DOSBox-X features a GUI menu bar that does not exist in DOSBox, so you can achieve many things from the drop-down menu without typing commands. There are 9 menus shown in DOSBox-X’s menu bar, namely "Main", "CPU", "Video", "Sound", "DOS", "Capture", "Drive", “Help”, and “Debug”.

1. The "Main" menu

  • Configuration tool: Enters the graphical configuration tool for reviewing or changing DOSBox-X settings.

  • Mapper editor: Enters DOSBox-X’s keyboard mapper editor, where you can map different keys for use with the emulated DOS. Press the Esc key three times to exit the editor.

  • Load mapper file…​: Selects a mapper file for use with DOSBox-X to replace the currently loaded mapper file (if any).

  • Send special key: Sends special keys such as the logo key, Ctrl+Esc, Alt+Tab, and Ctrl+Alt+Del to the emulated DOS system.

  • Select host key: Select a key combination including Ctrl+Alt, Ctrl+Shift or Alt+Shift, or use the mapper-defined host key (F11/F12 by default).

  • Shared clipboard functions: Enables or disables the various ways for DOSBox-X to communicate with the host clipboard, such as using the right (or middle) mouse button to copy to and paste from the clipboard in quick edit mode. Some options are only available for the Windows platform.

  • Capture mouse: DOSBox-X will capture the mouse immediately for use with the emulated DOS.

  • Autolock mouse: DOSBox-X will lock the mouse automatically for use with the emulated DOS.

  • Mouse wheel movements: Select whether to auto-convert mouse wheel movements to arrow keys (Up & Down arrows etc).

  • Pause emulation: Check to pause the emulated DOS inside DOSBox-X completely. The emulated DOS will resume when it is unchecked.

  • Pause with interrupts enabled: Pauses the emulated DOS inside DOSBox-X without disabling the DOS interrupts. This allows certain DOS functions to continue to work, such as pausing some Demoscene games while allowing the game music to continue to play, or hearing the entire music when the demo exits long before the music has time to loop.

  • Show FPS and RT speed in title bar: Select this if you want to show cycles count (FPS) and emulation speed on the DOSBox-X title bar. Equivalent to -showcycles and -showrt command-line options combined.

  • Reset virtual machine: Restarts the virtual machine inside DOSBox-X.

  • Reboot guest system: Reboots the kernel of the emulated DOS (integrated DOS or guest DOS) inside DOSBox-X without resetting the virtual machine.

  • Restart DOSBox-X instance: Reboots the current DOSBox-X instance with the same configuration.

  • Restart DOSBox-X with config file…​: Restart DOSBox-X automatically with the select config file loaded.

  • Restart DOSBox-X with language file…​: Restart DOSBox-X automatically with the select language file loaded.

  • Quit from DOSBox-X: Exit from DOSBox-X.

2. The "CPU" menu

  • Turbo (Fast Forward): Increases the emulated DOS’s current CPU speed to 200%-300% of the normal speed (this will cause the clock to get out of sync inside DOSBox-X).

  • Normal speed: Restores the emulated DOS’s current speed relative to real-time to the normal speed.

  • Speed up: Increases the emulated DOS’s current speed relative to real-time. You can speed up the emulation with this if you want to play a game at greater than 100% normal speed.

  • Speed down: Decreases the emulated DOS’s current speed relative to real-time. You can slow down the emulation with this if you want to play a game at less than 100% normal speed.

  • Increment cycles: Increases the amount of CPU instructions DOSBox-X tries to emulate each millisecond.

  • Decrement cycles: Decreases the amount of CPU instructions DOSBox-X tries to emulate each millisecond.

  • Emulate CPU speed: Emulate the speed of the a specific CPU class by setting the approximate cycles.

  • Edit cycles: Sets the amount of CPU instructions DOSBox-X tries to emulate each millisecond to a specific value.

  • CPU core: Selects the emulated DOS’s CPU core - normal, full, simple, dynamic, or auto.

  • CPU type: Selects the emulated DOS’s CPU type, such as 8086, 80286, 80386, 80486, Pentium, or Pentium Pro.

3. The "Video" menu

  • Fit to aspect ratio: Select whether to fit DOSBox-X’s emulated DOS screen to the aspect ratio (width-to-height ratio) correction mode.

  • Toggle fullscreen: Toggles the full-screen mode of DOSBox-X’s emulated DOS screen.

  • Always on top: Select whether the DOSBox-X window will always be the topmost one.

  • Double Buffering (Fullscreen): Toggles the double-buffering feature in the fullscreen mode. It can reduce screen flickering, but it can also result in a slower speed.

  • Hide/show menu bar: Select whether to show DOSBox-X’s drop-down menu bar where supported.

  • Reset window size: Resets the DOSBox-X window to the default size.

  • Refresh rate…​: Sets the video refresh rate (0 for unlocking the refresh rate).

  • Force scaler: Forces the use of a scaler even if the result might not be desired. To fit a scaler in the resolution used at full screen may require a border or side bars. To fill the screen entirely, depending on your hardware, a different scaler/fullresolution might work.

  • Scaler: Selects a scaler used to enlarge/enhance low resolution modes.

  • Output: Selects the video system to use for output, such as Surface, OpenGL, Direct3D and TrueType font, and to enable double-scan mode (double-scanned output emits two scanlines for each source line).

  • V-Sync: Synchronizes V-Sync timing to the host display. This requires calibration within DOSBox-X.

  • Overscan: Selects the width of the overscan border, from 0 to 10. This works only if the video output is set to surface. rscan border, from 0 to 10. This works only if the video output is set to surface.

  • Frameskip: Changes the frameskip setting, i.e. how many frames DOSBox-X skips before drawing one, from 0 to 10.

  • Text-mode: Changes some text-mode settings, such as allowing 9-pixel wide text mode fonts, switching between high intensity background color and blinking foreground text, and setting the video modes to for example 80 columns x 50 lines and 132 columns and 60 lines.

  • TTF options: Changes settings related to the TrueType font (TTF) output, such as increasing or decreasing the TTF font siz, selection of a word processor and toggling of on-screen text styles (bold, italics, etc).

  • PC-98 options: Changes the PC-98 related settings, such as whether to allow EGC and GRCG graphics functions and whether to use the default U.S. keyboard layout for PC-98 mode.

  • 3dfx emulation: Toggle the 3dfx emulation, including low-level Voodoo card emulation and high-level Glide emulation.

  • Select pixel shader…​: Selects a Direct3D pixel shader file for use with the Direct3D output in Windows. In case the shader fails to load, there is no visual indication but it will be written to the log file (so if you want more immediate feedback on success or failure, use the menu to show the DOSBox-X console which will also show the reason for the shader failure).

  • Select OpenGL (GLSL) shader…​: Selects a OpenGL (GLSL) shader file for use with the OpenGL outputs (opengl/openglnb/openglhq).

  • Select TrueType font (TTF)…​: Selects a TrueType font (TTF) file for use with the TTF output.

4. The "Sound" menu

  • Increase volume: Increases the sound volume of the current DOS session.

  • Decrease volume: Decreases the sound volume of the current DOS session.

  • Increase recording volume: Increases the sound volume for the current recording.

  • Decrease recording volume: Decreases the sound volume for the current recording.

  • Show sound mixer volumes: Displays the current sound mixer volumes in DOSBox-X.

  • Show Sound Blaster configuration: Displays the current Sound Blaster configuration of in DOSBox-X.

  • Show MIDI device configuration: Displays the current MIDI device configuration in DOSBox-X.

  • Mute: Mutes or unmutes the sound volume of the current DOS session.

  • Swap stereo: Selects whether to swap the left and right stereo channels.

5. The "DOS" menu

  • Quick launch program…​ Launches a program selected from the file browser to run inside DOSBox-X directly. The program folder will be automatically mounted and unmounted, with the option to stay in the program folder after the program finishes.

  • Reported DOS version: Changes the reported DOS version to the specified version from the list, including 3.3, 5.0, 6.22 and 7.1. Long filename (LFN) and FAT32 disk image support will be enabled when you select 7.1 as the reported DOS version. You can also enter a version with “Edit”.

  • Long filename support: Changes the long filename (LFN) setting, either enable, disable, or auto per reported DOS version (i.e. enable LFN if the reported DOS version is at least 7).

  • Mouse emulation: Changes the mouse settings for the emulated DOS inside DOSBox-X, such as the mouse sensitivity.

  • Expanded Memory (EMS): Select a mode for the Expanded Memory (EMS), or disables the EMS for some DOS programs or games.

  • Windows host applications: Enable this if you want to launch Windows applications from mounted directories to run on the host, and whether to wait for the applications.

  • Enables A20 gate: Turns the A20 gate on or off if it is not locked.

  • Enable quick reboot: Selects whether to use quick reboot mode so that the kernel of the emulated DOS (integrated DOS or guest DOS) will be restarted instead of the whole virtual machine when DOS programs (or Windows 9x guest systems) make calls to restart the system.

  • Synchronize host date/time: Selects whether to force synchronizations with the date/time of the host system.

  • Config options as commands: Selects whether to allow entering config file options as shell commands to get and set settings. This is disabled by default to avoid name clashes, but can be enabled to improve backward compatibility with DOSBox.

  • Swap floppy drive: Swaps the floppy image if you are using multiple floppy disk images on floppy drive(s).

  • Swap CD drive: Swaps the CD image if you are using multiple CD images on CD drive(s).

  • Change current floppy image…​: Changes the current active floppy disk image(s) on floppy drive(s), including when a guest OS is active.

  • Change current CD image…​: Changes the current active ISO/CUE image(s) on CD drive(s), including when a guest OS is active.

  • Create blank disk image: Creates blank floppy or hard disk images of common disk sizes for mounting them as drives.

  • Show mounted drive numbers: Shows details such as the disk name for all mounted drive numbers (0-5).

  • Show IDE disk or CD status: Displays the status for each IDE position (1m, 1s, 2m, 2s, etc).

  • Rescan all drives: Refreshes the cache for all DOS drives inside DOSBox-X.

  • Print text screen: Prints the current DOS text screen to the default printer (if the printing feature has been enabled).

  • Send form-feed: Manually sends a form-feed to the printer for ejecting a new page (if the printing feature has been enabled).

6. The "Capture" menu

  • Take screenshot: Takes a screenshot of the current DOS screen in PNG format.

  • Capture format: Selects the video format for DOSBox-X’s captures.

  • Record video to AVI: Starts/stops the recording of the current DOS session to an AVI video.

  • Record audio to WAV: Starts/stops the recording of the current DOS session to a WAV audio.

  • Record audio to multi-track AVI: Starts/stops the recording of the current DOS session to a multi-track audio-only AVI file.

  • Record FM (OPL) output: Starts/stops the recording of Yamaha FM (OPL) commands in DRO format.

  • Record MIDI output: Starts/stops the recording of raw MIDI commands.

  • Save/load state options: Allows you to check some save and load state related options, such as using a save file instead of save slots.

  • Save state: Saves the current state to the selected save slot.

  • Load state: Loads the state from the selected save slot.

  • Select save slot: Select a save slot (1 to 100) to save to or load from. There are 10 pages for save slots, with 10 save slots in each page.

  • Auto save settings…​: Manages the feature to save states automatically such as the time interval as well as start and end save slots for different programs.

  • Browse save file…​: Select a save file to use via the file browser. Only activated when the option to use save files is enabled.

  • Display state information: Displays the status of the selected save slot or save file.

7. The "Drive" menu

  • A-Z: For each DOS drive, mounts, un-mounts, re-scans (refreshes the cache), or show the information for this drive. For Drive A:, C: and D: there is also an option to boot from the drive. Various mounting options (either host drives/directories or disk/CD image files) are available for each drive.

8. The "Help" menu

  • Introduction: Shows a dialog box with a short introduction to DOSBox-X.

  • DOS commands: Displays the help information for the selected DOS shell command.

  • DOSBox-X homepage: Links to the homepage of the DOSBox-X project.

  • DOSBox-X Wiki guide: Links to the DOSBox-X Wiki where you will find the DOSBox-X user guide.

  • DOSBox-X support: Links to the DOSBox-X Issue Tracker where you will can report issues or make suggestions.

  • List network interfaces: Displays the list of network interfaces for the NE2000 networking feature.

  • List printer devices: Displays the list of printer devices for the printing feature on Windows systems.

  • Logging console: Functions related to the logging console on Windows systems. Non-debugging builds only.

  • About DOSBox-X: Shows the about information for DOSBox-X.

9. The "Debug" menu

  • Previously the "Debugging options" under “Help” menu, it is now a separate top-level menu appearing in debugging builds for debugging-related functions, such as showing the debugger and the logging console as well as other debugging-related functions like the blank screen refresh tests.

DOSBox-X will show the drop-down menus in the windowed mode by default, but you can also hide it if you prefer, using any of the following methods:

  • Start DOSBox-X with the -nomenu command-line option;

  • Set the option "showmenu" to "false" in [sdl] section of the DOSBox-X configuration;

  • Under the "Video" menu, select "Hide/show menu bar" when the menu bar is currently visible;

  • Using the key combination ([F11/F12]+Esc by default - F11+Esc on Windows and F12+Esc otherwise) to toggle the menu bar.