Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

Microsoft DirectXFirst released in 1995, DirectX is a set of APIs developed by Microsoft that allows software to write instructions directly to audio and video hardware, improving multimedia performance. Games that include DirectX have the capability of utilizing multimedia and graphics accelerator features more efficiently.

Latest DirectX versions

Early versions of Microsoft Windows (XP and earlier) had multiple versions of DirectX that had to be installed separately. Later versions of Windows included DirectX with some having the ability to upgrade. Below are the latest versions of DirectX for the different versions of Windows.

Windows 10 = DirectX 12
Windows Vista 7, and 8 = Up to DirectX 11 (Vista released with DirectX 10)
Other Windows latest version = Up to DirectX 9.0c depending on Windows version.

The original releases of Windows 95 did not ship with DirectX but was included with Windows 95 OSR2 that had DirectX 2.0. Windows NT shipped with DirectX 2.0. Upgrading to Service Pack 3 or higher installs DirectX 3.0. However, there are no higher versions of DirectX available for Windows NT. However, installing Service Pack 4 or higher will install later versions of DirectPlay.

DirectX versions

DirectX has been included with different releases of programs, drivers, and games. Below is a listing of each of the DirectX versions and their associated versions.

Version Number DirectX Version
4.02.0095 DirectX 1.0 DirectX 2.0 and 2.0a
4.04.0068/69 DirectX 3.0 and 3.0a
Never Released DirectX 4.0 DirectX 5.0 DirectX 5.0 (Released with Windows 98) DirectX 6.0 DirectX 7.0 DirectX 7.0a DirectX 8.0
DirectX 8.1
4.09.0000.0900 DirectX 9.0
4.09.0000.0901 DirectX 9.0a
4.09.0000.0902 DirectX 9.0b
4.09.0000.0904 DirectX 9.0c
6.00.6000.16386 DirectX 10 (Released with Windows Vista)
6.00.6001.18000 Direct X 10 under SP1 in Vista and Windows Server 2008

Game terms