How to Run Old Programs in Windows 11 & 10

You can enable app compatibility mode in Windows 11 and 10 to run old programs seamlessly. Here is how to do it in simple steps.

One of the best things about Windows is that you can run almost any program you want as long as it is designed for the operating system. It doesn’t matter if the program is old or now. One of the main reasons is that Windows is backward compatible, for the most part.

However, some applications or apps might not run in Windows as they should under certain circumstances. This is especially true if the applications are purposefully designed to run in older Windows versions. There are several reasons, like dependency issues. For example, suppose an application is specially designed for Windows 7; it might not run or show errors in newer versions like Windows 11 and 10 because it did not find a specific dependency file.

The good thing is, if there ever are app compatibility issues, you can enable app compatibility mode in Windows 11 and 10. Once enabled, you can run old programs in Windows without problems.

If you are wondering, it is straightforward to turn on the compatibility mode in Windows 11 and 10. So, without further ado, let me show you how to enable app compatibility and run old programs in Windows.

Note: The steps shown below will work in Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11.

Run old programs in Windows

To run old programs in Windows 11 and 10, you must enable the application compatibility mode. i.e., turn on the app compatibility for the application you are trying to run.

  1. Find the EXE file of your application.
  2. Right-click on the EXE file.
  3. Choose the “Properties” option.
  4. Go to the “Compatibility” tab.
  5. Select the “Run this program in compatibility mode for” checkbox.
  6. Choose the compatible operating system from the dropdown menu.
  7. Click the “Ok” button.
  8. Double-click the EXE file to install or use the application.
  9. You can now run the old program in Windows 11 and 10.

First, find the application’s EXE file you want to run in compatibility mode. For example, I have an older program that only works in Windows 7 and older versions. Next, right-click on the application’s EXE file and choose the “Properties” option.

open file properties

Windows will open the file properties window as soon as you choose the option. Go to the “Compatibility” tab in the Properties window.

Once you are here, select the “Run this program in compatibility mode for” checkbox.

This action will show an additional compatibility dropdown menu. Choose the older operating system of your choice or as needed. Click the “Ok” button to save the changes.

app compatibility mode - run old program in compatibility mode in Windows 11 and 10

That is it. With that, you are done enabling and setting up the app compatibility. Double-click on the app’s exe file to install or start using it. If you are still facing compatibility problems, choose another version from the compatibility dropdown menu.

As you can see, it is pretty easy to enable compatibility mode and run old programs in Windows 11 and 10.

I hope this simple and straightforward Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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