How to use DosBox in 2020 [Complete Tutorial]

how to use dosbox

DosBox is an open-source emulator or virtualization software that is used to emulate x86 Intel PCs running on DOS operating systems. One of the main use of this software is to run classic PC games that were designed to run on the MS-DOS operating system. It can also emulate Windows 95 to some extent. In this below article, I will show you how to use the DosBox emulator to play those old classic games on your Windows PC.


  • A Windows 10 PC
  • Compiler library that you can download here (Not required most of the time)

Is DosBox illegal?

No, DosBox is not illegal. However, it does not provide any license to play any games on it. Downloading games from the internet and running them using any emulator is illegal in today’s date.

How to use DosBox [Complete Tutorial]

  1. Download and install DosBox on your PC
  2. Create a Game folder
  3. Download games and extract them into that folder
  4. Open DosBox, Locate that game folder and Choose a game
  5. Run the EXE file
  6. Shortcuts

1. Download and install DosBox on your PC

  • Download the DosBox emulator from the official website only
  • Here it is
  • Download the installer and install DosBox on your PC
How to use DosBox

2. Create a Game folder

  • Head over to your root directory i.e This PC > Windows(C:)
  • Create a new folder there and name it anything that you’d like.
  • I am going to name it ‘dosgames’
How to use DosBox

3. Download games and extract them into that folder

  • Use to download old DOS games.
  • Extract that zip file inside a folder in the ‘dosgames’ folder.
  • For convenience, name the folder according to the game.
dosbox tutorial

4. Open DosBox, Locate the Game folder and Choose a game

  • Open DosBox by double-clicking on the icon
  • Locate the games folder by typing: mount c c:\dosgames
  • A message will be shown saying that the disk is mounted
  • Now, type: c:
  • To see available folders type: dir
  • To choose a game type: cd QUAKE

5. Run the EXE file

  • Again to see available files type: dir
  • We need to run the QUAKE.EXE file
  • To run the game just type the name of the .exe file
  • I will just type: QUAKE and then press enter

how to use dosbox on mac

Also, don’t forget to press Enter after every command or otherwise, the query won’t execute.

DosBox Shortcuts

ALT-ENTERTo enter/exit full screen in DosBox
CTRL-F5Take a Screenshot
CTRL-F9 Close DosBox
CTRL-F11Decrease emulation speed (if the game is too fast to play)
CTRL-F12Increase emulation speed
ALT-F12 Default Speed (Full Speed)
CTRL-ALT-F5Start/Stop recording
CTRL-F1Start keymapping
CTRL-F4Update directory cache


Is DOS still used today?

Yes, DOS is still being used in 2020. It is used as the operating system for x86 architecture-based embedded systems. The main reason being its low memory and processor demand.

What is the difference between Windows and DOS?

DOS and Windows both are operating systems. DOS is a single-tasking, single-user and is CLI-based OS whereas Windows is a multitasking, multiuser and GUI-based OS.


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Declaimer: This article is curated for educational purposes and does not by any means encourage users to play DosGames without buying them.

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