How to: Enable printing to USB/Network printers for legacy DOS/Windows 95 & 98 programs

Have you ever faced the problem where a legacy DOS or Windows 95 & 98 runs perfectly on Windows XP/Vista/7/8, with or without compatibility mode, but refuses to print?
This is because legacy DOS or Windows 95 & 98 programs expect your printer to be connected to a LPT1 port, which is usually not the case anymore nowadays. If you want to enable printing to an USB or Network Printer for these legacy DOS or Windows 95 & 98 programs, follow these steps:

1) First, make sure you can print from within Windows to the desired printer, by printing a test page.

2) Next, go to Control Panel –> Printers
All of your printers should be listed, including the printer you want to set up for DOS printing.

3) Right-Click on the name of the printer that you want to set up for DOS printing and choose “Properties” from the pop-up context menu.

4) Click on the “Ports” Tab at the top of the Printer Properties Window.

5) Make a note of the exact name of your current printer port.

6) Select the “Enable Printer Pooling” checkbox. i.e. be sure that the box is checked.

7) Scroll up and/or down through all of your listed ports and click the “LPT1” port to place a checkmark in it.
Note: You should now have both LPT1 and your default printer port (from step 5) selected

8) Click “Apply” and “Ok”.

There you go! You should now be able to print from your  legacy DOS/Windows 95 & 98 programs to your USB/Network printer
The above steps essentially trick Windows to act as if the USB/Ethernet printer is connected to LPT1.
No need to use expensive third party tools such as Printfil or DOS2USB… this will do the trick as well!

4 responses to “How to: Enable printing to USB/Network printers for legacy DOS/Windows 95 & 98 programs”

  1. Tom Fisher Avatar
    Tom Fisher

    Hi, I was hoping to find something like this.
    I did it but I still get the same results, the document is in the print queue but refuses to print to my Citizen CL-S621 USB printer.
    I have been trying everything (including PrintFil).

    1. Freek Avatar

      Hi Tom.
      Maybe I can help. From which program are you trying to print?
      Kind regards,

  2. John L Robinson Avatar
    John L Robinson

    I have down loaded a 95 windows to a windows 7 I am using the windows 95 to
    make and print a old 95 creata card program my printer works fine for printing
    windows 7 items but it will not print the windows 95 cards the 95 program is a
    16 bit and the windows 7 is 64 bit, How can I get the printer to print the windows
    95 cards. it continues to say no printer available when trying to print windows
    95 cards

    1. Freek Avatar

      Hi John,

      This will only work for Windows 7 32 bit if I recall correctly.

      Kind regards,

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