4 Archaic Functions Windows 10 Still Supports

Ben Stegner 14-06-2017

With a history as long as Windows has, it’s no surprise that the operating system (OS) has adopted and dropped many features over time. We’ve looked at ancient programs still in use today Remember These? 7 Ancient Windows Programs Still Used Today They say technology advances at an exponential rate. But did you know some programs have been around for multiple decades? Join us for a walk down Nostalgia Lane and discover the oldest surviving Windows programs. Read More as well as longtime Windows tools that new features superseded 5 Legendary Windows Tools Replaced by New Features Windows includes lots of tools that you use every day, but some have lasted longer than others. Here are parts of Windows that don't exist anymore. Read More . But did you know that Windows still hides some outdated functions?


Let’s take a look at some old, archaic features Windows 10 can still do that most people haven’t used for years.

1. Floppy Disks

Floppy disks illustrate the growth of storage media quite well. The most recent form of floppy disk, which measures 3.5 inches, only holds a measly 1.44 MB. That’s not even enough to hold an average song in MP3 format!

Indeed, even with just 16 GB of storage in your phone, you’re carrying around the equivalent of 11,111 floppy disks. While 99 percent of users have moved onto solid state drives, USB flash drives, and even CD-ROMs to store their data, Windows 10 can still handle floppy disks.

Of course, you won’t find a brand-new computer with a floppy drive. Instead, you can use floppy disks with an external reader that plugs into a USB port. If it’s a recent model, Plug and Play should enable it as soon as you connect it to your PC. Older ones might require you to find updated drivers How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. Read More to make them work with Windows 10. You can buy a USB floppy disk reader from Amazon for fairly cheap if you don’t have one.

3.5" USB External Floppy Disk Drive Portable 1.44 MB FDD for PC Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10,for Mac,No Extra Driver Required,Plug and Play,Black 3.5" USB External Floppy Disk Drive Portable 1.44 MB FDD for PC Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10,for Mac,No Extra Driver Required,Plug and Play,Black Buy Now On Amazon $26.99


Why would you bother with this? Perhaps you want to play an ancient DOS game How to Run Old Games and Software on Windows 10 Old PC games and software can struggle on Windows 10. Try these tips to get your old Windows games and programs running on Windows 10. Read More that uses floppy disks, or just want to try it to say you did. If you have old floppies that you only use for drink coasters, check out better creative uses for them 5 Useful Things You Can Create With Your Old Floppy Disks Read More .

2. Dial-Up Internet Connection

Think you’ve got a slow internet connection? Be thankful you don’t connect via dial-up, which Windows 10 still supports. Open up the Settings app and head to the Network & internet section, and you’ll see a whole tab dedicated to Dial-up. You’ll need a modem that connects to a jack on the wall via a phone cable to use it. Windows 10 will walk you through adding your credentials to connect via dial-up on that menu.

If you’re not familiar, this ancient form of internet access Types of Internet Access Technologies, Explained What kind of internet access do you have? Broadband? Satellite? Fiber? Here's our breakdown of internet connection types. Read More uses a modem to dial a phone number that connects your computer to an internet service provider (ISP). In its time this was a revolutionary way to get online, as many folks who used America Online (now AOL) as their ISP know. It’s hideously slow by modern standards, though. Dial-up connections provide around 56 Kbps, while a decently fast broadband connection today is 10 Mbps.

Using a comparison tool, we can see that downloading a 10 MB file (like a software installer) would take nearly 25 minutes on dial-up but only eight seconds on a 10 Mbps connection. Up this to 100 MB (the size of a short video) and you’d be waiting four hours and nine minutes on dial-up. That same download would take about a minute and 20 seconds on a modern connection.


In areas with poor coverage, dial-up is still the only method of internet connection available. Thus, millions of people still pay for AOL’s inexpensive dial-up internet Multiple Versions of Windows 10, People Still Pay for AOL Internet, & More... [Tech News Digest] Windows 10 versions, AOL Internet subscribers, Wal-Mart copies Amazon, Wolfram identifies images, Type Drummer makes music, and if social networks started dating. Read More . But if you want to relive the glory days of dial-up without the pathetic speeds, this Chrome extension will play the iconic sound of a modem dialing every time you open your browser.

3. Windows 95 Compatibility Mode

Whenever a new version of Windows arrives, people expect it to work with all their old devices and programs. Because of this, Windows includes some special modes to help get old software working How to Run Old Games and Software on Windows 10 Old PC games and software can struggle on Windows 10. Try these tips to get your old Windows games and programs running on Windows 10. Read More . If you right-click on any program installed on your computer and choose Properties, then hit the Compatibility tab, you’ll find these options.

Checking Run this program in compatibility mode for: lets you choose a previous edition of Windows to run it under. When you do this, Windows applies settings for that particular Windows version to try to make it work. Most modern software works fine with current versions of Windows, but you can use this feature if older games aren’t working, for example.

What’s funny (and ancient) is that Windows 95 is included as an option here. The thought that someone would need to run software designed for a 22-year-old operating system Start Me Up - Windows 95 Turns 20 & Still Rocks 20 years ago the Rolling Stones cranked up "Start Me Up", and Windows 95 was born. We revisit history, discuss why Windows 95 was a big deal, and how it compares to Windows today. Read More is comical, but could be the case for business applications. Still, it’s neat to see this leftover from the past in Windows 10. It won’t work for ancient 16-bit Windows 3.1 programs How to Run Really Old Software on a 64-Bit PC: 6 Methods Windows reverse compatibility is fading with every advance. Here's how you can run 16-bit programs on your 64-bit Windows. Read More though, since even software for Windows 95 was 32-bit.


4. Windows Faxing

When was the last time you sent a fax? Aside from some business sectors and government usage, fax machines have largely died off. Due to the ease of email and cloud storage, sharing files via fax isn’t efficient anymore. Thus, for most people, it’s not worth the wasted space to keep a fax machine around when you can send faxes from your computer for free No Fax Machine? No Problem -- Easily Sign And Send Faxes From Your Computer Till the day we can finally kill off this antiquated machine of the past, you might need to send a fax every once in a while but find yourself without a fax machine. Try HelloFax. Read More if needed.

But if you do have a physical fax machine and a modem for connecting to a phone line around, you’ll be happy to know that Windows supports faxing natively. Type Fax into the Start Menu, and you’ll see the Windows Fax and Scan entry. Click that to take a look. You might have used this same utility Windows Can Do THIS? 15 Surprising Features You Had No Clue About Windows can do a lot more than you may think. Even if you're a veteran Windows user, I bet you'll discover a feature in our list that you never knew existed. Read More to scan pictures or documents into your computer, but it doubles as a faxing tool too.

Click New Fax and you’ll be prompted to connect a fax modem to your computer. Once that’s done, Windows will walk you through sending the fax. Again, for most people faxing is obsolete and surpassed long ago with email. But this has hung around in Windows for several versions.

Holding Onto the Past

Windows 10 has dropped a lot of features that aren’t relevant anymore and even introduced some that made people upset. But it’s interesting to see that Microsoft kept these four ancient functions and didn’t require you to work to resurrect them 5 Lost Features You Can Resurrect in Windows 10 Windows 10 is quite different and chances are you're missing a few familiar features. Did you lose Windows Media Center, DVD support, or classic games during the upgrade? We may have a solution for you! Read More . Of course, if they worked in prior Windows versions it’s not hard to port them over, but we wonder how long these features will persist.


Will the next version of Windows feature a compatibility mode for Windows 95 and built-in support for faxing and dial-up internet connections? We’ll find out in time.

For more Windows feature fun, check out bygone features we don’t miss 6 Retired Windows Features We'd Rather Forget Windows has gone through a lot of features over the years. Here are a few nobody really misses. Do you remember them? Read More  or mostly forgotten Windows programs that are still kicking 8 Mostly Forgotten Windows Programs Still Around Today Many programs that were once popular have faded into obscurity. You might be surprised which ancient software you can still download in 2016. Read More .

Have you found any other ancient functions that Windows 10 still supports? Do you use any of the above four utilities? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment!

Related topics: Fax, Nostalgia, Windows 10.

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  1. Norm
    August 29, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    I still must have access to floppies both 5.25 and 3.5. Why? Because I worked in contracts way back when floppies were active and my contract requirements back then )and still do) state that I MUST maintain access to my old records for the life of the contract plus 10 years if I am ever called upon to produce the data contained on them. By now most of these contracts have died and I can and and have destroyed my records. 5.25s you can put through any old shredder but the 3.5s require me to either drill a large hole through them, burn them or degauss them. Transferring them to another media although acceptable be aware that there is less than a one chance in a million that I will ever require access to the information contained thereon. Furthermore that transfer of files on hundreds of floppies will cost me thousands. Therefore waiting and keeping access to all floppies is necessary until the contracts die. Interesting though all this has made all my floppy data very secure because no one can read them. Hah

  2. Jason Nichols
    September 15, 2017 at 11:05 am

    1. A lot of old data is still kept on floppy disk. Unfortunately, there are a large number of companies who have not yet copied their old backups over to tape, CD, or other newer, more reliable media. In their defense, if some companies had to mirror their backups every time a new media came out, that, in and of itself, could become a full time job.
    2. Dial up networking is still used by many companies as a final fail over in cases we their internet service providers go down. Most only dial in to the server, not a dial-up internet connection, but the protocols used are identical. Portions of the dial up network stack, such as RADIUS are also commonly used over other connections for VPNs and access control. This option is still absolutely necessary.
    3. A lot of us still feel nostalgic and pull out Prince of Persia, Warcraft III (the last good Warcraft), and Carmageddon from time to time. It was bad enough that they ditched SecureROM and other copy protections making me buy internet tethered STEAM versions of half my games a crack the rest in order to play them. Many of my classic favorites haven't been ported and without source code, I can't do it myself.
    4. Believe it or not, fax is still required for certain legal documents. There have been a number of times having a fax modem saved me a LOT of grief dealing with government agencies. Yes, you can SEND a few pages over the Internet for free but there is no free we to receive faxes from a phone line over the Internet.

    Half of your "archaic" functions are quite necessary, one is really nice to have. Floppies, well, having those around... degredation of data over time will make that option ridiculous after a while. This gives you a score of 25% on this fluff article. Sad, really.

    • Ben Stegner
      September 15, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Perhaps for business use, which is why Microsoft still includes these functions. But for the average user, these four functions are ancient and a fun curiosity.

      Thanks for the 25% score, I wasn't aware my articles were going to receive a report card.

  3. Kormos Krisztián
    June 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Talking about things getting obselete and incompatible... I am writing this comment from DOS (running Links 2.14 web browser). No, not DOSBox, real Caldera DR-DOS operating a Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop. IBM-compatible PC is a great example of backward compatibility, I think it? normal to have a lot of ancient functions on a modern system.

  4. likefunbutnot
    June 15, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Dial Up Networking is at its core the same technology needed for a VPN connection; it would be silly to NOT support that.

    It may come to the author's surprise, but some systems do still need and use POTS dial-up modems. Faxes are still something the businesses have to deal with despite the ubiquity of Email, but moreover, sometimes a dialup connection is a cheaper and easier option than an always-on cellular or 802.11 connection to something-or-other. One of my customers uses simple dialup to provide route information and send back telemetry to its delivery trucks. They already have the equipment for that and it's blessedly easy to make it work or to troubleshoot.

    As for floppies? They still exist in the world. Sometimes, you need to read data from one. I definitely know of industrial equipment with old school floppy drive and/or RS232 serial ports (notebooks with real serial ports are godsends in industrial settings; USB to serial devices seldom work properly or consistently) for service requirements. I'm glad I can still do that without needing the further gymnastics of having to use a different OS.

  5. ShadowFalls
    June 15, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Well, one thing is partially untrue. You can run 16-bit applications if running the 32-bit version of Windows 10. Otherwise the compatibility mode for Windows 95 seems meaningless when Windows 98 works just as well.

    Still see some use dial-up, usually in rural areas. Know a few who were fortunate to "upgrade" to 4G wireless internet. Knew someone who tethered their phone and had to not move it or risk losing connection. I remember using it so many years ago. I used Kmart's Bluelight dial-up. It was actually more reliable than AOL (American Off-line).

    I still have an external floppy to use, but those have lost except maybe retro stuff. You can always reassign the "reserved" drive letters if you want using Disk management.

    As for faxes, if I need to send any, I just do it with my printer. Usually just government agencies these days that rely on them.

    In terms of things, there is not a huge reason to keep them around, but there is not a good reason to remove them. In terms of things, the fax can still be useless for businesses and dialup for rural users. The problem with removing these things is the people who rely on them are forced to then use an older versions of Windows where a USB dial-up modem is not restricted to an ancient computer. Better to leave no users behind if you can help it than some right?

  6. bobpar56
    June 15, 2017 at 12:16 am

    I still have a zip drive that will go into a 3.5" slot. Think it will work?

    • Doc
      June 20, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      If you have an IDE (40-pin) connector available, and a Molex (4-pin HDD) power connector, yes! Otherwise, you'd need a SATA to IDE adapter and/or a power adapter for it.

  7. ZentixZaneic
    June 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Something you've been able to do since Windows 3 (I think) is double click in the top-left corner of a window. It automatically closes it. I've never used it, but it's pretty neat.

    • Doc
      June 20, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Windows 7, 8.x and 10 all have it, although the button is usually invisible on 8.x and 10; prior to that, it held the program's icon. It's called the "control menu," and double-clicking it is equivalent to opening the menu and selecting "close."

      • ZentixZaneic
        June 20, 2017 at 4:07 pm

        Thank you. I didn't know what the menu was called, I just knew it was there.

  8. Scott
    June 14, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    For the record - actually floppy disks do come in different densities. 1.44MB is the most common, not the largest. 2.88MB is also somewhat common, and there are other rarer variants that have even higher capacity. Also it may be old but it's not unnecessary - old software copy protection schemes sometimes required use of a "key disk" so if you have old software you need to run, you may actually need a physical floppy drive to run it.

  9. Duy K. Bui
    June 14, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    There are no next versions of Windows.
    Windows 10 is the final Windows.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      Yes and no. The terminology is confusing, because Windows 10 itself has (sub-)versions with different support lifecycles. The current version, the Creators Update or version 1703, will probably expire before Windows 10's overall end of extended support in 2025. Meanwhile, the original Windows 10 version 1507 reached its end of extended support period in May this year.

      Since Windows 10 as a whole has an end of support date (October 14, 2025), we can assume that it's not actually the last version of Windows. At least Microsoft is keeping the door wide open to releasing a next "main" version.

  10. Davin Peterson
    June 14, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    One of the beauties of Windows is backward compatibility.
    Also, you can install some Windows 7 features on Windows 10 that Microsoft removed. It's an easy download/install. It seems everytime a new version comes out, Microsoft removes a feature from the previous version

    • Janneman27
      June 15, 2017 at 6:23 am

      Well, if nothing is added and/or removed, it wouldn't be a "new" version.

      • Tin
        June 15, 2017 at 8:27 am

        I don't think Davin was referring to removal of things like floppy support.... They've been removing features from 10 that people have used to make 10 usable (for their purposes). It's arrogant feature removal that annoys people. Like removing GPO support in Pro for locking down store a d games usage. Or making control panel more and more difficult to access quickly when the Settings app is missing half the functionality people use.