This guide shows how to run older Windows applications using the program compatibility troubleshooter. compatibility mode helps you run your favorite applications designed for older Windows on newer laptops and PCs. In this article, we will explain the exact steps based on Microsoft’s official troubleshooting guide and discuss each of the compatibility settings.
About Program Compatibility Troubleshooter
Most Windows software designed for older operating systems works well on the latest versions of Windows (but the opposite is not always the case). The main purpose of compatibility troubleshooter is to fix compatibility issues. For example, when your application does not run properly on a newer Windows device. The older your operating system is, such as Windows 7, Vista or XP, the more it becomes necessary to troubleshoot applications in compatibility mode.
To access the compatibility troubleshooter program in Windows, go to “Settings -> Update & Security -> Troubleshoot” and select “Additional Troubleshooters”.
Scroll down to the Additional Troubleshooters settings and launch the compatibility troubleshooter program. This will open a new dialog box.
When the troubleshooter starts, it will look for programs in your Windows 10 system. Give it a few seconds or even one to two minutes.
Locating the program compatibility troubleshooter in Windows 11 is a little different from Windows 10. This requires one less step, as the main window screen does not change. Instead of Settings, go to “Launcher” via “System -> Troubleshoot -> Other Troubleshooters”.
Searching for programs in Windows 11 program troubleshooter is faster and the results are displayed quickly.
Apart from the navigation menu, you can switch to compatibility mode through the Windows 10 or 11 search box or the new Windows 11 Start menu search option. The rest of the steps are the same for Windows 10 and 11.
Run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter on Windows
To run an older program in Windows, first import the program and any of its installation files from an older operating system, such as Windows XP or the latest Windows system.
After the installation is complete, go back and run the compatibility troubleshooter program. Wait for the apps to load and the old installed app to be visible. If your old Windows 7 or XP application is not visible, select Not Listed. Then select the program and click Next to continue.
1- Compatibility Mode: Test the recommended settings
The compatibility troubleshooter program offers two different options for solving compatibility problems, and we will consider both here. First, try Try Recommended Settings, which allows Troubleshooter to apply Windows compatibility automatically based on built-in presets.
The selected application, Picasa 3 in this example, is ready to fix compatibility issues. Click the Test the program button to find out about it. Click Next to run the old program.
Program Compatibility Troubleshooter quickly detects and fixes any problems and tells you if the problem is solved or not! If it was resolved, select “Yes, save the settings for this program” and exit. After this step, you should not face any problem.
If there are still problems, you can select the option “No, try again using different settings”, which in this case, as shown in the next section, you Returns to the second option.
2- Compatibility Mode: Troubleshooting programs
As the second method in Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, select the Troubleshoot program option. This option allows you to have more manual controls on the exact nature of the problem.
Select the exact problem such as “the program opens but does not display correctly” or “the program requires additional permissions”. If you’re not sure about the problem, just select “I do not see my problem listed”.
You will now be presented with a selection of older operating systems for which the application is designed. If you do not remember it, select the “I do not know” option. Once selected, the app automatically creates compatibility with the older version. Now click Next and then you have to test the compatibility settings for the program again.
After completing the above two steps, the older program designed for the older version of Windows should work properly on your newer version of Windows. There are also more advanced compatibility tricks that we will explain below:
3- Using Reduced Color Mode
Today’s computer graphics are much more advanced than the old versions. It is possible that some of your older applications are designed to use a limited set of colors in the palette. This is what causes the screen to become blank or white.
You can reset your old Windows program to “8-bit (256 colors)” or “16-bit (65536 colors)”. To do this, click on the exe file. Right-click anywhere on the computer and go to “Properties -> Compatibility” and then select “reduced color mode” to fix the problem. Apply the changes to save and run the old program again. If it still does not work properly, go to the next compatibility settings.
4- Run with a resolution of 640 × 480
Sometimes display problems in an old program are due to graphics problems, in which case you can click on the exe file. Right-click the application and select “Properties -> Compatibility”. You can select the “640 × 480” screen resolution as shown below.
Compatibility issues should be fixed when you change the resolution of the application to 440 by 640. You may also see the message “Did this program work correctly” in “Program Compatibility Assistant”.
5- Change the high DPI settings
There is another compatibility setting called ” Change High DPI settings ” that fixes any inconsistencies caused by programs that seem too big or too small in Windows.
To do this, go back to “Properties -> Compatibility” and click on “Change High DPI Settings”. As shown in the image, a new dialog box opens. Now select the options fix scaling problems or override high DPI scaling behavior. Both of these options help you make applications less cluttered.
6- Running programs as an administrator (Run as Administrator)
The best way to achieve the proper compatibility of an old program is to always run it as an administrator. This can be done simply from the Start menu or by right-clicking on the exe file. The program did.
7- Change settings for all users
As the last step, apply the program settings to all computer accounts. Even if you are an admin, this allows the app to behave uniformly for all logged-in users.
Frequently Asked Questions
1- How can I take a program out of compatibility mode?
If you are running your program in compatibility mode, the best way is to go to the default executable folder of the program on your Windows computer. Right-click on it and select Properties, then go to Compatibility. You will now see that the Run this program in compatibility mode for Win 8/7 / Vista / XP option is already enabled. You can easily uncheck this option or deselect it to exit compatibility mode.
2. How can I check if a program is compatible with Windows 10?
When downloading an application, make sure you select the settings for Windows 10 only. If you already have a program designed for Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, you will usually find an option to upgrade to Windows 10 in the system tray.
3- How can I check if Windows programs are up to date or not?
You can check the update status of each installed program from the Windows Update menu. There you can select Check for updates. Alerts you if an application needs updating.
As you can see in this guide, most older programs or games perform poorly in newer versions of Windows. Because they are specifically designed for Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP. But with Windows Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, there is always a way to run old programs on your new computer.
Was this article helpful to you? Share your thoughts with us and other DJ readers.