Open Application Properties to Set Compatibility Mode in Windows

If you recently upgraded to Windows 7, 8, or 10 and find that one of your favorite applications no longer works, but used to work in a previous version of Windows, you may think that you are out of luck.

Fortunately, Microsoft included several features in Windows 7 and newer that enable users to run applications designed for older Windows versions. 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.

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.

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Open Application Properties to Set Compatibility Mode

Open Program Properties Dialog Box

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

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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Set the Compatibility Mode for the Application

Compatibility Mode Options Windows 7

The Properties dialog box for the selected appplication will open.

3. Click to activate the Compatibility tab in the Properties dialog box.

4. Add a check mark to Run this program in compatibility mode for:

5. Click the drop-down menu containing the list of Windows operating systems and choose the operating system you wish to use from the list.

Choose the operating system that the application you are trying to launch in Windows 7 previously worked with.

6. Click OK to save the changes.

When you are ready, double-click the application icon or shortcut to launch the application in compatibility mode. If the application fails to launch or launches with errors, try some of the other operating system modes available.

When compatibility mode fails to successfully launch the application I then recommend that you try the Compatibility Troubleshooter to find out what is causing the application to fail starting.