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2011-10-18

A+: Application compatibility with Windows versions

Most commercial business applications should run properly on Windows 7/Vista/XP as well as on older versions of Windows. However, some commercial and custom applications designed for older versions of Windows to run properly on Windows 7, Vista or XP, you can use the Program Compatibility Wizard built into Windows, or the Compatibility tab located on the executable file’s properties sheet to run the program in a selected compatibility mode.

To start the wizard in Windows 7 or Vista, click Start, Control Panel and then click the Programs icon. Then, under Programs and Features click the link Use an Older Program with This Version of Windows. This program works essentially the same in 7 and Vista as it does in XP.

To start the wizard in Windows XP, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Program Compatibility Wizard.

Once the wizard is started, you can select from programs already installed on your computer, select the current program in the CD-ROM drive, or browse to the program manually. After you select a program, you can select the version of Windows the program worked best under.


You can select one or more of the following options to aid compatibility:

    • 256 Colors— Many older Windows programs can’t run under 16-bit or higher color depths.

    • 640×480 Screen Resolution— Many older Windows programs use a fixed screen size and can’t run properly on a high-resolution screen.

    • Disable Visual Themes— Many older Windows programs were created before visual themes were common.


After selecting the options, test the program (which applies the settings you selected and runs the program).

After you close the program, Windows switches back to its normal screen settings if necessary, and you can decide whether to use these settings for your software or try others. You can choose whether to inform Microsoft of your settings, and the settings you chose for the program are used automatically every time you run the program.

Keep in mind that the Program Compatibility Wizard won’t work with all old Windows programs; in particular, the wizard should not be used with antivirus, disk, or system utilities that are not compatible with your Windows. Instead, replace outdated applications with updated versions made for your version of Windows.

Microsoft periodically offers Application Compatibility Updates through Windows Update. These updates improve Windows’s compatibility with older applications. If you can’t get an older program to work with Windows now, it might be able to work in the future. To see which programs are affected by a particular Application Compatibility Update, click the Details button on the listing in Windows Update.
As an alternative to the Program Compatibility Wizard, you can apply the same settings by using the Compatibility tab on an executable file’s properties sheet. Use this method if you already know the appropriate settings to use.


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1 Comments:

Blogger Lea said...

"To start the wizard in Windows 7 or Vista, click Start, Control Panel and then click the Programs icon. Then, under Programs and Features click the link Use an Older Program with This Version of Windows. This program works essentially the same in 7 and Vista as it does in XP."

I'm confused - I don't see "Use an Older Program ..." on my Vista Business DT at work. would you mind pointing out what I'm missing?

10:50  

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