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Support – FAQ

Q: I was asked a user name and password when I wanted to download the full version, update or an additional module, but I do not have this information
A: This information is sent via e-mail at the time you register your program. If you have registered but you do not have this information please e-mail to and give us some details of your order (your name, at least).
MPORTANT: Please make sure that your ISP or spam mail filter does not block e-mail from or addresses since support e-mail normally proceeds from these domain names (and not necessarily from

Q: Where should I enter the registration information I received?
A: If Four Winds is not yet running, start it by clicking the Windows Start button, Programs, Four Winds and Four Winds Mah Jong 2 (you may also have the program icon on your Windows desktop, in which case you can start Four Winds simply by double clicking the shortcut icon). After Four Winds is started, choose Register on the Help menu (menu bar is below the title bar and has the following menu commands: File, Game, Options, View and Help). 

If you still not have installed Four Winds on your system, please download the setup packet first and install the game.

Q: My registration number is not working.
A: Check from the About box (accessed by choosing About Four Winds on the Help menu) that you have version 2 or later (instead of version 1.x). Note too that both fields in the Registration dialog box are case sensitive. Please enter the registration information exactly as it appears in the registration leaflet (or message you received after having registered your version).

Q: The game does not allow me to customize the rules even if I have registered the program.
A: Please quit the ongoing game, if applicable, then choose Preferences on the File menu and choose "Customized" from the Rule presets list.

Q: Why should I register the program?
A: To be able to play complete games, save your games and to use alternative graphics. And first of all, because it is the right thing to do, rewards us for doing a good job and encourages us to continue the development!

Q: The game is too fast (the discards disappear too soon).
A: You can specify the discard delay (the time a discarded tile stays visible in the discard slot) on the Gameplay option page of the Preferences dialog box. You can also turn a timer-based game completely off by specifying 0 as the value of discard delay – in this case you must explicitly indicate that you do not want a discard by clicking the game board.
Notice too that you can use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse. E.g., to claim a tile, press the spacebar. The message line at the bottom of the game board displays shortcuts you can use in different game situations. Keyboard shortcuts are also listed in the online Help – choose Keyboard Shortcuts on the Help menu. 
Note too that by choosing Game Controls on the General option page of the Preferences dialog box, you can customize the most important mouse and keyboard operations.

Q: The game is too slow (I do not want to wait for 5 seconds each time a computer player discards a tile).
A: The default game mode in Four Winds is "realistic" in a sense that the program will not make decisions for you – instead, you must realize yourself when you have a chance to claim a tile and then need to claim the tile by clicking the discarded tile while it is visible in the discard slot. If you do not want to claim a tile, you should click the game board to "accelerate" the game (tell that you do not want to claim the tile).
On the other hand, Four Winds also supports "auto-accelerated" games, in which case the computer stops for user input only in a situation where you actually have a chance to claim a tile and in all other situations automatically passes a discard. To turn this mode on, check the Auto-accelerate box on the Gameplay option page of the Preferences dialog box.

Q: Why is there a few second’s pause after I have discarded a tile and before the tile disappears from the discard slot?
A: By default Four Winds allows you undo your last discard. Undoing is performed by clicking the discarded tile while it is visible in the discard slot. You can accelerate the game by clicking on the game board – that releases the tile immediately. On the other hand, if you do not wish to use the Undo feature, you can turn it off by clearing the Undo box on the Gameplay option page of the Preferences dialog box.

Q: I find constant game messages in a message box disturbing. 
A:  Choose Show Messages on the Options menu to clear the check mark beside the command. Now most of the game messages are displayed on the status bar instead of a message box.

Q: I am playing Four Winds on a tablet device but I find it difficult to play the game on my device. 
A:  Choose File > Preferences and and under User Interface > General tab, check Touch screen friendly. This alleviates certain problems that can exist when playing the game on tablet devices (especially smaller devices). You can also try if changing to one of the four basic boards (under View > Gameboards) with larger tiles allows better playability. It is also advsiable to switch to tablet mode (on Windows 8 and 10) whenever using a touch device since it supports e.g. automatic display of soft keyboard whenever user input is required.

Q: The text and graphics are very small on my display. 
A:  Starting from version 2.15 Four Winds no longer informs the system to be dpi-aware. This means that you can use Windows 8 and 10 app scaling features to support ultra-high resolution displays and adjust the text and graphics to fit the screen. You can also separately determine size of e.g. menu font, etc., which may be necessary when running the game e.g. on small tablet devices.
Note: In previous Windows versions app scaling was only partially supported, e.g. to increase the font and control sizes, and this often resulted in poor results, which is why Four Winds supports internal adjustments instead of accepting system-based user-interface scaling. If you run the game on Windows 7 or earlier, and need interface adjustment, and use Four Winds version 2.15 (or later), you should enable internal scaling by using application icon properties. To do that, right click on Four Winds program icon on Windows desktop and choose Properties. Then on Compatibility tab, make sure that Disable display scaling on high DPI settings is checked. This allows Four Winds to perform its internal scaling. But when using Windows 8 or 10, you should turn off (uncheck) this setting and allow system to do the app scaling, instead.

Q: I cannot access the Windows taskbar when playing with Four Winds.
A: Press Ctr+Esc to display the taskbar, or Alt+Tab to switch between current tasks. On a touch device, sweep from left to right from the left edge of the screen to reveal the desktop.
Background: When you play with a game board the size of which matches the screen size (e.g., when the size of both is 1280x800 pixels), the taskbar is covered by Four Winds main window. If you need to constantly switch between tasks when you play Four Winds, consider using a smaller game board (the size of the game board can be changed from the View menu), or increasing the size of the screen.

Q: The taskbar covers the bottom of the full-screen Four Winds main window.
A: Press and hold down the Shift key and right click anywhere on the game board, or double click the title bar, or drag and drop the Four Winds window near the top left corner of she screen.  This resets the position of the main window to 0,0 and allows full-screen Four Winds window to cover the taskbar.
Background information: When you play with a game board the size of which matches the screen size (e.g., when the size of both is 1280x800 pixels), the taskbar is covered by Four Winds main window, provided that the window is positioned exactly at 0,0 (top left corner). If you subsequently move the window, the taskbar is shown on top of the Four Winds main window (this behavior is intentional and according to the specifications of Windows operating system).
Note: On certain systems taskbar may remain always on top even if the above described procedure is carried out. In this case it is recommended that you either use a smaller game board or turn off the "Always On Top" property of the taskbar. You can do that by doing the following:

  1. On Windows 10 (and 8), right click an empty spot on Windows taskbar and choose Settings. On earlier Windows versions, right click on empty spot on taskbar, then click Properties on the menu that appears.
  2. On Windows 10 (and 8), enable the option Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode (or tablet mode, if applicable). On earlier Windows versions, click the Always On Top check box to clear it.
  3. Click OK.

Q: I keep on getting identical hands between deals.
A: Please check that your system clock works and is set to the correct date (if the clock is stopped or set to a distant future date – e.g. to year 2083 – the program's random number generator does not work correctly, resulting in identical hands).

Q: "Host a new or saved multiplayer game" option is grayed out in the Multiplayer Game Wizard.
A: Note that hosting a game is supported only in the registered version of the game. Joining, however, is allowed, though only one deal can be played with an unregistered copy of the game.

Q: I have problems in joining or creating a multiplayer game.
A: Please go through the instructions given in the documentation for setting up or joining a multiplayer game. For specific problems related to multiplayer games, you might also want to read the following articles:

Q: Is there a game server I could use to play online against other people?
A: Unfortunately not, at the moment. If you want to play on the Internet, you must have a group of 2 to  4 players, one of which acts as a host (uses the computer to which the other players make the connection to). The hosting player must deliver to joining players his IP address after having created the game session. The joining players must use this IP address when they specify the address of the host. For details, see the instructions in the FAQ questions above.

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