Windows 7: How to use Compatibility Mode

May 10, 2011

I have found that most programs work fine in Windows 7, but that is not always the case for everyone. Especially businesses. Many times after an operating system upgrade old programs don’t seem to work like they should.

One quick fix for this is running the program in compatibility mode.

 This may not always work and if it doesn’t then you might need to check out the free virtual xp machine that Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional and Ultimate users have available to them. (I will go over that in a different post.)

 A quick caveat before using the compatibility feature I will show you today. Microsoft states not to use it on disk utilities, system or antivirus programs as it can create a security risk or cause loss of data. Also, prior to resorting to compatibility modes, check to see if there is an update to the program by the vendor or if there are updated drivers for it.

 I have used compatibility mode before with no problems on some older programs.

 In windows 7 the easiest way to set up compatibility mode for the program you are having problems with is to type the program name in the search box of the start menu.

Start menu program properties

Right click on the program under Programs and then click on Properties.


Choose the Compatibility Tab in the window that comes up. On the Compatibility tab under Compatibility mode put a check in the box before Run this program in compatibility mode for:

Compatibility Tab

Then left click on the drop down arrow and choose the version that you want to use to open the program.

Choosing OS version

After that left click Apply and then click OK, or just click OK. The program you have chosen will now run as if it was on a machine with the Operating System version you chose.

I hope this works as well for you as it has for me!


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