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How Do I Use the Windows® Compatibility Mode to Run Older Programs

July 09, 2012  |  Difficulty: Easy

how to set a compatibility mode

Programs run best on the Windows® operating system version they were designed for, but many programs can run on systems that do not have the exact version by using a compatibility mode. This is typical for older applications and programs. Microsoft Windows® 7 and Windows Vista® enable you to run the installed software in the compatible Windows® version such as Windows® XP or another Windows® version mode, and it will be as if you were running the program on the proper operating system version. In the instructions below, you can learn how to set a compatibility mode for an application.

Setting up compatibility mode for an application:

  1. Right-click on the application’s shortcut or icon and select the “Properties” menu.
  2. Switch to the “Compatibility” tab.
  3. In the “Compatibility mode” section, check the “Run this program in compatibility mode for” checkbox.
  4. Select the operating system you desire from the dropdown menu.
  5. Click on the “OK” button.

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you want to run Windows XP® mode as a virtual machine, follow the instructions in the video on the Microsoft® help page.


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