Originally developed as a tool for running fullscreen games in windowed mode, DXWnd has evolved into a suite of compatibility tools and fixes for old games. The program is regularly updated and new fixes are added all of the time. Using DXWnd is the only way to run some games on more modern versions of Windows, so if one of our guides directs you to use this tool, follow this tutorial to learn how.
First of all you need to download DXWnd. Unless instructed otherwise, you will want to grab the latest build, which can be found here. Use the green “Download” button near the top of the page. DXWnd is downloaded as a Rar archive and does not have an installer. You will need to open the Rar archive and copy the contents to a folder on your PC. If you do not have software on your PC that can open Rar archives, we recommend 7-zip. See the tutorials here for how to download and use 7-zip.
Once you have DXWnd unpacked, you can run it by clicking on the “dxwnd.exe” file. The window shown below will then appear.
To use the program, we need to add a profile for a game. Expert users can create their own by going to the Edit menu and choosing “Add”. However, it is usually much simpler to use an already created profile and tweak that as necessary. To load a profile, open the File menu and choose “Import…”
Once you click this option, a standard Windows file requester will open. Browse to the folder where you extracted the DXWnd files and open the “exports” sub folder. In this folder there are pre-made profiles for lots of games. Simply choose the game you are interested in running and then click on “Open”. You will now be back on the main DXWnd window, but you should see the profile you just imported in the window now. Before we can start the game we need to make one change to the profile. Right click on the game in the list and choose “Modify”.
You need to let DXWnd know where your game is installed. Click on the button circled in red in the picture below.
When you click this button, a file requester will open again. You now need to browse to the games installation folder and select the executable you want to use. If you don’t know where your game is installed, remember you can right click on its shortcut and choose “Open file location”.
Once you have completed this step successfully, the game should appear in your DXWnd window with a green dot after it. You can now right click on this entry and choose “Run” to start the game.
The game will now start in windowed mode. You should check that the game is running correctly now. If you want to play in windowed mode you’re all done. If you want to play in full screen mode, exit your game now and go back to the DXWnd window. Right click on the game and choose “Modify” again.
To run the game in full screen mode, make sure “Run in Window” is deselected and “Fullscreen only” is selected. Click on “OK” and then start the game again. It should now start in full screen mode. Note that some games are not compatible with full screen mode, in this case you will need to run them in a window. To compensate you can always hide your taskbar and/or change your screen resolution to a lower setting so that the games window takes up most of your monitor.
When you are done using DXWnd, don’t forget to close the program. In some rare instances, leaving it running can conflict with other software, so it is always better to close it when you are done.