer.
    There is NO REASON to continue this “advancement”, other than to keep the
    tunnel visionaries occupied.

    • Brian Gregory

      OFFS. Saying it over and over won’t make it true.

  47. Zubin

    Using Data intensive application over client server setup for commercial use which is otherwise working perfectly other than this backward integration or backward incompatibility (ie no option/provision to run 16 bit application on 64 bit OS).

    “Upgrading” WITHOUT backward incompatibility is actually quite vision-less, as Microsoft is ignoring the universal masses which really made Microsoft. An upgrade that LOSES usability makes absolutely no sense AT ALL.
    Microsoft should have made an inbuilt option to take care of legacy software.

  48. Michael Morrow

    I still use 16 bit OS for the purpose of programming older microchip IC’s.

  49. Carl

    We still use some specialized 16-bit software to communicate with older industrial controllers at work. They also use RS232 serial com-port, which is pretty rare on modern laptops. The USB dongles we´ve tried are far from perfect.

    For normal desktop use I much prefer the 64-bit OS’s.

  50. Maureen

    “Easy Writer” was the best DOS program to keep daily logs on. A very simple word processor. I have years worth of text files (and recipes) to be able to read! When I can get some of it to open, it is in the world’s smallest font! Help!

  51. Dave

    The 16-bit legacy apps I use on my Win 7 32-bit OS PC every day at work are: DraftChoice (I have over 8,000 drawings that comprise the core data for our business), Lotus Organizer, and TKSolver (a math app with user constructed calculations – I’ve written maybe a hundred programs in this app, that save me hours of work), plus a few more (dictionary, thesaurus, etc.). Now, having to migrate to a Win 10 64-bit PC to stay safe on the web, I have to buy a whole new – secondary – PC/keyboard/mouse/monitor setup to communicate on the web – plus the software, while somehow maintaining the integrity of my old Win 7 32-bit PC whereon I’ll be using my 16-bit apps. Two complete PC systems on my desk. Utterly ridiculous!!!

  52. Doug

    I’m trying to run my old 16 bit Kawasaki parts program being I do vintage motorcycle work. It has microfiche not available anywhere else, including the newer Kawasaki parts programs. No newer program is available to replace it.

  53. David

    Need to install AutoCAD 2000, DOS based TANGO and Win XP based Oracle PCB design/schematic. All pricey programs that still function well. Hope this works.

  54. Se

    For 64 Bit use winevdm at: . Its ported from Wine Project and allow to execute 16 Bit Programs (Windows & DOS) on 64 Bit directly.

  55. Frank James

    I run Lotus AmiPro which is far superior to WordPro. AmiPro’s Drawing Editor is second to none in a word Processor and I do Electronic drawings to professional standards with all the symbols required in a library which I have built up over the years. AmiPro must be in the top 5 for the best piece of software ever written as it has works flawlessly in all the windows operating systems Microsoft have ever produced right up to Windows 10 32 bit. I also use a NRSV version of the Bible software with superior cross references, word searches and the like. The versions on the web site are not anything like as good.
    I would love there to be a 32 or 64 bit version of these items of software.

  56. Kyle

    It’s on purpose. There are people on top of people on top of people that believe computers are dangerous in the hands of users which Jack Tramial opposed when he did the Commodore 64 his idea was power in the hands of users. This war has escalated since then and we now have the Soros people in charge of the industry.

    Since 1999 they wanted phones to be the ONLY choice their first experiment was Web TV and when that flopped they saw phones as the next thing as it keeps illiterates under their power as phones are rental based. It never really has expanded beyond paying your bills.

    Smartphones going online are literally going back to dumb terminals. If you grew up in the 70s and worked with mainframes you’d know what I mean. You’d have your little workstation that has little to no memory and needs to always be connected to the master terminal to do anything. All you have is a keyboard/screen and an on switch.

    Phones are that way you have to connect to the other people’s server to do anything and only what they let you connect. You can ‘jailbreak’ your phone but you void warranty and it’s not fun doing emulation or watching movies on a tiny phone screen anyways who’d want that?

    But the powers to be want it to beour only choice so they have taken control over most of the web to dumb it down to that only. Google in 2014 made a rule your website has to be phone ONLY or you won’t be listed PERIOD. Now Google is in all sorts of political trouble and the reason they were able to get away with it to begin with is phone users generally don’t know nor care to know what’s going on as long as they shop,chat and get driving directions.

  57. Bill

    Windows 3.1 program Galaxy Skywatch, how can I run it?

  58. Gerry Ó

    I have a copy of Master Genealogist version 3.5 (16 bit)on an ancient laptop. This program is the best genealogy software ever. Sadly it and the company which built it are no longer available. I was becoming increasingly concerned that the laptop was showing signs that it would fail in the near future. Having read your article I thought it was worth a try to get my database onto a modern computer with win 10 32 bit version. Following your guide everything works fine – so far!. However what strategy would you recommend to protect the 16 bit software from any adverse impact from win 10 updates ?

  59. Davorin Jurišić

    Gerry Ó, disable windows 10 update altogether using DWS LITE (a free app called destroy windows 10 spying). I still use win 10 1803 as it works best with my “older” components (asrock fatality 990fx killer mobo, FX8370, etc). 1909 was terrible on my pc as i don’t plan to update the hardware.

    PS: All those pae patches and hacks are problematic. I’ve seen a lot of bsod crashes with those kind of modifications to any windows os. And even if you succesfully patch a 32bit windows to address more than 4GB of ram, no 32bit app will be able to access more than 4GB of ram. And it is a problem with apps like photoshop etc. 32bit photoshop is really bad for large high resolution images.

    PPS: PAE patching is a bad choice. I use windows 10 pro x64 1803 and a windows to go flash drive with windows 7 x86 just in case I need to work with old 16 bit apps. I will switch to windows 10 to go (x86) for compatibility with intel core 6th gen (skylake) and onwards and amd ryzen cpu’s (they do not work with windows below 10). Well skylake can work with windows 7 or 8 if you slipstream modded chipset drivers into the installation), but ryzen doesn’t work with windows below 10 at all.

    If you really need 16bit apps and games use virtual machines or windows to go flashdrives. Do not use x86 operating systems as your primary os. They are not worth it. Especially considering 8gb of ram became standard in most computers.

    • Gerry Ó

      Hi Davorin,

      Many thanks for the time taken to reply. That was a lot of info to consider. I had been trying to avoid setting up a virtual machine but from what you say it looks like its the best long term solution.

      Also last night I tried to setup another 16 bit genealogy package GEDMATE 1.1 which ran on win 3.1. Unfortunately I got an error message something like the software was trying to communicate direct with the hardware and the program closed. I saw online that there was no solution to this error message for operating systems from win xp onwards.

      I need to check out virtualbox and see whether it can also run this really old software.

      • Gerry Ó

        As this above fix would not work for my very old win 3.1 genealogy software I had a quick look at virtualbox. Unlike with win xp and later windows OS’s there are no virtualbox additions which optimise the virtualisation for 3.1 so there could be hardware compatibility and blue screen software issues. I also understand that the option to move files between the actual and virtual disk would not be available in 3.1. I then had a look at DOSBOX. From what I read it is possible to load win 3.1 or win 95 into dosbox. The settings in the autoexec.bat and config.sys files need to be optimised well, though I understand the software might even then run slowly and put load onto the CPU. With dosbox the issue will be the time needed to understand how to get win 3.1 to run well and then how to save and export the output. Both possible solutions have some drawbacks and require quite a lot of time to understand. For now I will try virtualbox to run my xp software and perhaps if I get the courage see how far I get with win 3.1 with virtualbox.

  60. Gerry Ó

    Well I got win 98 se edition to run on virtual box, but could not figure out how to load any 16 bit software on it.

    I made an iso image of the floppy file of the software I wanted to run, but how can I load that into virtualbox and get Win 98 se to then run the software ?

    • Gerry

      In virtual box to get software to load into win 98 and earlier it just requires you to point the virtual disk to the file on your host pc. The only real drawback is every os pre win xp only runs in a small screen and there is no point loading graphics software as only 16 colours can be shown and at 256 resolution. Still for the legacy software that i want to run thats fine.

  61. Ruby Suder

    I am trying to run a game called African Trail by MECC for 1997. When I follow the directions I get to the legacy components but there is not a box labeled NTVDM. I wondered if there is some other way to turn on 16 bit reader. Not sure that’s what is called but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.

  62. PJSIII

    I wanted to run an Autocad 97 Lt program. When I tried your fix it does not give me the NTVDM option. Is there another way to turn it on?

  63. Jack

    Im trying to re activate my 1990 Brainmaker neural network software. Do I need to do more than reboot to return to 32/64 bit operations?

  64. Gina

    I still have Centipede pc game from around 1998. My computer crashed when I was on the boss level. My next computer wouldn’t run the disc. I did fix an older computer to try to run the game on it, but the game was extremely pixel-ish and unplayable bc I couldn’t see much. I have remained determined to be that stupid boss level through the years.
    I’m hoping this fix will work?

  65. Nye

    I’ve been using Drafix Cad for ages, now.
    Bought the DOS version around 1990 for professional use on a 8086 compatible. Upgraded to Drafix Cad for Windows in 1993 as it was a major update and run with full windows 3.1 features support. The DOS version on a 8086 really suffered, but the windows version on a 386SX with a 387SX co-processor worked like a charm.
    I still use it for all my drawings and schematics. I work in automation. After all this years still haven’t found a good replacement or, maybe, it’s just perfect for my needs and there’s nothing better out there.
    It was the perfect match. Cheap (14000 pesetas. About 80€ of today’s money), easy to learn and really powerful if you are into programming. It has a C like macro language that allows to automate most integrated functions: Drawing, views, files, network, printing….
    It is really a shame that it never made past 16bits. If I recall correctly, Drafix (Foresight Resources Corporation) was the program Autodesk bought and basically renamed to AutoSketch. Later they released a 32 bit version of AutoSketch, but it was useless. Lost all it’s power and almost all backwards compatability. A shame.
    I’ve never found a good way to use Drafix on a win64 machine. I’ve tried various virtual machines. They work, but are choppy even in a “powerful” PC. So I stick to windows seven 32 bits on my work PC and laptop. I even have a cheap seven 32 PC at home for only this program.
    I’d love to have it running in my main windows10-64 PC. But I’ve already given UP to try anymore.
    In a way, I don’t feel right critisizing Microsoft for dropping support for 16bit applications as it’s been literally ages since they went obsolete. BUT…. in a sense, there’s an incredible ammount of professionals in a lot of fields that still rely on very old tools for they job. It would have been nice on Microsoft to keep at least a bare minimum support for 16bit programs.

  66. Eugenio Echeverria

    Hi Thank you for your great directions to set up 16bit programs in Win10. I have a 32bits win10 PC.
    My purpose is to execute Turbo Pascal 6. I have used in an almost 30years period (!) starting about the eighties a setup to register auditory evoked responses in children to detect hearing loss. I have a big database that I would like to try to recover for further inspection. Perhaps I can learn something I have missed.

  67. Elie Benchitrit

    I am trying to use a prog. calles New Views. it is a very good acconting system that I have been using for 30 years without any problems. It did run on virtual XP until just recently that I could not print anymore. So I installed Windows 10 32 bit on a Oracle V.

  68. Dave Mann

    Cool DOS emulator. I tried using with with Impulse Imagine 3D v4.0 for DOS (3D modeling & animation) but it crashed the emulator. :( Did get it working with DosBox.

  69. John

    I installed Office 4.3 in Windows 10 just for the fun of it and I pinned them to start. I wonder how easy it would be someone with a Windows 10 tablet to use the Microsoft Office Bar (Office manager) which actually still works! The 16-bit programs don’t display icons on start and on the desktop. On the taskbar, they display the “Program manager” icon, probably from %windir%\system32\grpconv.exe

  70. Gerry

    How do you now copy 16 bit programs on floppies to cd ? It is the program software that I want to transfer to CD, not files created by software. I am fearful about how long my windows 3.1 and windows 95 programs on the floppies will last. My windows 3.1 pc has long since died and so the floppies have been stored ever since. I need to either throw the floppies or try to load the software into Virtual box or another computer.

    I have an old pc still running windows 98 and a modern pc running windows 10. Both pcs have cd roms and the windows 98 pc came with a floppy drive. I have an external floppy for the windows 10 pc.

    I am fearful in particular about how long win 3.1 and win 95 programs on the floppies will last as many of my old floppies with windows 98 are now failing hence mu interest to explore how I might transfer them to CD.

    I need to know whether I need to use a specialist service to do this or whether it is as simple as using a cd rom and burning software. Also if I can simply use a cd rom must the burning software also be 16 bit. Please advise.


  71. Jayapal Chandran

    I wrote a 16 bit c program to mimic the windows 3.1 graphics using 640×480 graphics resolution. That was in 2005 just to have a real feel of linked lists and other data structures and memory management features. I wanted to make a video of that for documentation purpose. Just reminiscence and hobby.

    Besides, I wrote a font creator utility in 16 bit c language for the MS-DOS operating system. I wanted to simplify and document it. Just a time pass. The purpose of that is to change the default font you see in the command line of MS-DOS operating system.

  72. Lost In Lodos

    @ Gerry
    Shouldn’t be hard. Any disk imager can creat a dsk file for you that has an exact file layout. Partitions, tracks, offsets, and all.

    Take a look at VideoHelp, a C64/128 club, the internet archive. Etc.
    Or MAME.

    Free tools to make images. Free tools to mount them.
    They are so small you can mount them from a CD directly without issue.


    it’s not working it’s saying it has occured an error, worst virtual dos machine/16 bit feature ever.

  74. Jose Rodriguez

    I’m trying to make “Triple Play 98” from an original CD. I tried your solution, activated NVTDM and did not work. Then I enabled DirectPlay and didn’t work either. Enabled both and still Setup.exe won’t run. Any ideas, particularly about this game? thank you so much in advance

  75. Tom Huskey

    I have an old 16 bit sendhex program for loading an application onto some old RS232 Serial Batch BARCODE SCAN Guns (Symbol LRT 3805)

    I can’t find anybody that has an XP machine left (Where I know this last worked) and Win10 no longer has the option for NVTDM.

    Has anyone got any other ideas (other than a virtual machine) I have no way to do a VM.

  76. Martin Lax

    Word Perfect 6.0a one of the best word processing programs ever

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