What Is Abandonware Software?

You must have heard of shareware, and freeware, but, have you heard of abandonware? Any software that has not been provided support by its developer or has not been updated are considered abandonware. It may be on purpose or has been done unintentionally.


However, abandonware does not mean that the software cannot be purchased or downloaded. It does mean that it has not been issued any update or no technical support is being provided. Sometimes, the developer of the abandoned software just leaves it alone without any botheration.

Reasons To Abandon A Software

There are many reasons for a software to be considered as abandonware.

  • Not Updated: The software has not been updated for a long time or the developer has not released a new version.
  • Financial Problems: The developer is facing financial problems, so, he is not able to do further development.
  • No Technical Support: The software is not being supported on technical problems.
  • Change of Business: The developer may have changed his business.
  • Software Rights Purchased: Some other company may have purchased the rights to the software, but somehow is not interested in the development.
  • OS Problem: The software can only be used with the older operating systems, but now, it is no longer available.
  • New Modified Version: The developer has released a new modified version and abandons the previous one.
  • No one to look after: The developer has left the project and there is no one to look after the project.
  • License Key Not Available: The software cannot function without the license key and that is not available.

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User Gets Affected

As the software is neither updated for the existing problems nor for coming compatibility problems due to latest operating systems and devices, the user is left stranded with unsafe and unusable software. The security risks become greater.

Abandoned software can still be purchased but the user cannot get official support for the software as he/she gets no support from the developer/company, technical support, or refunds, etc.

It is not necessary for all abandonware, but some of them, you may get free. As the developer is no longer involved in the software development, the developer/company may not have the means and/or desire to enforce the copyright. It may be possible if some distributor of the abandonware software try to get approval from the copyright holder for proper permission to give out the software.

From Where To Download Abandonware

There still are many websites that permit the downloading of abandonware software. Some of them are:

WinWorld is said to preserve and share vintage, abandoned, and pre-release software. They can be contacted for information, media and downloads for a wide variety of computers and operating systems.

abondanware software

You can download all the old video games from the website ‘My abandonware’ for free. You can play games like Pacman.

Precautions To Be Taken

Many old PC games and software programs are packaged within ZIP, RAR, and 7Z archives. You must use proper software to unpack them. One more thing, you must have the latest antivirus or antimalware programs, just in case you may need them.

Windows XP may be considered as abandonware because updates and support are no longer available from Microsoft, but Microsoft has released an official statement to say it has been discontinued.

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It is great that you have got the right software but you must investigate first for its technicalities as well as legal issues.

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