How to play the old Oregon Trail video game on your computer

oregon trail in green letters

Do you have fond memories of playing Oregon Trail on ancient computers? Re-capture that joy by playing the game for FREE on your Windows computer, using just a few simple steps!

Updated: added easy ways to play online (with any computer) at the Internet Archive.

Play online, without downloading

If you are in a hurry, you can play either version online at the Internet Archive. All you need is a web browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) and a connection to the internet. 

early version on the Internet Archive

deluxe version on the Internet Archive

Why download?

If you decide you want to play when not connected to the internet, or you like to keep track of your scores: you'll have to install software on your computer.

Which version?

There are two main older versions of the game (if you ignore the recent re-makes).

1980s version with simple graphics

opening screen of simple version

1990s "Deluxe" version with slightly more complex graphics

opening screen of deluxe version

Installing the 1980s version (simple graphics)

[Thanks to]

1. Download AppleWin (

AppleWin website

2. Unzip this file (probably named something like AppleWin1.23.0.0) into its own folder (called AppleWin).

3. Save this new folder somewhere you will remember (perhaps C:\AppleWin)

4. Create a new folder under AppleWin called games (C:\AppleWin\games)

5. Download the zip files for disk 1 and disk 2 of the 1980s version of Oregon Trail from (you will see these disks in the right sidebar under Program Information and then Disks).

6. No need to Unzip these 2 files (OT(Disk1of2).zip and OT(Disk2of2).zip). Just move them into the folder you created (C:\AppleWin\games).

directory with OT(Disk1of2).zip and 2nd files

7. Click on the AppleWin icon for the .exe file (C:\AppleWin\Applewin.exe). This will open up a new window which acts like an old Apple II computer.

AppleWin emulator start screen

8. Click on the multi-colored "Apple" icon in the right sidebar.

apple button

9. Then click on "Disk 1" icon in the right sidebar (an old style floppy disk icon with the number 1 on it) and choose OT(Disk1of2).zip.

disk buttons 1 and 2

10. Oregon Trail starts up, but before you start playing, repeat the last step for Disk 2 (so that both disks are loaded and ready to use).

default black and white oregon trail screen

11. If you'd like a different color to your screen, choose the Joystick and Volume control icon in the right sidebar and choose a different video mode. 

joystick and sound button

I have fond memories of the black screen with the green text.

AppleWin Configuration screen: Video mode Monochrome (Green)

Installing the 1990s version (deluxe)

If you remember the much more colorful version from the 1990s, you'll want to go a different route.

1. Download D-Fend Reloaded from and install on your computer.

2. Download the Deluxe version of Oregon Trail from and follow the instructions on the bottom of that page that tell you how to install it.