Installing and Running The IDE on Windows 10

Support for the IDE ended in April of 2008. OS support ended with Windows 8.1. If you want to use it in a supported environment, you can keep a copy of Windows 8.1 around. I have both my laptop and Workstations dual booted to Windows 10 and 8.1 specifically for that purpose.

However, the IDE appears  to run on Windows 10.  I have had no issues with the IDE on Windows 10 thru version 20H2. I only use the 8.1 installed IDE to generate final binaries (EXEs or DLLs) for clients.

Installing and running it on Windows 10 does require some special handling. There are links explaining this in detail so I will not try to do one more. I do find that many do not cover all the issues.

Here is a synopsis of the issues for Windows 10:

  • You can use the original VB6 and VB6 SP6 CD’s or ISOs but it is probably better to download the newer versions from MSDN. The VB6 CDs can be downloaded from MSDN here (you need to be logged into your MSDN Subscription). SP6 can be downloaded from the download center without an MSDN account. The MSDN Library can be downloaded from MSDN here (you need to be logged into your MSDN Subscription – you want the October 2001 version).
  • You should use a dummy MSJAVA.DLL file in the c:\windows\ directory to prevent the Java Machine install.
  • You need to do a ‘Custom’ install and select only the ‘VB6, C++, Data Access and Tools’ components.
  • You cannot install the ‘ADO and RDS’ part of the ‘ADO, RDS, and OLE DB Providers’ item in the ‘Data Access’ component. The install will not complete if selected.
  • I have seen references that you also cannot install the ‘Visual Studio Analyzer’ option in the ‘Tools’ component although I have not found this to be true.
  • You should update to Service Pack 6 to avoid issues in previous versions.
  • Once installed, you must run the IDE with administrative rights so it can update the registry.
  • Forms design works better if you run the IDE in Vista SP2 or earlier compatibility mode.
  • To step through code, you need to run the IDE with the ‘OLE RPC Debugging’ and ‘Debug commands invoke Edit and Continue’ options in the IDE ‘Tools>Options’ disabled.

Some of the above are also applicable to Installation of the IDE on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1.

I have not tried it but, addressing these issues, the IDE should install and work on Servers 2012, 2016, and 2019 as well if you need to step through and code for testing\debugging. 2019 would require the WOW environment to be installed. I will update this post if I install on any of these.

For more information, Microsoft has a collection of documentation on VB6.


2 thoughts on “Installing and Running The IDE on Windows 10”

  1. I am looking for SP6 but can’t find it. I do not have an MSDN subscription. I have VB 6 Professional, SP1 & SP5 CD’s. Every site I’ve tried has linked me to the MS site that no longer has it. I have found the rollup to SP6.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.