Skip to content

Windows releases

Current stable version

DOSBox Staging requires 64-bit Windows 8, 10, or 11.

Check out the 0.81.1 release notes to learn about the changes and improvements introduced in this release.


If Windows Security prevents you from running DOSBox Staging via Windows Defender SmartScreen (the built-in Windows antivirus), please follow these instructions.

Legacy Windows support

Windows 7

The official distribution packages only support Windows 7 up to version 0.80.1.

For 64-bit Windows 7, use the 64-bit MSVC build. It can be optionally selected in the installer and is also available as a portable ZIP package.

For 32-bit Windows 7, use the 32-bit MSVC build portable ZIP package

Windows Vista

The official distribution packages only support Windows Vista up to version 0.78.1.

More recent releases can be built from the source by excluding FluidSynth and Slirp support. Please see the Windows MSYS2 build instructions for further details.

Hardware requirements

An x86 processor with SSSE3 (Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extensions 3) is required.

Development snapshot builds

You can always see what’s cooking on the main branch! 😎 🍺

These snapshot builds might be slow or unstable as they are designed with developers and testers in mind.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender (the built-in Windows antivirus starting from Windows 8) might prevent you from running DOSBox Staging when you start it for the first time.

This is a false positive; DOSBox Staging has no malicious code whatsoever, just antivirus software tend to be mistakenly flag emulators as “malware”.

If this happens, please follow the below steps to grant Windows permission to run DOSBox Staging. You may need to repeat these steps after upgrading to a newer version.

Method 1

Start the application, then click on More info in the appearing dialog. Click the Run anyway button in the second dialog.

SmartScreen window 1

SmartScreen window 2

Consider also performing Method 3 to make DOSBox Staging start up faster.

Method 2

In your installation folder, right-click on the dosbox.exe, select Properties, tick Unblock in the appearing dialog, then press Ok.

Properties window

Consider also performing Method 3 to make DOSBox Staging start up faster.

Method 3

Add an exclusion to Windows Security to whitelist the DOSBox Staging executable or the folder in which it resides. We recommend doing so even if you’ve already performed either of the previous methods, as it can eliminate the 3–5 second startup delay caused by the real-time antivirus scan.

See the steps on how to do this here and here.


Starting in Windows 8, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen’s pop-up encumbers the execution of newly-developed applications. To prevent this, developers are expected to pay Microsoft’s EV certification vendors a yearly fee and put the software on Windows Store.

As DOSBox Staging is a volunteer effort, we are not in a position to make such payments. We, therefore, ask users to manually unblock DOSBox Staging and be patient while Microsoft’s Application Reputation Scheme eventually whitelists DOSBox Staging.

Custom install parameters

The installer is built with Inno Setup. For the available command-line install parameters, please see Inno’s documentation page.

Older releases

Building from source

Of course, you can always build DOSBox Staging straight from the source.

Send us patches if you improve something! 😄