I don't play any games online, I only play offline for passing the time, and I need to run in windowed mode to see the taskbar and chat and stuff.

I know I can just hit Esc it or Alt+Tab it or Alt+Enter or the Windows key, but I need to see my taskbar at all times and can only do that in windowed mode.

I've tried changing the shortcut path adding the -w or -windows, as well as Alt+Enter, d3d windower, dxwnd, and the option in 3dAnalyze to force windowed mode.

Is there a way to run Starcraft/Brood war in windowed mode offline?


2 Answers 2


You can do this with Chaos Launcher:



If everything else fail, you may always try to run the game in fullscreen on a Virtual Machine (VM).
One such (free) VM would be VMWare Player or VirtualBox.

However, playing on VMs has a few disadvantages and should only be considered as a last resort:

  • License: A VM is considered a new PC, therefore you'll need a new license to install Windows on.

  • Grahpics: The GPU can only be driven by one OS at a time; the host OS. Many games that require 3D acceleration or DirectX will have troubles running on a VM. I have never run Starcraft on a VM, but it is a relatively old 2D game, so running it shouldn't be a big problem.

  • Scrolling: Since the game will be running in Windowed mode, scrolling by pushing your mouse to the edge of the screen will be very difficult. Also, scrolling by clicking and dragging on the Minimap will scroll a lot faster, than if you were playing on Fullscreen.

  • Fullscreen: Should you ever want to play in Fullscreen again, this will only be possible if Starcraft supports your current screen resolution. That's because the VM will not scale the graphics. At least, VMWare Player doesn't upscale. So even if you set your VM to run in fullscreen, you'll see huge black borders all around your game.

  • OEM licenses cannot be used for virtual machine installations since those licenses cannot migrate to new machines.
    – Ramhound
    Apr 22, 2013 at 16:14

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