Article ID : 00020394 / Last Modified : 03/29/2019Print

How to launch an older application that has compatibility issues running in Windows 8.

    Microsoft retained the Compatibility Mode feature, popular in previous Windows versions, to allow older application to operate in the Windows 8 operating system. Follow these steps to launch an application in Compatibility Mode.

    IMPORTANT: The Compatibility Mode feature is only available with programs that open in the traditional Windows Desktop interface. The new Windows User Interface (UI) only supports apps designed to run in that interface.

    1. Point to (but do not click) the lower-right or top-right corner of the screen, and then click to select the Search charm. Image

      NOTE: The Windows Logo + Q key combination will also take you to the Search screen.

    2. In the Search screen, right-click the Desktop application you wish to launch in Compatibility Mode, and from the menu click Open File Location.
    3. In the Windows Explorer window that opens, right-click the highlighted file, and from the menu click to select Properties. Image
    4. In the [Application Name] Properties window, click the Compatibility tab.
    5. On the Compatibility tab, click to place a check in the box next to Run this program in compatibility mode for, and then click the down arrow to select the appropriate operating system from the drop down list. Image


    • The appropriate operating system to run the selected application in compatibility mode will depend on the program. Refer to the Users Guide for the application or contact the application manufacturer for further assistance.
    • If an application still does not work properly when run in the Compatibility Mode, contact the application manufacturer for further assistance or to obtain a new version of the application.