Article ID : 00050512 / Last Modified : 08/29/2013Print

How to run a program or application using Compatibility mode.

    Most programs created for earlier versions of Windows® operating system will work in later versions of Windows, but some programs might run poorly or not at all. If a program written for an earlier version of Windows does not work correctly, try changing the compatibility settings for the program. Follow these steps to change the compatibility settings either by using the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter or manually choosing compatibility settings.

    WARNING: Do not use the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter on anti virus programs, firewall software, backup software or disk utilities.

    Run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter:
    1. Click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.
    2. In the Control Panel window, click Programs.
    3. In the Programs screen, under Programs and Features, click Use an older program with this version of Windows.
    4. In the Program Compatibility window, click the Next button.

      NOTE: You can also open the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter by right-clicking the application icon or shortcut on the desktop, and then clicking Troubleshoot compatibility.

    5. In the Select the program you're having problems with screen, click to select the desired application, and then click the Next button.
    6. Follow the remainder of the instructions in the troubleshooter.

    IMPORTANT: If you cannot install a program, insert the installation disc for the program and in the Program Compatibility window, click to select Not Listed, click the Next button and then browse to the program's setup file, usually called Setup.exe, Install.exe, or something similar. The troubleshooter is not designed to work on programs that have an .msi file name extension.

    Change the compatibility settings manually:
    1. Right-click the application icon or shortcut on the desktop, click Properties, and then click the Compatibility tab.
    2. Select one or more settings described in the following table.



    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 previous version of Windows.
    Run in 256 colors Uses a limited set of colors in the program. Some older programs are designed to use fewer colors.
    Run in 640 × 480 screen resolution Runs the program in a smaller-sized window. Try this setting if the graphics for the program appear jagged or are rendered improperly.
    Disable visual themes Disables themes on the program. Try this setting if you notice problems with the menus or buttons on the title bar of the program.
    Disable desktop composition Turns off transparency and other advanced display features. Choose this setting if window movement appears erratic or you notice other display problems.
    Disable display scaling on high DPI settings Turns off automatic resizing of programs if large-scale font size is in use. Try this setting if large-scale fonts are interfering with the appearance of the program.
    Privilege level Runs the program as an administrator. Some programs require administrator privileges to run properly. If you aren't signed in to your PC as an administrator, this option is unavailable.
    Show settings for all users Lets you choose settings that will apply to all users on this computer.