How To Open an Application in XP Mode

A few very old applications won't run under Windows 7--but you can tweak Windows 7 to act like an older operating system with a few simple clicks.

  1. Right-click the application in question and click Troubleshoot compatibility.
  2. Select Troubleshoot program at the next prompt, and then check I don't see my problem listed (or choose the actual problem if one is a match).
  3. The next screen will ask, ‘Which version of Windows did this program work on before?' Try selecting XP (with Service Pack 3), or venture even farther back to Windows 98 or Windows 95 if you need to.
  4. Click I don't see my problem listed or select the best match again. Windows 7 will then emulate the older OS that you selected to run the problematic application.
  5. Use the Start the program button to test if the program works, and then click Next.
  6. If everything worked, click Yes, save these settings for this program. Otherwise, click No, try again using different settings to give it another shot.

Other common problems with Windows PCs can also be solved with 5-minute fixes.

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