I admit that it took me a while to switch over from Windows XP to Vista and then it took me pretty much no time at all to switch back, may I add.  But when Windows 7 was released, I was all over it.  I don’t really like using any of Microsoft’s OS but I have got to admit it, the guys over in Redmond hit the nail on the head with Windows 7.  Don’t get started on Windows 8 though!

Win 7 and 8

But if you have made the jump to Microsoft’s flagship OS then you will no doubt already be aware that some of your old programs don’t work anymore.  But all is not lost as there are a few tricks you can try.

The issue appears to affect software that has been developed for Window XP more than other operating systems, as XP is very different from Windows 8, but not so different from Windows 7.  In most cases, you should be able to install older programs in both Windows 7 and 8, but upon trying to launch them, you will receive an error message.

If you rely on that legacy software for some reason, you basically have the following two options:

1) Using the compatibility mode in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

2) Using a virtual machine.

The compatibility mode is easy to use and so we will cover that option here.  By using the compatibility mode you can modify the program to fool it into thinking it is using an older version of Windows.

First of all you need to Open Properties of the application, with the right mouse button, click on the program icon and then click Properties.  Next, you need to enable the compatibility mode.  You do this by navigating to the Compatibility tab and enable the compatibility mode box.  You now need to select the desired compatibility mode.  You could select the OS you used to run the software on, but if it still does not work, you can try Vista or Windows 7 instead of Windows XP. Click OK and close the window.  If the compatibility mode does not work, you can try Windows XP mode as the alternative solution.

If that still does not work then you may be looking at installing a VM – Virtual Machine, using software such as Virtual Box.

[Image via:itpro]