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Windows 7: How to solve the compatibility issue

Have you ever had problems with running programs or apps in Windows 7? Older programs might not be compatible with new Windows operating system, but how to work around this?

There are two ways to solve this issue. First, you can run a program or app in a specializer compatibility mode. Second, in some versions of Windows 7, you can run a program in Windows XP Mode. Both ways are discussed below.

Compatibility setting

Windows offers a possibility to run older programs in a specialized compatibility mode. This mode automatically checks and fixes errors and problems which might arise when using the program. How to use this mode?

Open the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type troubleshooter, and then click Troubleshooting. Under Programs, click Run programs made for previous versions of Windows.


You will see a list of programs and then select the one you want to run. If you are using the troubleshooter for the first time, we recommend using one of the recommended settings available. Or select the run the program using settings from a previous version of Windows option and follow the instructions.


To change compatibility settings manually for a program, right-click the program icon, click Properties, and then click the Compatibility tab.

Custom settings

To set your custom compatibility settings, right-click the program icon, click Properties, and then click the Compatibility tab. Select the run this program using settings from a previous version of Windows and choose the version you want to use. Confirm the changes by clicking OK and the program should work correctly.


Do not use these options for older antivirus software, disc tools and other system programs. Doing so might lead to a loss of data or a security breach.

Windows XP Mode

If you are still having trouble running some programs and you are using Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise, you have another option how to solve the compatibility issues—the virtual Windows XP Mode. It is a classic, virtual installation of Windows XP using a free virtual software tool called Virtual PC.

In Windows 7, you can open a window, in which you can run Windows XP normally, as if it was installed on your computer. And you can run all programs you are having troubles with in this virtual version of Windows XP.

The development of new operating systems is a natural course for any software company. But the users usually get used to working with older programs which are not supported by the newer operating systems anymore. That is why Microsoft tries to solve the program compatibility issue. We hope that this article will help you to solve any troubles you are having with compatibility.

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