I would like to test on my Windows 7 x64 system if text mode works via this 'workaround' of disabling my video card driver.

However, cmd.exe on x64 has removed support for Alt+Enter or right-click+"Full screen". This should not mean that the OS itself can't go in to text mode, however.

Is there another application beside cmd.exe that will try to switch to text mode?

Note: it was suggested that dosbox should switch to text mode but I believe it is not. When I go fullscreen with dosbox, I see on my other monitor in Display/Screen Resolution that the other screen's resolution is 640*480 (a well known graphics mode resolution). So I'm looking for a program that can actually switch to text mode.

edit: I have tried this program but couldn't yet get to text mode: :)

  • FAR manager: I tried alt+enter, didn't work. tried menu / commands / Video mode, it only maximized the window. However, checked in task manager, it didn't use cmd.exe, it only used conhost.exe.

  • copied a command.com from a 32-bit Windows 8. Supposedly these .coms have Alt+Enter still enabled (not sure about 8). It didn't start because 16-bit subsystem doesn't seem to be supported? (or so a dialog says)

picture (un)related

Unsupported 16-Bit Application

  • In that same topic it was stated some DOS video modes are not supported anymore. I know this is the case from Vista and higher (since we still support a DOS-program and can't use full-screen DOS anymore). According to kb926657 you could try XP-drivers but of course this is not going to work in Win7 64bit. But the question is... Why are trying to use text-mode in Windows 64bit?? What would you use it for (if you don't have an application that supports it)?
    – Rik
    Dec 3, 2013 at 21:31
  • @Rik thanks, this is not about support, rather the proposed workaround told by avirk. (My implicit assumption was that this is officially unsupported, possibly undocumented, legacy part of Win7.) With kb926657, a different workaround, wouldn't the same work with 64bit XP drivers on Win x64? Why: I've 2 'other' and 2 productive reasons. Others are: it's fun and I explore this way. Productives: quite the personal but it makes me more productive; imitations not so. I've real text-mode apps but none that actually seem to try the switch on 7.
    – n611x007
    Dec 4, 2013 at 6:50
  • possible duplicate of Text-mode emulation on 64-bit Windows
    – Andriy M
    Feb 28, 2014 at 11:21
  • 2
    @AndriyM no, i am interested in real text mode. no emulation. I know windows x64 supposedly forbids this, but since it was possible to use the text mode in WDDM even under circumstances when it was supposed to be forbidden in x32 in Vista, I want to test whether this limitation in x64 is artificial and in fact the system could actually use text-mode if anyone really tried and if one prepares the driver. if for no other, it looks like BSODs are some kind of text-mode.
    – n611x007
    Feb 28, 2014 at 13:07
  • I see. I guess I misunderstood the "Fullscreen mode" bit, thought it meant the real text mode. Sorry.
    – Andriy M
    Feb 28, 2014 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


It is probably not from the cmd.exe executable itself that support for Alt+Enter was removed, but rather from the code responsible for console windows in general. Current GPU drivers are probably not even required any more to implement the possibility to switch to text mode and back (I didn't check this myself now, but I remember having read something about that in the past).

From two articles (#1, #2) I've found on the Code Project web site, it looks like it is somewhat possible using obscure techniques, involving custom drivers calling the BIOS directly (which wouldn't then work on EFI-based systems which tend to be the norm nowadays).

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