I'm trying to play an old Windows 98 game on Windows 7. The game is asking me to install DirectX 6.

If I choose to install them, will this affect my system? (In other words, will this stop newer games from being playable, stop Flash websites from working, interfere with newer programs, etc.?)


3 Answers 3


It should not affect your computer in any bad way, all DirectX versions work together with each other, older version would not overwrite a newer version, same as newer version wouldn't overwrite an older version.


In Windows 7 and later versions (including Windows 11), some components of DirectX 9 and older DirectX versions are not included by default (even if DirectX 10, 11, and 12 are already installed). Installing DirectX 9.0c (now called the "legacy DirectX SDK" by Microsoft) on Windows 7 and later should also allow the running of games that require DirectX versions prior to DirectX 10.

What I'd do in your case is install the latest version of DirectX 9.0c (June 2010 update) / legacy DirectX SDK. Once it is installed, there should be no need to install DirectX versions prior to DirectX 10, even if a game installer prompts you to.

Old games prompt the user to install old pre-DX10 DirectX versions because of DirectX's convoluted components and installation process in the past. This process had been simplified by the time Windows XP SP2 was released, as explained in this MSDN blog post.

You can download the DirectX 9.0c June 2010 update from Microsoft's website: Standalone Installer / Web Installer.

The Microsoft DirectX® End-User Runtime provides updates to 9.0c and previous versions of DirectX — the core Windows® technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC.

This DirectX End-User Runtime does not change the version of DirectX, but does install a number of optional side-by-side technologies from the legacy DirectX SDK that are used by some older games. For a detailed explanation see https://aka.ms/dxsetup.

Note that this package does not modify the DirectX Runtime installed on your Windows OS in any way.

On the standalone installer, after you run it, it will ask you to specify a directory where the installation files should be extracted. Specify a directory and extract the files. In the extraction directory, run DXSETUP.exe. This will install all components of DirectX 9.0 / legacy DirectX SDK.


You cannot install old DirectX on a machine with a newer DirectX.

  • Despite the down votes this the correct answer. Old DirectX installers won't work on newer versions of Windows.
    – user86571
    Apr 16, 2015 at 2:46
  • @RossRidge Depends on how old. Sadly, DirectX tends to be one of those where you need a very specific version of it on a per-game basis. As this answerer hasn't actually specified what constitutes, "old", this is a rather unhelpful answer. Depending on the definition, it's also actually wrong.
    – Frank
    Apr 16, 2015 at 3:44
  • @Frank No, this answer is 100% correct and succinctly answers the question. You cannot install an older version of DirectX if a newer version of DirectX is already installed. DirectX 9.0c was the last version of DirectX that was made available separately from Windows and all versions Windows since XP SP2 have included 9.0c or newer, You may be thinking of the D3DX DLL and other redistributables that certain games depend on, but these are supplements to DirectX and do not change the version of DirectX installed on the machine.
    – user86571
    Apr 16, 2015 at 4:19
  • @RossRidge Just because this answer is technically correct doesn't mean it is useful.
    – MrLemon
    Apr 16, 2015 at 11:36

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