Make older programs compatible with this version of Windows

Most programs created for earlier versions of Windows will work in this version of Windows, but some older programs might run poorly or not at all. You can run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter on most programs to help detect and fix common compatibility problems.

Run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

  1. In the search box, type run programs.
  2. Select Run programs made for previous versions of Windows, and then select Next.
  3. Choose the program you want to fix. If you don't see the program in the list, select Not Listed.
  4. Select Next, and then follow the instructions in the troubleshooter.

If the troubleshooter can't fix the problem, try changing compatibility settings manually.

Change compatibility settings manually

These steps will not work with apps that come with Windows, or with apps you get from the Windows Store.

  1. In the search box, type the name of the program, right-click the search result, and select Open file location.
  2. Right-click the program icon, select Properties, and then select the Compatibility tab.
  3. Select one or more of the settings (see the table below for more info).
  4. If you want to apply the settings for that program to all accounts on the PC, select Change settings for all users.
  5. Administrator permission required
     You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.
  6. When you're done, select OK.

Compatibility mode Runs the program using settings from a previous version of Windows. Try this setting if you know the program is designed for (or worked in) a specific version of Windows.
Reduced color mode Uses a limited set of colors in the program. Some older programs are designed to use fewer colors.
Run in 640 × 480 screen resolution The recommended setting if the graphics for the program appear jagged or are rendered improperly.
Disable display scaling on high DPI settingsTurns off automatic resizing of programs if large font sizes are used. Try this setting if large-scale fonts are interfering with the appearance of the program.
Enable this program to work with OneDrive filesThe recommended setting if the program can't see or open files on OneDrive. Note: when large files are being downloaded there may be a long delay, with no progress bar reflecting the download.
Run this program as an administratorSome programs require administrator privileges to run properly. If you aren't signed in to your PC as an administrator, this option is unavailable.
Change settings for all usersLets you choose settings that will apply to all users on this computer.


Article ID: 15078 - Last Review: Aug 31, 2016 - Revision: 27