Software & Apps Windows Where to Download Windows 98 A Windows 98 download might be hard to find by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on September 11, 2020 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email There are several reasons you might want to download Windows 98. For example, if you need to install it but you've lost your original setup CD, downloading the ISO would get you out of that bind. You might want to get this older version of Windows just to try out the operating system or to put it on a second computer at home. Windows can be expensive, so finding a place to download an earlier OS like this one for free is an enticing thought. Pretty much everything is available on the internet for free, right? Windows 98 Download There are several places online to download Windows 98 but none of them are legal. It's not distributed online so there's no legitimate way to download this OS, even from Microsoft. No matter where you find it, be it on a software download site or through a torrent website, any download you find online is illegal. In fact, downloading Windows online is probably the last thing you want to do if you expect to get a clean version free from malware or bugs. It's important to note as well that even if you did download it, what you would get is an image of the Windows 98 Setup CD. For example, you'd probably download an ISO file like windows-98-se.iso, or something similar. You would then burn that ISO image to a CD that you would use to install it. The only legal course of action when you need a copy of this version of Windows is to actually buy a new copy. It's that simple. How to Buy Windows 98 One option is to find an untainted copy online. However, given that Windows 10 is the newest operating system from Microsoft, making Windows 98 several versions old, you might find it challenging to find a copy. Your best bet is to buy Windows 98 on Amazon, but you might have luck in other places, too, like eBay. Just remember that if you find a download on an obscure website, and especially if it's free or very cheap, chances are it's not a legal download and could contain viruses. In many ways, however, what you actually pay for when you legally purchase a copy of Windows is the product key (sometimes referred to as a CD key or key code, or incorrectly as the serial number). This unique number is required during the installation of Windows. So, even if you did download Windows 98, you would still need a valid product key to install and use it. There are ways to hack Windows 98 to make it work with a product key created from a keygen program, but that's definitely not a legal or safe way to get a key. If you actually do have a valid Windows 98 CD but you're looking for your product key, there is a way to find it. See our article on how to find the product key for easy instructions. If you do in fact have your Windows 98 product key but you're missing your Setup CD, you could argue that, since you did actually purchase the operating system and you have a valid product key, downloading a CD image from anywhere should be within your rights. At this time, however, the only legal way of obtaining a CD is a legal purchase of the operating system. We suggest contacting Microsoft for a replacement Windows 98 Setup CD, assuming you can show proof of purchase. However, since it's a retired operating system, you may have trouble doing that. Windows 98 Alternatives If you want to download Windows because you need an operating system on your computer, know that it was released and available to the public in 1998, so it's clearly a very old operating system. Since then, Microsoft has released several other versions of Windows with new features and improvements, so you don't really need to download this one when you can just pick from the modern options available today. Windows 10 is Microsoft's newest OS, so if you're looking for the most up-to-date Windows version, you can download Windows 10. However, many people still use Windows 8 and Windows 7.