Windows 3.1 is officially 30 years old

Solitaire (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Today marks the 30th birthday of Windows 3.1.
  • Windows 3.1 introduced several features that have since become ubiquitous, such as the CTRL+C and CTRL+V shortcuts for copy and paste.
  • Windows 3.1 reached its end of support 21 years ago in 2001.

Windows 11 may be the latest operating system from Microsoft, but today is about Windows 3.1. It's the birthday of the classic OS, marking 30 years since its launch on April 6, 1992. Windows 3.1 introduced several key components, many of which have digital descendants on Windows 11 and imitators on other operating systems.

Windows 3.1 brought PCs the CTRL+C and CTRL+V shortcuts for copy and paste. It added TrueType fonts and came with screensavers and a media player as well. Gamers had two options for games that preinstalled games: Solitaire and Minesweeper.

Selling over 3 million copies in the first three months it was on the market, Windows 3.1 was considered a success. It was more user-friendly than Windows 3.0 and introduced many people to the idea of a personal computer in their home.

How To Geek took a deep dive into the impact of Windows 3.1 for the operating system's 30th birthday.

Sadly for those that miss the days of the MS-DOS and command line being king, Windows 3.1 reached its end of support in 2001.

If you want to boot up Windows 3.1 in 2022, you can run it on your iPad. Doing so will get you access to the classic versions of Minesweeper and Solitaire. If you're running Windows 3.1, you don't even need Xbox Game Pass to play Solitaire without ads.

Those that love classic technology may also enjoy looking through a recent auction that included original mouse prototypes and an unissued piece of Microsoft stock.

Windows 3.1's birthday comes only two days after the birthday of Microsoft, which was founded on April 4, 1975.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at