Is MyAbandonware Still Safe to Use in 2024?

No actual floppy disks were harmed in the making of this article.

Key Takeaways
  • MyAbandonware is a website offering free downloads of old video games dating from 1965 to 2012, with a collection of over 28,000 games available for various platforms.
  • Abandonware refers to software no longer supported or sold by its original creator, still under copyright protection, making downloading such games typically illegal despite the term's non-legal status.
  • MyAbandonware is generally considered safe based on user feedback and website reputation, but downloading abandonware can pose legal and security risks; alternatives include Old Games, Home of the Underdogs, and Abandonia.

If you are a fan of retro gaming, you might have heard of MyAbandonware, a website that offers a whole lot of old games for free download. You can find classics like Sid Meier’s Civilization, Need for Speed II: SE, Oregon Trail Deluxe, and many more.

What is Abandonware?

But before you rush to download your favorite childhood games, you might wonder: is MyAbandonware safe? Can you trust the files you get from this site? Are there any legal or ethical issues involved in downloading abandonware games?

In this article, we will try to answer these questions and give you some tips on how to enjoy MyAbandonware without risking your computer or your conscience. We will also explore some alternatives to MyAbandonware, in case you are looking for more options to satisfy your nostalgia. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the world of abandonware gaming.

The following content is meant for educational purposes only. Appuals strictly condones copyright violations and recommends readers to stick with legal methods for acquiring their games.

What is MyAbandonware?

MyAbandonware is a website that allows you to download old video games from 1965 to 2012 for free. It has a large collection of more than 28000 games for various platforms, genres, themes, and ratings. You can browse the games by name, year, platform, genre, theme, or rating, or use the advanced search feature to find games by criteria.

What is MyAbandonware?

You can also view screenshots, read reviews, get instructions, and access the game manuals for each game. MyAbandonware is a great source of nostalgia and old-school gaming for retro gamers.

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What Even is Abandonware?

Abandonware is a term used to describe software that is no longer supported or sold by its original developer or publisher. Usually, these are games that are too old or obscure to be compatible with modern systems or to generate any profit.

Some examples of abandonware are DOS games, Windows 3.x games, and early console games. Abandonware is not a legal term, but rather a label given by the gaming community to indicate the availability and popularity of these games.

Key characteristics of Abandonware:

  • Not for Sale: Abandonware cannot be found for sale anymore.
  • No Official Support: There’s no official customer support or updates available for it.
  • Copyright Status: Abandonware still falls under copyright protection, even if the copyright holder isn’t actively enforcing it.

Instances of Abandonware:

  • Original copyright holder ceased to exist.
  • Holder still exists but no longer sells or defends copyright.
  • Uncertainty about the copyright holder’s identity hampers transactions or claims.

Notable Abandonware Titles:

  • Prince of Persia: Classic platformer following a prince’s quest to rescue his princess.
  • Diablo: Action RPG set in a dark fantasy world battling demons.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Humorous adventure featuring a wannabe pirate.
  • Doom II: Hell on Earth: First-person shooter against a demonic invasion.
  • Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth: Real-time strategy based on Tolkien’s novels.

However, not all abandonware games are free to download and play. Some of them may still be protected by copyright laws, which can raise legal issues for both the websites that host them and the users that download them. So this raises a serious question.


Let’s explore abandonware’s legal implications. But first, let’s familiarize ourselves with some common software categories.

Abandonware vs. Freeware vs. Public Domain

  • Freeware: Some software licenses grant specific permissions without requiring individual approval from the copyright holder. However, abandonware doesn’t fall under these licenses.
  • Public Domain: Abandonware is not equivalent to public domain. If it were in the public domain, anyone could use it freely, but abandonware still retains its copyright.

Now, is it legal to download abandonware? In most cases, hosting and downloading abandonware is considered illegal. While there are no specific laws using the term “abandonware” in the US, distributing abandonware falls under the definition of software piracy, which is certainly against the law.

Abandonware is Illegal?

Remember, even if a creator abandons a copyrighted work, it doesn’t automatically become public property. The copyright remains in effect until it expires, and the duration varies from country to country. So, while abandonware may seem like a hidden treasure, it’s essential to recognize that its distribution often violates copyright laws. Proceed with caution!

But before you download these classics, you might be wondering: Is MyAbandonware safe? Let’s find out!

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Is MyAbandonware Safe?

MyAbandonware is widely regarded as a safe platform for accessing old games. It hosts a vast collection of abandonware titles, making it a convenient choice for nostalgic gamers. We will evaluate the safety of MyAbandonware based on the following criteria:

  1. User experiences and opinions from forums and Reddit threads
  2. The history and reputation of the website
  3. The quality of the game files
  4. The compatibility and performance of the games
  5. The availability and usefulness of game support and guides

1. User Experiences And Opinions From Forums And Reddit Threads

One of the best ways to assess the safety of a website is to look at what other users have to say about it. Fortunately, there are many online forums and Reddit threads where people share their experiences and opinions about MyAbandonware. Here are some examples:

  • On r/abandonware, a user asked “Is myabandonware safe?” and received several positive responses from other users who had used the website without any issues.
  • On Scam Detector, a website that analyzes the trustworthiness of online businesses, MyAbandonware received a 100 rating, indicating that it is safe and secure.
  • On MUO, a website that provides tips and guides on technology, a user wrote an article explaining what abandonware is and whether it is legal. The article mentioned that MyAbandonware and Abandonia are safe and reliable sources of abandonware games.

These examples show that MyAbandonware has a good reputation among its users and is generally considered safe. However, there are also some potential risks and drawbacks that users should be aware of, which we will discuss in the next sections.

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2. The History And Reputation of the Website

Another factor that affects the safety of a website is its history and reputation. How long has the website been around? Who runs it? What is its mission and vision? These questions can help us determine whether the website is trustworthy or not.

According to its FAQ page, MyAbandonware was created in 2009 by a French web developer named Xavier, who wanted to share his passion for old games with the world. The website is not affiliated with any company or organization, and is run by a small team of volunteers who are also fans of abandonware games.

Image: MyAbandonware

The website’s goal is to preserve and archive old games that are no longer available through legal channels, and to provide them for free to anyone who wants to play them. The website also respects the rights of the original developers and publishers, and removes any game that is re-released or requested to be taken down.

Based on this information, we can see that MyAbandonware has a long history and a clear purpose. The website is not a scam or a fraud, but a genuine project that aims to keep the legacy of old games alive.

The website also respects the intellectual property of the game creators and does not host any game that is still being sold or supported. Therefore, we can conclude that the website has a good reputation and is not likely to harm its users or the game industry.

READ MORE: How to Play Any PS1 Game on Your Android Device ➜

3. The Quality of the Game Files

Another aspect that influences the safety of a website is the quality and legality of the files that it offers. Are the files authentic and original, or are they modified or corrupted? Are the files legal and ethical, or are they illegal and immoral? These questions can help us evaluate whether the files are safe or not.

Game Boy | Unsplash

According to its FAQ page, MyAbandonware only hosts game files that are original and unmodified, unless they are patched or fixed by the community to improve their compatibility or performance.

The website also scans all the files for viruses and malware and removes any file that is infected or suspicious. The website also provides information and screenshots for each game, so that users can verify the authenticity and quality of the files before downloading them.

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4. The Compatibility and Performance of the Games

Another factor that affects the safety of a website is the compatibility and performance of the games that it offers. Are the games compatible with modern operating systems and devices, or do they require special software or hardware to run? Are the games stable and smooth, or do they crash or lag frequently? These questions can also help us determine whether the games are safe or not.

According to its FAQ page, MyAbandonware provides games for various platforms, such as DOS, Windows, Mac, Amiga, Atari, etc. However, not all games are compatible with modern operating systems and devices, and some may require special software or hardware to run.

Super Mario Bros. | Nintendo

For example, DOS games may need an emulator like DOSBox to run on Windows 10, and Windows games may need a compatibility mode or a patch to run on newer versions of Windows. The website also provides guides and tips on how to play abandonware games on different platforms.

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5. The Availability and Usefulness of Game Support and Guides

The last aspect that influences the safety of a website is the availability and usefulness of game support and guides. Does the website provide any support or assistance to its users, or does it leave them on their own? Does the website provide any guides or resources to help users play the games, or does it expect them to figure it out by themselves?

According to its FAQ page, MyAbandonware does not provide game support through mail or social networks, but it does provide a guide on how to play abandonware games, which covers the basics of downloading, installing, and running the games on different platforms. The website also provides links to other websites and forums where users can get more tips and programs to fix and improve the games.

Image: Unsplash

It also allows users to comment on each game page, where they can share their experiences, opinions, and questions with other users. However, the website does not have a dedicated support team or a comprehensive FAQ section, and the guide is not updated regularly.

Cautionary Notes:

  • While MyAbandonware is generally safe, there are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Some games may require community patches to work correctly.
  • Be cautious with newer games that need a “no CD” crack for playing without a CD-ROM.
  • For MS-DOS games, the risk of viruses is minimal since they run in an emulator like DOSBox.
  • Always scan any potentially suspicious files before executing them.

Additional Tips:

  • Check user comments on the site before downloading a game.
  • Consider using tools like DXWND to configure play settings for trouble-free gaming.
  • Remember that downloading anything from the internet carries inherent risks, so exercise vigilance.

While MyAbandonware is a reliable source for downloading classic games, if you’re interested in exploring other sources that offer abandonware, you can move on to the next section.

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Alternatives to MyAbandonware

If you’re looking for alternatives to MyAbandonware, here are some other platforms where you can look into and download classic games:

  • Old Games: Old Games offers over 9,000 classic PC and Amiga games for download. You’ll find reviews, screenshots, and utilities to enhance your gaming experience. It’s a popular web-based alternative to MyAbandonware.
  • Home of the Underdogs: This site pays tribute to the best-underrated PC games of all time. While it lacks specific features, it’s a reliable source for discovering old games.
  • Abandonia: Focusing mainly on showcasing computer games made for the MS-DOS system, Abandonia provides a collection of over 2,000 abandonware games. You can download and play them online with screenshots, videos, and manuals.
  • Abandonware DOS: With a database of more than 2,000 abandonware games, Abandonware DOS is a great alternative for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. It’s particularly useful for fans of classic MS-DOS games.
  • XTC Abandonware: This site has been around since 1997 and offers over 1,400 games for free. You’ll find screenshots, YouTube videos, and brief reviews to help you choose your next gaming adventure.
Image: Unsplash

Remember to explore these platforms, read user comments, and exercise caution when downloading files from the internet.

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Tips for Safely Using Abandonware

  1. Stick to reputable sites like MyAbandonware, Old-Games, or Abandonia.
  2. Check user reviews for insights into game legitimacy and safety.
  3. Understand abandonware often violates copyright laws.
  4. Recognize the legal grey area surrounding abandonware.
  5. Scan downloaded files for malware before running them.
  6. Exercise caution with executable files (.exe) and verify their safety.
  7. Use emulators like DOSBox for MS-DOS games.
  8. Research and follow installation instructions for community patches.
  9. Regularly backup game saves, especially for unstable abandonware titles.
  10. Run older games in a separate environment to prevent conflicts with newer software.
  11. Join abandonware forums for advice and recommendations from fellow enthusiasts.

It should be noted that abandonware is a delightful journey into gaming history, but it’s essential to balance nostalgia with safety.


In this guide, we discussed abandonware and its various aspects. We aim to provide clarity on the safety of MyAbandonware and whether is it safe to use MyAbadonware. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. Happy gaming!


Has malware been detected on MyAbandonware?

Some users have reported that malware was detected on the site. However, these instances seem to be rare and many users report safe experiences.

Can I get a virus from MS-DOS games on MyAbandonware?

For MS-DOS games, it is actually impossible to get a virus since you’re not running an .exe file but rather emulating a whole machine (MS-DOS).

What is the best program to run MS-DOS games from MyAbandonware?

The best program is DOS-Box, which is free and safe.

Do I need to register to download games from MyAbandonware?

No, you can download at full speed when not registered. If you register, you may receive updates by mail and browse more games per page.


Abdullah Amin

Abdullah is passionate about staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the gaming industry. With a strong background in writing and research, he is able to provide in-depth analysis and informative articles for a wide range of gaming audiences.