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BEST GUIDE: How to Use Older Programs on Windows 10

When a Windows program or application is created, it is created bearing in mind the standards and specifications set forth by the latest versions of the Windows Operating System at the time of its creation. Since that is the case, when a newer version of Windows comes along, such programs and applications either run poorly or don’t run at all. This is also true in the case of Windows 10. Most Windows applications designed for older versions of Windows do work and run properly on Windows 10, but some of them either don’t run at all or run pretty poorly.

Thankfully, Windows accounted for this possibility long ago when it started integrating the ability to make older Windows programs compatible with newer versions of Windows into every single version of the Windows OS that they created. If you’ve been wondering, yes, you can certainly use Windows programs designed for older versions of the Operating System on Windows 10. If an older program fails to run on Windows 10 or runs quite poorly, the following are the two options you have when it comes to being able to successfully and seamlessly use the older program in question on Windows 10:

Option 1: Use the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

The Program Compatibility Troubleshooter is a Windows utility designed specifically for the purpose of analyzing a program, detecting compatibility issues and then fixing them. To use the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter in order to find and fix compatibility issues for a program designed for an older version of Windows, you need to:

Open the Start Menu. Search for the program you want to use.

When the program shows up in the search results, right-click on it and choose Open File Location.

Right click on the program’s executable file, and choose Troubleshoot Compatibility. The compatibility assistant will automatically check and detect program for compatibility issues, once done choose “Try Recommended Settings” and then click Test The Program. The program should open up fine, if it is a compatibility issue. You should then choose the option to Save The Settings.

Note: You should not try running the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter on antivirus programs, firewall programs, system security programs, disk utilities, backup software and stock programs and applications that came with Windows 10.

I have also seen older games not playing due to screen resolution, so if compatibility assistant cannot fix the issue, try experimenting with the screen resolution.

troubleshoot compatibility

Option 2: Run the program in question in Compatibility Mode

If Option 1 doesn’t work or if you like doing things manually rather than letting a troubleshooter handle the problem, you can manually run the older program in question in Compatibility Mode. Running a program in Compatibility Mode simply runs the program using a set of settings and preferences for an older version of Windows, preferably the version of the OS that the program was created for or a version on which you know the program to be fully functional. To run a program in Compatibility Mode, you need to:

Open the Start Menu. Search for the program you want to use.

When the program shows up in the search results, right-click on it and choose Open File Location.

Right click on the program’s executable file and click on Properties. Navigate to the Compatibility Tab

Enable the Run this program in compatibility mode for: option and then open the dropdown menu directly below it and select the version of the Windows Operating System that the program in question was designed for or a version of Windows that you know it runs smoothly on.

Click on Apply. Click on OK.

Try launching the program in question, and it should not only launch successfully but should also run without any complications or issues.

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Option 3: Check with the Program Manufacturer

It does no harm to check with the manufacturer of the program as they may have  updates or patches to make the software/program work with Windows 10.

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BEST GUIDE: How to Use Older Programs on Windows 10

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