How To Geek: To run Windows 3.1 on your iPad, you’ll need to buy an app called iDOS 2 that’s available in the App Store. Currently, it costs $4.99, which seems like a bargain considering what it can do. iDOS has a spotty history on the App Store. Way back in 2010, Apple pulled an earlier version of the app because it allowed people to run unapproved code loaded through iTunes. Last year, its author updated the app to pull DOS files from iCloud or the Files app, and Apple approved it. So far, it’s still listed, so let’s hope that it sticks.
After purchasing and installing iDOS 2 on your iPad, run it once to make sure that it creates whatever folders it needs to work in your Files app. It will create an “iDOS” folder in your “On My iPad” area in Files. That’s important. Before diving into the Windows setup process below, you might want to familiarize yourself with how iDOS works. In a vertical orientation, you’ll see a window near the top of the screen that includes the video output of the emulated MS-DOS machine. Below that, you’ll see a toolbar that lets you load disk images (if you tap the floppy drive), check the DOSBox emulation speed (a black box with green numbers), and take a screenshot or change Settings (by tapping the power button). At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find an onscreen keyboard that lets you type whatever you want into the MS-DOS machine. If you flip your iPad horizontally, the MS-DOS display area will take over the screen, and you can pull up a toolbar that lets you access the keyboard, mouse, and gamepad options at any time by tapping the top center of the screen.