How to run old programs in compatibility mode in Windows?

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Philippe Gloaguen
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If you want to run an old program in the Windows operating system, you should read the following guide in which we will talk about How to run old programs in compatibility mode in Windows? This way you can solve any problem you have in relation to software of yesteryear.

The old programs

If you have been using a computer for many years, surely there are some old programs that still attract a lot of attention. Unfortunately, with the passage of time, some problems may arise compatibility with the applications of the past.

In any case, do not worry, since the Windows 10 operating system is designed to solve these problems in most cases. That said, we have prepared a guide with which you can, in most cases, run those old programs you like in this new OS.

How to run old programs in compatibility mode in Windows?

There are several compatibility methods present in Windows 10, below we will discuss the most relevant ones that you should consider if you run old programs.

Compatibility troubleshooter

Windows presents an excellent tool that can solve many problems related to the compatibility of old programs. To enable this option, all you need to do is click with il right mouse button on the executable of that old program you are having trouble with, then select the option "Solve compatibility problems".

Once this option is selected, the system will guide you through the process of troubleshooting problems related to running old programs. Either way, there are other options you can configure to your liking.

Compatibility modes found in Windows 10

The first tab of the compatibility section will show the so-called “Compatibility mode” which represents a set of options integrated into the Windows 10 operating system, with which it is possible to run programs in compatibility mode for old operating systems.

It is undoubtedly one of the better compatibility options found in Windows 10, as it allows you to run programs designed for operating systems such as Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista or even Windows 7. It is a highly recommended option if you are using applications designed for those operating systems.

Manual settings for compatibility with old programs

You will be able to access the manual compatibility configuration options, by right clicking on the program you want to run, then you need to go to the properties and finally select the "Compatibility" section. Here you will find the following options.

Run with 256 colors

Typically, HDR color can be enabled and configured in Windows 10. However, many older programs used it reduced color settings compared to today's standards. It is for this reason that if you are using a fairly old program, you may need to enable this configuration option.

Run at 640 × 480 screen resolution to run older programs in compatibility mode in Windows

It is quite common for older programs to run at lower resolutions than current ones. One of the most common resolutions and one that has long represented the standard was × 640 480. By enabling this option, you will be able to adjust the screen resolution while the application is running.

Disable visual themes

Modern operating systems have many visual configuration options, which improve the overall appearance of the operating system. In any case, these many times can represent an incompatibility problem with old applications, so it is advisable to disable visual effects in Windows 10 to avoid the problem.

Disable desktop composition to run old programs in compatibility mode in Windows

Much like the previous look, the Windows environment has changed over time, allowing you to customize the desktop theme and background, essentially on the desktop. Enabling this option will disable these levels of customization while using the old program.

Disable screen scaling if using high dpi settings

Setting the high dpi can be very convenient in modern applications and at the general operating system level. In any case, this function is intended for high resolution screens as well as programs that allow this functionality. If you are experiencing visual problems while running older applications, you may want to enable this option.

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