Get a window to the past by running Windows 95 in your browser

Get a window to the past by running Windows 95 in your browser

It might not feel like such a long time ago, but this August will mark 21 years since the release of the game-changing Windows 95 operating system.

Though the OS was seen as revolutionary at the time of launch, acting as an introduction to the internet age for many people, 19-year old Scottish developer Andrea Faulds has found a way to run Windows 95 inside a browser window.

Faulds accomplished this impressive task with the use of Emscripten, which allows for the conversion of C/C++ code into JavaScript, and the DOS emulator DOSBox.

You won't need to install anything to run this browser version of Windows 95, though you will need to wait a few minutes (depending on your internet connection) for its disk image to download (47MB gzipped, 131MB uncompressed).

Nostalgia through emulation

Though Faulds was born after the release of Windows 95 (feeling old yet?), the developer says she was driven by a sense of nostalgia, as she "grew up with ancient computers" due to her father's stubborn refusal to upgrade to Windows XP – something many of us can probably relate to!

As can be expected of an emulated OS running within a browser window, it isn't perfect (time out errors do occur and it's occasionally sluggish), however, it's quite a fun 'window' to a simpler age, when Minesweeper and Solitaire were all that was needed to waylay boredom.

If you've never had the pleasure of using Windows 95 before, let this video starring Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston guide you through the basics (if you can hold back your uproarious laughter, that is).

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.