How to Find and Download Abandoned Software


Has it ever happened to you that you wanted to download a program but its creators have already removed it from their site? Or the software’s dedicated website itself got removed? This happens very often to me because I tend to use software that is helpful to me over very long periods of time.

So I had to find a way to be able to download abandonware.

Sources of Abandonware

I have several go-to sources in case I want to reinstall older versions of software I like to use.

First of all, I check my external hard drives. I learned this the hard way, but the best thing you can do is to keep a well-organized backup system of all software installation packages that you currently use.

Next, I check these two web sites:

These two sites archive old versions of familiar and useful software, since their creators tend to promote only the most current versions of their creations.

However, many people have found that newer does not always mean better.

The new version might be incompatible with your operating system, slow down your system, be visually less appealing, be a step back in the area of user friendliness, be vulnerable to security flaws, etc.

Indeed, there are numerous reasons for sticking with what you are used to and what you like.

And, finally, if everything else fails, I visit the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

Case Study — Tweetdeck

I few months ago I wanted to reinstall Tweetdeck.

Tweetdeck is an excellent application that lets you keep control over your Twitter accounts without using your browser. I use it all the time.

However, when I visited Tweetdeck’s website, I discovered that it was no longer available for download as a standalone application.

Tweetdeck — Current website

Tweetdeck — Current website

Unfortunately, I forgot to back up Tweetdeck’s installation package.

Neither, nor contained any versions of this app.

So I went to Wayback Machine and entered Tweetdeck’s URL.

Wayback Machine

Wayback Machine

After clicking around for a while, I found out that the last snapshot where you could still access the TweetDeck.msi installer file was from March 23, 2015.

Tweetdeck — Archived version of website

Tweetdeck — Archived version of website

This way I could still download the file from an archived version of Tweetdeck’s website and reinstall the software.

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