How To Use Compatibility Mode Technology in Windows Server 2003

For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see
279792 .



Compatibility modes provide a Windows Server 2003 environment for running programs that closely reflects the behavior of Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Me, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5), or Microsoft Windows 2000. These compatibility modes resolve several of the most common issues that prevent older programs from working correctly with Windows Server 2003. Programs that experience issues after migration may benefit from being started in one of these compatibility environments.

The compatibility-mode technology is currently used in Windows Server 2003 to make sure that there is built-in compatibility for many popular programs. With Windows Server 2003, administrators can manually turn on this technology and use this technology to provide solutions for their own programs. Only administrators can turn on this technology for users.

Use Compatibility Mode Properties

Administrators can use a program shortcut to set the compatibility mode for a target program. To turn on compatibility mode by using a program shortcut:
  1. Log on as Administrator.
  2. Right-click the program shortcut, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Compatibility tab.
  4. Click to select the Run this program in compatibility mode for check box to turn on compatibility-mode support for the program.
  5. Click either Windows 95, Windows 98 / Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5), Windows 2000, or Windows XP compatibility mode in the drop-down box.
  6. Click OK to save the changes.
  7. Double-click the shortcut to run the program.

    WARNING: Be careful if you use compatibility mode to bypass version warnings in Setup or installation programs. Some programs are designed for a specific operating system and intentionally prevent use on later versions. These are most frequently system-level programs that run at a very low level and have the potential to cause serious problems if installed.