Browser-based Windows 95 lets you run Windows in a window in Windows

Windows 95 browser

Enjoy your brief moment of cultural relevance, young people. Because before too long some even younger people will come along and somehow manage to run The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on the touch screens of their light-up sneakers, laughing at how the primitive polygonal graphics once blew your mind. Quickly then, before that happens, just enjoy the kitsch value of Windows 95 running in your web browser. You used to run all your programs through this! And now look at it. Forced to dance in front of you for spare change. 

Like this? Why not check out our best obsolete operating systems running in browsers? Just kidding. Here’s some excellent PC strategy games instead. is the work of 19-year-old Andrea Faulds, a student and programmer who managed to get an operating system older than she is to run in a web browser window using old timey emulator DOSBox (also great for running old games such as the ’90s Champ Mans)and emscripten, which allows the dusty old software to run in Javascript-based programs.

In the simplest terms possible, it works like this: Windows 95 is installed onto DOSBox, the resultant disk image file is repackaged with a custom config file that allows it to play nice with emscripten – and by extension, Javascript.

I should make clear that running Windows 95 in your browser isn’t legal. Like, at all. If you choose to do so, as Faulds’ own site makes clear, you’re doing it at your own risk. Windows 95 is still copyrighted material, and Faulds fully expects to get the polite request from Microsoft to remove the program one of these days. However, it’s been up since last August, with apparently no complaints so far.

It’s certainly more of a nostalgia hit than an application of any practical use, but seeing Windows 95 again does give you an appreciation of the wonderful design principles that built it and led it to become so deeply rooted in our modern lives. The back-end of Windows has changed unrecognisably in 20 years, but the front end is still recognisable. That’s kind of amazing.

It also serves as a fitting reminder that none of us are getting any younger, our fleeting period of being the tech industry’s focal point is passing, and that we will all become dust one day.

Cheers, Hexus.