Someone installed Windows 3.1 on an iPad and you can too

Windows 3.1 On Ipad
Windows 3.1 On Ipad (Image credit: Benj Edwards)

What you need to know

  • Someone has installed Windows 3.1 on an iPad and posted instructions on how to do it yourself.
  • You'll need the Windows 3.1 floppies and a means of getting them onto your iPad, though.

Windows 3.1 was the very first version of Windows that I used back in the day and at the time it seemed pretty amazing. That was a long time ago, and if you'd told me that something like the iPad would exist all these years later I might not have believed you. I definitely wouldn't have believed that you would be able to run that same Windows 3.1 on an iPad — and yet, here we are.

Benj Edwards over at How-To Geek has shared all the details on their Windows adventure, including the process of getting everything up and running so you can do it yourself. You'll need a copy of iDOS 2 from the App Store as well as Windows 3.1 installation media. But assuming you have those things, getting everything up and running is surprisingly easy.

Here's the tricky part: To install Windows 3.1 in iDOS 2, you'll need to somehow copy the Windows 3.1 installation files over to your iPad. The good news is that there's a completely legal way to do this if you own original Windows 3.1 installation floppies—by literally copying all the files off of the floppies and putting them into a folder. If you do own the disks (and thus, a license to use Windows 3.1), you might also be able to find disk images of the floppies somewhere on the web, but we're leaving the legal and ethical implications of doing that up to you.

You can follow along and get Windows 3.1 installed on your iPad in no time, but I'd do it soon. iDOS has a history of disappearing from the App Store and you never know when it's going to happen again.

Don't yet have an iPad to run your favorite version of Windows on? Check out the best iPad deals we could find to bag yourself a bargain.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.