Installing an official release on Windows

Official higan releases are distributed in 7-zip archives. You will need to install 7-zip (or another compatible archiving tool) to install higan. Once you have a suitable archiving tool, extract the contents of the higan archive into a new folder.

When you’re done, the new folder should contain higan.exe and icarus.exe along with other assorted files and folders that describe the systems higan emulates. You may put that new folder wherever you like.

To run higan, open the higan.exe file.

Uninstalling an official release on Windows

Delete the folder containing higan.exe and the other associated data from the original archive.

To remove higan’s configuration:

  1. Press Win+R to open the Run dialog
  2. Type %LOCALAPPDATA% and press Enter to open the folder where higan’s configuration data lives
  3. Delete the sub-folders named icarus and higan if they exist.

You might also want to remove higan’s game library (including in-game saves and save-states).

Compiling from source on Windows

You will need a copy of the higan source-code. If you download an official release from the higan homepage, you will need 7-zip or a compatible tool to extract it. Alternatively, you may obtain higan source code from the unofficial git repo using the Git source-code management tool, or by clicking the download button on the right-hand side of the web-page and choosing an archive format.

You will need a C++ compiler to compile higan. We recommend installing TDM64-GCC, preferably the latest version but anything newer than 4.9 should be fine. higan does not support building with clang++ (Clang is still not quite there yet for Windows) nor Microsoft Visual C++ (last we checked, it didn’t support all the C++ features higan uses).

Note: Make sure you get TDM64-GCC, not TDM-GCC. When compiled in x86 (32-bit) mode, higan may crash at startup because gcc targeting x86 does not support Windows’ structured exception handling (SEH). Also, historically in x86 mode gcc has miscompiled a part of the NES emulation core. See the higan forum for details.

Once you’ve installed the compiler, open a command-prompt window, type g++ --version then press Enter to check it’s installed correctly. You should see a message like

g++ 1.2.3 20010101
Copyright (C) 2001 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO

…except it should mention the compiler version that you installed and the corresponding dates. If you see an error message like “‘g++’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file”, you may need to add the compiler’s “bin” folder to your computer’s %PATH%. See the compiler’s documentation for help with that.

Once mingw is installed and available from the command prompt:

  1. Put the higan source code in some convenient location, like C:\higan-src
  2. Open the command-prompt
  3. Type cd C:\higan-src (or wherever you put the higan source) and press Enter
  4. Type mingw32-make -C icarus and press Enter to build the icarus import tool
  5. Type mingw32-make -C higan and press Enter to build the main higan executable

Installing a compiled build on Windows

  1. In Windows Explorer, create the folder where you want higan to live
  2. Assuming you built higan in C:\higan-src, copy C:\higan-src\icarus\out\icarus.exe into the new folder
  3. Copy C:\higan-src\icarus\Database and its contents into the new folder
  4. Copy C:\higan-src\higan\out\higan.exe into the new folder
  5. Copy all the *.sys folders in C:\higan-src\higan\systems into the new folder
  6. If the higan source includes a shaders folder, make another new folder named Video Shaders inside the new folder, and copy all the *.shader folders from C:\higan-src\shaders\ into the Video Shaders folder.

The new folder should now contain icarus.exe, higan.exe, a folder named Database, and half a dozen folders named after the systems higan emulates with .sys at the end. This is what you would get by downloading an official build, as described under Installing an official release on Windows above.

Uninstalling a compiled build on Windows

The process is the same as Uninstalling an official release on Windows above. You may also wish to delete the higan source folder.