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Where do I download GW-BASIC for Windows 7?

Nowhere, there is no such thing. There is no GW-BASIC for Windows 7!

I get this question to my contact form so often, I don’t know why I haven’t made a post or a page for it yet. GW-BASIC was last released in 1988 as you can see from any screenshot of its start screen. It’s a 16-bit DOS executable that uses processor instructions no longer supported in modern, 64-bit CPU’s / operating systems. Simply put: GW-BASIC.EXE cannot run directly on Windows! Don’t lose hope, because this is where emulators come in. DOSBox is the premier DOS emulator with the best support and works on multiple platforms (I use it on Lubuntu Linux). You’ll just need a passing knowledge of DOS and how a filesystem works, but otherwise running in an emulator is straight forward, like running a virtual PC from ye olden times inside your fancy new toy.

With all that said, I’m particularly talking about 64-bit editions. It is (maybe) posssible to start on the 32-bit editions.

According to Jason Donahue…

As for 32-bit Windows, though, I’ve just gotten GW-BASIC to run on a tablet running a 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 - when first running the executable, I was prompted to install the NTVDM, after which it opened fine.

How to convert gw-basic programs to “exe” extension?

What you’re talking about is compiling the BAS file to an executable. There are three immediate and essentially free options:

  1. BASCOM which is a program you can find on KindlyRat’s GWBASIC site. This program was intended for BASICA, IBM’s version of BASIC for DOS and the precursor to GW-BASIC. It will handle both the binary and ASCII format BAS files and supports pretty much everything except EGA (certain SCREEN modes).
  2. QuickBASIC 4.5 which is the direct successor to GW-BASIC and can handle probably 95% of all GW-BASIC programs with the exception of those that rely on more esoteric features. You can find it at http://phatcode.net.
  3. FreeBASIC has little development going on, but it theoretically handles almost all QB programs and so, again theoretically, will handle GW-BASIC programs as well. Find it and more information at http://www.freebasic.net/.

Backstory: I keep seeing this question, asked on Yahoo! Answers, come up in search results. It’s two years too late and the question is set to resolved, but I had to add some more information.