How to run old incompatible programs or apps in Windows 10

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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Sometimes doubts arise such as what the process is to install a 32-bit program on a 64-bit Windows computer or how run old incompatible programs or applications in Windows 10. In relation to old programs, today we will show you the simplest methods of running them.

Steps to run incompatible programs or applications in Windows 10

The compatibility options that Windows 10 presents to us are various, although the most basic and which usually works in the best way, is the "Compatibility mode". Through this mode it is possible to run a program with the necessary compatibility dependencies for old operating systems.



The appropriate thing would be to select the operating system for which the old application incompatible with Windows 10 was prepared. In most cases, doing this configuration allows old programs to run. But first, it is necessary enable compatibility mode.

Enable compatibility mode for older operating systems

The process is very simple, you just have to go to the program's executable or shortcut. Once located, right click on it and select the "Properties" option. Here are all the direct access or executable configuration options this time you have to click on "Compatibility".

Go to the “Compatibility Mode” tab and enable the option "Run this program in compatibility mode for:". Now you need to select the most suitable operating system for the application you want to run. Click on the “Apply” option and then click on “OK”.

By performing the above process, you will be able to run old programs in most circumstances, being the best option recommended in such cases.

Options present in the Windows compatibility options

Compatibility mode is not the only one in the "Compatibility" tab of Windows. In fact, there are other options you can consider that can help you run old programs.



  • Reduced color mode: la mode reduced color it can help you run very old applications. Therefore, if you have an application prior to 1995, try enabling one of these options if it doesn't work properly.
  • It works with a screen resolution of 640 X 480: old applications ran at a much lower resolution than current ones. For this reason, enabling this low-resolution mode may help with some applications.

More options to run incompatible programs in Windows 10

In addition to the daily compatibility options, you can also try others methods for running older programs. Try the following in case the compatibility options above don't work.

Run as administrator

It may seem like a very simple option, but many times a program does not work correctly, because it requires administrator permissions. Fortunately, this solution is very simple. To run a program as an administrator, you need to right-click on the executable and select the option "Run as administrator".

Note that most of the time when running a program as an administrator, Windows will ask us for a confirmation. All you have to do is accept the request and this way you can check if the program is working properly.

If instead you want to configure the execution of programs as administrator permanently, you can enter the compatibility menu as we have shown you before. There select the option "Run this program as an administrator" and save the changes.


Use emulators / virtual machines

If none of the above worked, there is always a chance to use a virtual machine. To do this, you need to install Windows in a virtual machine. Keep in mind that you can install any operating system in a virtual machine and in most cases run programs without problems.


It is also recommended that you know the basics, such as how to increase the size of the hard disk in a virtual machine. This may also help you install many old applications that are incompatible with Windows 10


In turn, if you do not want to complicate yourself so much, remember that there is the possibility of running Android applications on a PC, this also applies to programs from other operating systems. For this reason it investigates for check if there is an emulator, which always makes things easier.


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