Window Mode – Use DxWnd To Force Games In A Window

Window Mode – Use DxWnd To Force Games In A Window

Do you like playing games windowed instead of full screen? Find out how you can force even the most stubborn game to run in a window.

For decades gamers have been looking for ways to run Windows video games exactly the way they want – Window mode in games has been popular for various reasons.

In previous articles, we analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of using a game in window mode. In addition, we described a couple of ways someone could use to enable window mode in their game.That popular article can be found here.

For this guide we will focus a little more on DXWnd. We are aiming to make its usage a little easier and to provide with a comprehensive guide and description if it.

Before you move on, you could also check our post on the advantages and disadvantages of using Window Mode in games.

For those who did not read our previous article on enabling Windows Mode (it is worth a read, check it out!), let’s first make the introductions.

What Is DxWnd?

DxWnd is a small utility which has existed for a decade or more. Among other options, it provides a way for gamers to force any game or other software into window mode.

From its page in SourceForge where we can also download it, we read the following:

Windows hooker – intercepts system calls to make fullscreen programs running in a window, to support a better compatibility, to enhance video modes and to stretch timing. It is tipically very useful to run old windows games.

The description of the creator does not do favor to the actual usage that the software can get. Nevertheless, the features list shown in there makes up for it. According to the creator, one could use DxWnd to achieve the following:

  • Run full screen programs in window
  • Perform time stretching to slow down or speed up actions
  • Add several compatibility options
  • Support legacy programs
  • Log operations, show program status and palette

DxWnd can be used to run all old games in a modern computer, without any issues. It does not only offer the Window Mode option – it provides extra settings to slow down games that run too fast, audio options for CD music emulation, the ability to run DirectDraw and old DirectX games, and many more.

For this article, we will focus on using DxWnd to run a game in a window. The images we include come from the utility’s documentation, which is actually a really nice piece of work – there are detailed instructions for every single bit of action the program can do. The creator has not only put extreme effort in creating and regularly updating DxWnd but also provides top notch support and excellent, helpful tutorials!

Steps Required To Run Your Game In Window Mode

Let’s see what we need to do to enable window mode in a game that does not support it:

  • When you first run DxWnd you run across an empty window with few options at the top menu. You need to select Edit>Add.
Window mode in games - Use DxWnd.
  • The next screen will show up. This is where we will do most of the work to set up the program. In Path, you need to browse to the location where your game’s executable is, most commonly in Program Files. You need to check the box to Run In Window – this is the most basic option. Further options you might want to change here will be described later on in this guide.
Window mode in games - Use DxWnd, step 2.
  • The game executable is added in the blank window with the particular settings you have already chosen. When you double click it, DxWnd will execute and run the game. If you choose to run the game from the shortcut you have created, the effect of DxWnd will only be accomplished if DxWnd is still running in the tray.
Window mode in games - Use DxWnd step 3.
  • If you use DxWnd for many games, each of them will get its icon in the main window of DxWnd. As a result, this allows an easy switch between games and their settings will be maintained.

What More Is There To Do?

By now, your game should be running in a window, but it is not sure that it looks exactly the way you had imagined. For this reason, let’s go back to the menu where we added the game’s executable and check what else we can tweak.

If the window is in an undesired position of your screen, you can edit the Window Initial Position boxes. You can tell DxWnd in which particular X and Y position to place the window. For example, if your screen is 1920×1280 and you want the window to show up near the top left, you can input here X=10 and Y=10.

Supposing the window is too small or too large, adjust the relative box for W and H, adding the resolution you want the game to have.

Does the game look distorted? If it looks, for instance, too stretched, you probably need to check the box Keep Aspect Ratio.

If you use extra arguments in your game’s executable, you need to add them in the Target box. For example, typical arguments to allow Age Of Mythology to connect online without problems is the following:
C:\Games\Age of Mythology\aom.exe” +OverrideAddress=”123.456.789.987″ +directIPConnectivity.

Window mode in games - Use DxWnd extra options.

What If My Game Is Too Old And Does Not Work In Windows 10?

Are you running a very old game which does not even load in Full Screen in your Windows 10 machine? There are more useful options to find at the Compatibility tab of the Target.

Here you can instruct DxWnd to trick the game into thinking that it is about to be ran in a Windows 95, or 98 machine instead. This is similar option to the Windows Compatibility Mode – still, it can be added to the rest features of DxWnd for convenience to launch an old game exactly as needed.

Window mode in games - Use DxWnd advanced settings page.


DxWnd is a free utility which offers significant help in particular issues gamers might come across. It goes without saying that it is an essential download for the following situations:

  • Enabling window mode in games when the games do not support it natively through the settings.
  • Positions the window with accuracy where the user wants it
  • Helps run very old games in newer platforms such as Windows 10
  • Special options for games, such as time stretching
Window mode in games - Use DxWnd to force any game in window mode.
A game running in Window mode through DxWnd.

Do you like using window mode in games? Have you ever used DxWnd for this purpose?

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