Microsoft Minesweeper Cheats

This page lists minesweeper cheats, codes, bugs, scripts and solvers for Microsoft Minesweeper.

Microsoft released "Windows Minesweeper" in October 1990 before including it as part of Windows 3.1, 95, 98, ME and 2000. The Beginner size was changed in Windows XP from 8x8 to 9x9 to make it easier to win. Windows Vista released a new version of the game with flowers and guaranteed openings on the first click with the ability to replay lost games. Windows 8 introduced a new arcade level but moved Minesweeper out of the operating system and into the Windows Store. The original Microsoft Minesweeper is no longer accepted for rankings because of the cheats on this page!

Minesweeper Clone Cheats

01. Easter Egg (XYZZY)

Version: WEP, 3.1, 2000, XP

Type XYZZY and press [Shift][Enter]. The top left pixel on your screen will become white but turn black when your mouse is above a mine. Robert Donner borrowed the idea from the text adventure game Colossal Cave Adventure (1975) which used XYZZY as a magic word to jump between rooms. Use this cheat to program a 'solver' or write a script that prevents clicking on mines by converting left clicks to flags.

TriviaXYZZY does not work on Windows 9x systems (95, 98, ME).
TriviaYou also can activate the cheat by typing XYZZY and holding [Shift] for about 10 seconds.
TriviaIf you press [Shift] again it will pause or restart the cheat...but the coloured pixel remains visible.

1992-05-11Infoworld MagazineXYZZY cheat
1993-07-07PC CompanionXYZZY cheat
1997-06-07The Unnoficial Minesweeper PageWindows 3.x Cheat Code
1999-02-18Jack Welsby's Minesweeper PageHow to Cheat at Minesweeper
2007-06-23autohotkey.comXYZZY script to avoid clicking mines
2008-06-18autoitscript.comXYZZY solver

02. Pause Timer (Minimise Game)

Version: All versions

Minimise the game and the timer will pause until the game is maximised. You can take a screenshot of the game to study the board while the timer is paused. Versions since Vista allow you to minimise the game and see a preview by hovering the mouse over the game on the taskbar.

2006-12-19Windows Vista for DummiesPreview Minesweeper

03. Pause Timer (Smiley Face)

Version: 2.9, WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP

Press the left mouse button on the smiley face and the timer will pause until the mouse moves elsewhere.

04. Pause Timer (Bug)

Version: 2.9, WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP

Press both mouse buttons and press [ESC] on the keyboard. The timer will pause until the game is minimised and maximised.

TriviaIn the 2.9 beta version this cheat changes the title bar from "Win Mine" to "Not a Game".

1999-02-18Jack Welsby's Minesweeper PageHow to Cheat at Minesweeper
2000-02-29Windows 2000 SecretsPause the Minesweeper timer
2004-10-22Windows XP for DummiesPause the Minesweeper timer

05. Edit Highscores (Winmine.ini)

Version: WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME

Edit your scores in the 'winmine.ini' file located in the C:\WINDOWS directory.

1998-06-16Windows 98 for DummiesEdit winmine.ini to change best times

06. Edit Highscores (Registry)

Version: 2000, XP

Search for regedit.exe and edit HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Winmine to change your scores.

2004-10-22Windows XP for DummiesEdit registry to change best times

07. Photoshop (Pictures)

Version: All versions

Take a screenshot of a game and edit the timer. Another option is to screenshot and edit the 'Best Times' list.

08. Photoshop (Videos)

Version: WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP

In the 2000s it was common to use programs like Camtasia to record videos. Select a low frame rate such as 15fps (to save effort) and delete every few frames. Photoshop the timer in the remaining frames so "seconds" in the video match real seconds.

09. Attack Clock (Timer Lag)

Version: 2.9, WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP

Slow the timer by running other programs in the background. This was common in the 1990s when you could slow the clock on computers simply by using the printer. Using a program like Camtasia in the 2000s to make game videos with a high frame rate could slow the timer by 2-3 seconds a minute.

2001-06-08Intermediate Hall of FameClockwork Mines
2019-11-06minesweepergame.comTimer Lag

10. Attack Clock (WinAPI)

Version: All versions

Download a program that modifies WinAPI time functions. Make the game clock run slowly.

11. Attack Clock (System)

Version: All versions

Download a program that modifies the system clock to run at a slower speed.

12. Unfair Prior Knowledge (Board Cycles)

Version: 2.9, WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP

Beginner 8x8 games repeat in two cycles of 24320 and 24304 boards while Intermediate 16x16 games repeat in two cycles of 12096 and 12064 boards. You can manipulate these cycles to locate and play memorised boards.

2009-08-21Minesweeper WikiUPK
2010-06-19Minesweeper WikiBoard Cycles

13. Unfair Prior Knowledge (Density Manipulation)

Version: All versions

Increase the number of mines to reduce the number of unique boards. Create a high density Custom level and save pictures of easy boards then use a macro to cycle through games to find (and play) the same boards again.

14. Unfair Prior Knowledge (Replay)

Version: Vista, 7, 8, 10

Lose a game and memorise mine locations then select "Restart This Game" to play from memory.

2009-11-11Windows 7 for DummiesMinesweeper UPK

15. Unfair Prior Knowledge (Saved Game)

Version: Vista, 7, 8, 10

Open the menu and select "Always save game on exit" and "Always continue saved game". Take a screenshot during a game and exit Minesweeper. When you know the solution open Minesweeper and play the game from memory.

16. Unfair Prior Knowledge (Read Memory)

Version: All versions

Use a debugging program to locate the memory block storing the current Minesweeper game. Game borders are Hex 10, empty cells are Hex 0F and mines are Hex 8F in the original version. Vista introduced dynamic memory so the game no longer loads into a fixed block of memory, but this is a minor inconvenience. You can write a program to show mine locations or create a solver to read mine locations directly from memory.

2003-01-13codeproject.comMemory reader program (XP)
2003-05-13codeproject.comHighlight the mines program (XP)
2007-03-27microsoft.comFlag all mines script (XP)
2010-11-14progamercity.netDLL injection to open safe cells (XP)
2014-11-20github.comMimikatz minesweeper module (Windows 7)
2017-01-200x00sec.orgScript and command line GUI (XP)
2018-04-07progamercity.comScript and command line GUI (XP)
2017-04-18github.comDLL injection to flag mines (Windows 7)
2020-03-09guidedhacking.comScript and command line GUI (XP)

17. PRNG Attack (Multiple Instances)

Version: 2.9, WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP

Open two instances of Winmine.exe simultaneously. If you open both within 55ms on Windows 9x and 16ms on Windows NT the same seed might be used for both games due to limitations in the GetTickCount function. You can alternate between the two instances playing the same games due to board cycles.

18. PRNG Attack (Seed Selection)

Version: 2.9, WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP

Use a debugging program to edit assembly language and choose the seed for the PRNG. The same seed will always generate the same board.

2003-10-24technuser.netIdentical Boards Problem Part III

19. PRNG Attack (Seed Selection)

Version: Vista, 7

Record the date and time of an easy game. Set the clock to that time to play the same game.

2017-07-05youtube.comHow to Get Tied World Record in Minesweeper Every Time

20. Debug Menu

Version: Vista, 7, 8, 10

The Oberon Media and Arkadium versions of Minesweeper have hidden cheat functions. Use a debugging program to display the Debug menu which has options to activate hotkeys (shortcuts for developers), show mines and instantly win the game. Improve user experience by writing a program with a nice GUI.

2012-02-03askvg.comDebug menu hack (7)
2013-03-12door2windows.comDebug menu program (7)
2014-05-14microsoft.comDebug menu script (8)

21. Hack Minesweeper (Edit Program)

Version: 2.9, WEP, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP

Use a debugging program to edit assembly language code. For example, pause the timer or flag mines.

2004-08-01Gaming HacksHack the timer (XP)
2017-01-200x00sec.orgHack the timer (XP)
2018-06-28begin.reFlag all mines (XP)

22. Clicking Macro

Version: All versions

Program a macro to start Beginner games and click randomly. You will eventually win a game in one second.

23. Solver (Automatic)

Version: All versions

Program a solver to play minesweeper using logic. solver (95)
1997-10-08*abandonware*Sweeper (95)
2014-08-12ryanhmckenna.comSolver (7)

24. Solver (Human Assisted)

Version: All versions

Program a solver to play minesweeper or calculate probabilities. Allow human interaction to make videos more realistic.

1995-09-10*abandonware*Minewalk (95)
2000-xx-xx*abandonware*Play Minesweeper (98)
2002-04-05joriswit.nlSolver (XP)
2006-07-17donationcoder.comDemine probability calculator (XP)

25. Illegal Clicking Techniques

Version: All versions

Change your mouse settings to reduce effort and save time. For example, a cell normally opens when you press and release the left mouse button but "Elmar Technique" is a NF method where you change the mouse to open cells on both pressing and releasing. Other methods involve modifying your mouse or your machine to automatically perform certain moves.

2008-04-20Minesweeper WikiElmar Technique

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