Ultimate guide on how to get old versions of software. [Daily Feature]

There may be many reasons for one to wish to return back to an old version of his favorite app.

  • The software that was a freeware suddently turned into a shareware and/or nagware with a new version release.
  • The software that used to be slick and less resource hungry suddenly became a memory eating monster.
  • The new version runs in Vista alone and you have decided not to upgrade.
  • The new version requires better hardware to run than your current system.
  • You don't like the advertisements that started to appear in this version.
  • The new version have become too feature rich and complex. You liked it the simpler and slick way.
  • The feature that you liked most was removed from the latest version.
But learn this. If the software that you are after is not a freeware, then hunting for it is going to be extremely difficult. Consider yourself lucky if you get the desired version and if you did get it, hold on to it! Write it to a CD, flash drive and put it in a vault because the next time you search for the same in the internet, it would be gone...

Checkout these sites that achieves old software versions (not so popularly called as Abandonware):



If the software you are after is hosted in SourceForge.net, then there is a very good chance that old versions will be listed in the downloads page of the project.


Surprisingly, you can find a large number of used and old software in ebay. A large number of people just give away there old software and you should normally get them at very reasonable prices unless the software is a high demand one.

Google it

This is a no-brainer. You should have done this much before you started anything at all. But usually googling for your app name don't yield much other than the current website of the software. But this can be quite powerful if you know the name of the exe file you are looking.
Say, you want to download the version 2.3.1 of our favorite chat client pidgin. Somehow you figured out that the file name is pidgin-2.3.1.exe. Now all you have to do is fire up google and search for pidgin-2.3.1 filetype:exe. Gotcha!!!

Mail the company directly

Believe me, software engineers are suckers for fanfare. Tell them how you love their programs and how avidly you have been collecting all their versions from first. Only if you had the version 0.x you could make your collection complete. Oh please, could you just send me that particular version?

What other ways have you used to get hold of your favorite programs? Tell us in the comments.