Do I need to have MS-DOS on my computer?

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Windows DOS command prompt window

Windows is no longer built on a foundation of MS-DOS. In all versions of Windows beginning with Windows 2000, Windows is built on foundations taken from Windows NT. For practical purposes, MS-DOS has not been included with or required for Microsoft Windows since version 3.11. Users of later versions of Windows may be confused or misguided in thinking the Windows Command Prompt is MS-DOS. While the two have a similar look and functionality, they are not the same. The Windows Command Prompt is an MS-DOS interpreter that allows Windows to run DOS applications.

Windows Command Prompt

Using the command line is a different method of navigating files and interacting with the computer. Today, anything that can be done in the command line can also be done in the Windows Explorer.

Purchasing MS-DOS

Microsoft has phased out the older stand-alone versions MS-DOS. If you're looking for a place to purchase older programs, such as a copy of MS-DOS, try our section containing suggestions on how to find old software.

Additional information