QBasic is a BASIC interpreter. It is the slimmed down version of the development environment QuickBasic 4.5.

The Microsoft Company from 1991 it provided by default with the MS -DOS operating system versions (of 5.0-6.22 ). Also on the installation CDs of Windows 95, 98 and Me, it was still included. The QBasic Version 1.1 replaced the outdated GW -BASIC, which was included with MS -DOS to the DOS version 4.0.


Together with Microsoft QuickBasic closed with QBasic to the modern BASIC dialects. These now need no more line numbers, offered the possibility of the definitions of procedures and functions and provided improved ways of structured programming ready. Was also improves the IDE, which could also be operated using the mouse now. Due to the limitations of and by MS-DOS and some internal limits, the programs were not allowed to exceed a size of about 160kB.

Differences to QuickBasic

The big difference is QuickBasic, QBasic that does not contain a compiler and thus can not produce verteilfähige. Exe files, but the file saves as. BAS file. From the command line programs using the qbasic / run command programm.bas can be started. It can be integrated foreign libraries. The online help has also been slimmed down and QBasic is limited to four sample programs. In addition, system calls, if possible, more difficult.

QuickBasic programs that do not use libraries or use any special functions for system calls can also be run under QBasic. Conversely, all programs run under QuickBasic and can compile there.

Example programs

QBasic was shipped with four sample programs:

  • Gorilla: In this game, two gorillas face atop high-rises on respective opposite sides of screen. They took turns trying to meet with an exploding banana. The control is effected here by alternating input of angle and speed. The wind speed is observed.
  • Money: The Qbasic Money Manager manages transactions on accounts. A data set consists of date, description text and value of the transaction. Statistics can be created and printed.
  • Nibbles: Typical snake game. Even for two playable.
  • Remline: (referred to as Entfzeil in QuickBasic ) Both sample program as well as useful tool: There are from old GWBasic schedules, the liquid in QBasic numbering of the lines removed. Line numbers that are needed as a jump target, for example, are retained.

QBasic today

QBasic is aligned with the operating system MS-DOS. Until Windows 98 is optionally included on the installation media. Nevertheless, private websites continue to employ with the topic. This is mainly due to the ease of learning and the great proliferation in the past. Meanwhile, there are a lot of Basic dialects, to which many of the former QBasic programmers have switched.

QBasic on Windows NT

Due to limitations of the Virtual DOS Machine can not start or cause problems that may not allow the operation under operating systems Windows NT line many QBasic programs. The 64- bit versions in turn lacks the Virtual DOS Machine, which is why QBasic can not be started with onboard tools.

Can remedy the freeware project Qb64, the open source project FreeBasic or the use of an alternative DOS emulator.