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How to Run Older Applications on Windows 7 Using Compatibility Mode

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Open Application Properties to Set Compatibility Mode
Open Program Properties Dialog Box

If you recently upgraded to Windows 7 and find that one of your favorite applications no longer works, but previously worked in Windows XP or Vista, you may think that you are out of luck.

Fortunately Microsoft included several features in Windows 7 that enable users to run applications designed for older Windows versions in Windows 7. These features are Compatibility Mode, Program Compatibility Troubleshooter and Windows XP Mode.

Compatibility Mode Allows You to Use Older Applications

This guide will focus on compatibility mode, which allows you to manually choose which mode to run the application on. The troubleshooter and XP Mode will be covered in future articles.

Warning: Microsoft recommends that you do not use Program Compatibility Mode with older Antivirus applications, system utilities or other system programs due to potential data loss and security vulnerabilities.

Check for Updates First

Note: I encourage that you check with the software publisher to make sure you have the latest version of the application available. A lot of compatibility issues can be resolved with a simple update.

You may also find that the manufacturer no longer supports the application for a particular operating system in which case XP Mode may solve your problems.

How to Use Compatibility Mode in Windows 7

1. Right-click the application shortcut or the application icon to open the menu.

2. Click Properties from the menu that appears.

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