About Windows 3.1[edit | edit source]

Okay, let me get this straight. First of all, Windows 3.1 is NOT a real operating system. It's a program made for MS-DOS (Version 5.0 was the most recent when Windows 3.1 came out), the actual operating system. Since MS-DOS 6.22 supports FAT16, the hard disk drive will hold a capacity of up to 2 gigabytes, and 32 MB of RAM (at least 4 MB of RAM is required). To begin Windows 3.1, just run MS-DOS, then type in "win" on the C: drive.

The Windows 3.1 startup logo will appear on screen. If you have a sound device, you'll hear a "tada" sound while the system boots. The logo will disappear quickly, and in its place, the Program Manager appears.

How to use Windows 3.1[edit | edit source]

To move a file, you press F7. Instead of using "Ctrl + C", you press F8 to copy a file. To delete, simply press the "Del" key. The "Alt + Enter" key combo shows the properties of the file.

On the File Manager are the first four letters as types of drives -- Drive A: for 3.5 floppy disks, Drive B: for 5.25 floppy disks, Drive C: for the hard drive and Drive D: for the CD-ROM drive. With the CD-ROM drive (requires at least MS-DOS 5.0), you can install games from CD-ROMs.

Control Panel[edit | edit source]

On the Control Panel, there is a Print Manager, which is used for printing documents and other things.

MS-DOS Prompt[edit | edit source]

With the Command Prompt, or should I say, the MS-DOS Prompt (since this is a DOS-based version of Windows), you can navigate through Windows by just using DOS.

Accessories[edit | edit source]

Write[edit | edit source]

Windows 3.1 also comes with accessories. The first accessory is Write. Documents used with Write can be saved as .wri, .doc, or .txt files. It also supports multiple TrueType fonts.

Paintbrush[edit | edit source]

You know that Paintbrush is Paint on the modern versions of Windows, right? Well, Windows 3.1 either supports 16 or 256 colors, depending on how you installed Windows 3.1. All pictures can only be saved as .bmp files.

Notepad[edit | edit source]

Notepad is the simple text editor we all know. It only has the font Fixedsys, and can only open/save .txt files.

Calculator[edit | edit source]

The calculator is also back, but it looks almost exactly the same as the one from Windows 3.0.

Media Player[edit | edit source]

If you install Video for Windows (released in November 1992), you can watch video clips on Media Player. The format is .AVI (Audio Video Interleave), and most videos back then had three resolutions -- 160x120 (small), 240x180 (medium), and 320x240 (large). But just like fast-food restaurants, the sizes got gradually bigger.

Card games[edit | edit source]

Last, there's the games -- Solitaire and Minesweeper. If you have Windows for Workgroups 3.1, another new game will be included -- Hearts, where you try to get the smallest number of points to win the game.

Components it supports[edit | edit source]

  • Microsoft Office (3.0 to 4.3) (August 30, 1992–June 2, 1994)
  • AOL (1.0 to 3.0) (January 6, 1993–June 1995)
  • Adobe Acrobat (1.0 to 3.0) (June 15, 1993–November 1996)
  • Internet Explorer (2.0 to 5.0) (1995-1999)

To turn off Windows 3.1, just select "File" then click on "Exit Windows". You will then go back to MS-DOS.

Windows for Workgroups 3.11[edit | edit source]

Unlike the regular codename Janus, this one's codename is Snowball. The release date was just about the same date as a very early version of Windows 95, Windows Chicago Build 58. That build had Program Manager, just like Windows 3.1.

Windows for Workgroups 3.11 had finished development on November 1, 1993, and unlike the first versions of Windows 3.1, this one was shipped in CD-ROM format when released in February 1994, and was the first version of Windows ever available in CD-ROM.

Windows 3.11[edit | edit source]

This was the latest version of all 16-bit Windows applications, released in early 1994 (after development was completed on December 31, 1993), in 3.5 floppy disk and CD-ROM formats. It is a software update, much like service packs for Windows NT operating systems.

Windows 3.2[edit | edit source]

This is a Simplified Chinese version of Windows, released in 1994. Used copies of both the 3.5" (6 floppy disks) and 5.25" (7 floppy disks) versions of Windows 3.1 and the CD-ROM version of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 are currently available for purchase online. Prices range from as low as $9.99 to around $49.99.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Most of these screenshots were taken on April 17, 2009. The Windows 3.11 workspace screenshot, not seen on this site, was uploaded to Wikipedia on September 9, 2004.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.