Missing DirectX files

A lot of retro games and emulators need DirectX 9.0c to run, otherwise you get an error message like d3dx9_43.dll missing or d3dx9_39.dll is missing. Windows 11 and Windows 10 come with DirectX 12 by default (which does not include DirectX 9.0c and previous versions), so you might need to install DirectX 9.0c manually. When you've done that, you can also enable Direct Play.

So how do you install DirectX 9 on a Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer? Installing DirectX 9.0c on Windows 10/11 is safe, because DirectX 9.0c can co-exist with the DirectX versions which are already installed on your Windows system. Nothing will be overwritten and everything will keep working as it should. So let's get started! First download the files, then extract them, and finally install them.

Where do you download DirectX 9.0c?

  • Create an empty folder, for example c:\downloads\DirectX9
  • Create another folder files in the DirectX9 folder, in this example c:\downloads\DirectX9\files
  • Go to the Microsoft download center for DirectX End-User Runtimes (2010) and click the download button
  • Uncheck all recommended software/features and see if the download summary on the right only says 1. DirectX End-User Runtimes (June 2010)
  • Click on the No thanks and continue button on the right
  • Choose to Save the downloaded file (directx_Jun2010_redist.exe), save it in your folder, in this example c:\downloads\DirectX9

How do you extract the DirectX 9 files?

  • Open the downloaded directx_Jun2010_redist.exe file by double clicking it, or open it from the downloads list in your browser
  • Choose to run the application if Windows asks
  • Click on Yes to accept the agreement
  • Click on the Browse... button and choose the files folder you've created, in this example c:\downloads\DirectX9\files and click on the Ok button
  • The DirectX files will be extracted to the chosen folder

How do you install DirectX 9?

  • Navigate to the files folder, in this example c:\downloads\DirectX9\files
  • Find and double click the DXSETUP.exe file
  • Allow the app to make changes to your computer if Windows asks
  • Accept the agreement and click Next
  • To start the installation click Next
  • Click Finish to finish the installation

How do you enable Direct Play?

After you've installed DirectX 9 on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer, you might as well enable Direct Play, as many old games require this deprecated piece of software, which seems to be part of DirectX. Here's how you do that:

  • Press Windows key and R
  • Type in appwiz.cpl and press enter
  • Check if the Programs and features part of the Control Panel has opened
  • On the left, click on Turn Windows features on or off
  • Look for Legacy components, double click it or press the plus sign to see all components
  • Check the Direct Play checkbox and click Ok