[How To] Use Compatibility Mode in Windows 7


One nice feature that makes Windows 7 appealing is its much improved application compatibility. If you have an application that doesn’t run in Windows 7 by default. The first thing you should try is the compatibility mode, which offers two methods.

Compatibility Mode #1

Right click on the program’s icon and go to the Compatibility tab, and lie to the program about which version of Windows you are running. This isn’t actually a lie, it patches up APIs and generally makes things friendly for the old application. image If this doesn’t help, try the method #2.

Compatibility Mode #2

Type in “compatibility” in the Start Menu and select Run Program made for previous version of Windows, which launches Program Compatibility wizard. And then you walk through a Wizard, explaining what worked before, and it will suggest what it can do about it. See a simple example below, imageimageimage Try the recommended settings first, and troubleshoot program second. image Most of the time, you should now be able to run the application that doesn’t run in Windows 7 naturally. However, if you still don’t have that luck, try the new XP mode.



  1. Unfortunately, if you don't have the driver for your Windows 7 you may be out of the luck. Even if you can find the Vista driver that may still work but if the vendor only provides you the driver up to XP, you may be out of the luck.

    Microsoft does pretty good job providing drivers for a wide-range products but some of the products are just too old to be run on Windows 7, I guess.

    Sorry, no real solution here.


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