The Microsoft Windows operating system has almost completely dominated the PC market since its first release in 1985. We all remember good releases like Windows 7, but memorable releases like Windows Millenium are more likely to be forgotten.
One of the best Windows releases to date is Windows XP, and a small number of users continue to use this 20-year-old operating system on their PCs. If you want to experiment with XP today, you can use the Windows XP emulator on Android using the Limbo app.
What is Windows XP Emulator?
An emulator is software that allows software to run on a device for which it was not created. For example, you can run an Android emulator on Windows to access Android apps without having to own an Android device yourself.
Emulators create the right environment for legacy software to work. This is why the most common emulators are game emulators, which allow you to play old console games on your PC, where consoles like the Wii U can be emulated
You can do the same with Windows XP. A Windows XP emulator is simply a Windows XP virtual machine that lets you run this old system on new hardware. The portability of mobile devices such as Android smartphones and tablets makes them the obvious choice for running Windows XP portable emulator.
You can control this from your Android device, or use VNC to turn XP into a remote desktop, allowing you to connect and control it from another device like your PC.
Windows XP ISO Download
Before you start installing the Windows XP emulator, you need the Windows XP installation files in the ISO image file format.
If you have an old Windows XP installation CD, you can create an ISO file with it. Despite the age of the operating system, you still need a legitimate Windows XP product key to activate Windows.
If you don’t have the old XP installation files, you may be able to find them online. For example, you can use the files provided as part of the Windows XP Mode software to create an ISO file It is Microsoft’s own XP emulator, originally designed for Windows 7 PCs, and is a legitimate source for the XP installation files.
Once you get the ISO file, you need to move it to your Android device. If your device has a microSD card, first remove and connect it to your computer before transferring the ISO file to it, and then return the card to your device.
Otherwise, use the Android PC direct cable connection to copy the file to internal storage. You can also use Bluetooth to transfer files, but given the ISO file size, this may take a while.
Install Limbo on Android
Once the Windows XP ISO installation files are available on your Android device, you will need to install the Limbo emulator application. The emulator is not on the Google Play store, so you’ll have to download and install it manually.
You can install the app from your PC using ADB, or alternatively, you can access the Limbo download page from your Android device’s browser and download the latest APK file (android-x86-release to emulate PC hardware).
- Before you can do this, you need to allow installation of Android APK from sources other than Google Play. Depending on the version of your Android device, Android will ask you for permission to install from unknown sources when you try to open the APK file. To do this, follow the instructions on the screen.
- Once Android has received permission to install apps from unknown sources, try opening the APK file again. This will launch the package installer. Click Install to allow installation of the application.
Setting up Windows XP on Android
You can use Limbo to emulate a PC that is running Windows XP by using an ISO file to install it on your device.
- First open the Limbo application. You will need to confirm the license agreement the first time you run, so click “I agree” to accept it.
- You can start configuring the right virtual PC for your XP installation from the Limbo main screen. From the Load Machine drop-down menu, click Next.
- Give your new virtual machine a name (eg Windows XP), then click “New” to confirm.
- Limbo will offer you access to a list of Linux operating systems to boot. Click Cancel, as you are installing Windows from an ISO file instead.
You need to configure the virtual machine settings to emulate suitable PC hardware for XP. Touch each section to set the following configuration.
- In the CPU / Board section, set the following parameters: x64 architecture, PC computer type, SandyBridge CPU model, 2 CPU cores, 1024 (MB) RAM. You can choose higher CPU cores and RAM (MB) values ??if more CPU cores and memory are available on your device.
- In the Disks section, check the box to enable HDD A. From the drop-down menu, select New, give the image a name, set the minimum size to 2 GB, then click Create.
- Under Removable, click Open next to CDROM. Select the XP ISO file here.
- Under Boot, set Hard Disk as the Boot from Device option.
- In the Graphics section, set vmware as the video display option.
- For security reasons, it is not advisable to provide the XP emulator with an Internet connection. If you understand the risks, you can do so in the Network section before running it.
- After all settings are entered, click the play / launch button to launch XP Emulator on your device.
Accessing Windows XP Emulator
You can access the Windows XP emulator using the Limbo app as soon as you hit Play. The above settings allow you to use XP from your device using the touchscreen to move the mouse cursor. You can also use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard for easier access.
You will need to follow the onscreen instructions when you first start the virtual machine to install XP on the virtual hard disk file you created. This will follow a typical XP setup, allowing you to customize the locale and other XP settings. Installation may take some time.
Once XP is installed, you can start using it the way it was intended. However, you need to remove the XP ISO from the Removable section to make sure the ISO file does not download the installer files.
If you want to access XP remotely, you need to change your UI setting from SDL to VNC in order to be able to use a VNC client such as VNC Viewer on your PC to access the emulator remotely while it is running on your device.
Leave Windows XP in the background
Whether you need to run old software or just want to play an old school PC game, using Limbo to run Windows XP on Android is a quick and easy way to do it. If you want to try a new operating system, you can install Linux on Android directly or as a virtual machine.
However, Windows XP is a very old operating system. If you know anyone who uses XP on their PC, be sure to recommend that they upgrade to Windows 10 urgently for the latest features and security. If you’re using Windows 10 yourself, remember to keep Windows up to date for the same reasons.