Run Old Software on Windows 10 with Compatibility Mode

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Microsoft is looking toward the future with Windows 10, but you might have some older program that you still need to use, try Compatibility mode to make it work.

Microsoft launched Windows 10 last year, and it’s a much improved operating system. However, Microsoft is looking toward the future with this version, but you might have some older program that you still need to use, but it doesn’t work correctly.

Most likely, you’ll run into this issue if you upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Luckily, Compatibility mode is still an option in Windows 10 for those older apps that don’t run correctly.

Use Compatibility Mode on Windows 10

Compatibility mode isn’t anything new, but it’s worth revisiting since there are so many old programs out there that might not run correctly on Windows 10.

Right-click your program’s shortcut or the EXE file and then select Properties.

1 properties

When the Properties screen comes up, choose the “Compatibility” tab, then choose which version of Windows you want to use. Then, of course, make sure to click OK so it will always open in the mode you set.


If you’re still having problems getting it to run, you can start the “Compatibility Troubleshooter” and work your way through the wizard. However, I’ve never gotten that to work. Usually, either a program works, or it doesn’t.


As technology continues to develop, some older programs become casualties of innovation. We’ve received that complaint from a lot of readers who use Microsoft Money (Sunset). The issue here is that Microsoft no longer supports it, which holds true for many older programs. Developers stop supporting old programs, and they fall off the radar.

I have a program for my Hauppauge video capture card from ArcSoft that not only isn’t supported, but you can’t even download it anymore. This is because the company stopped maintaining and supporting it. So I have to install it from the CD it came on.

If you’re running Windows 7, make sure to read our article on how to use Compatibility mode in Windows 7. Another option you have (depending on your situation) is to install a VM with a version of Windows that allows the program to work. For more on that, check out some of the options you have to create a virtual machine in one of the articles linked below.



  1. Kay krause

    February 10, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Microsoft system Xperia 32 disappeared . Message on dell computer 9100. Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    (Windows root) /system32/Hal,doll,
    Please re-install a copy of the above file

    I cannot loads or get into mictrsoft.????
    What can I do

  2. jim

    June 26, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Tell me something that everyone already knows. I have an older Autocad that will not install on Win 10. It uses a 16 bit installer. Now, fix that. MS needs an operating system that works. Period.

  3. Floss

    December 24, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I cant get the windows 95 software to install in the first place; is there anyway around this?

  4. AK

    April 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    To Whomever posted this. Thank you sooo much. I’ve almost spent $400 dollars trying to recover full access to my Sage 50 program. And because of this I fixed it myself. How satisfying.

    • Jesse Mac Dougall

      August 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      Eek! That’s a deep rabbit hole bro, Namaste

  5. roger bass

    May 21, 2018 at 9:08 am

    My problem is that the software won’t even load. As I said, this software ran fine on this computer, on Windows 10, until I performed a system restore. Now it gets only part way through the loading and stops, saying that Internet Explorer 6.0 is required, but it can’t be loaded on a 64-bit machine. Makes no sense.

  6. Jesse Mac Dougall

    August 20, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Where is the Windows 10 option?
    I created my first program in Go.
    I am trying to assign a hot key to my program, then I found compatibility mode was Windows 8.
    I am using Windows 10.

    Does this mean Windows doesn’t allow Go Programs to be compatible with Windows 10? Doubt it seems far fetched but I could be wrong.

    What’s The Penguin Logic on that?

  7. Joe

    April 29, 2019 at 7:08 am

    I’ve been running a DOS automotive software program since 1988 at my auto shop, from Windows 3.1 to now Windows 10/32 bit, but still testing the reliability of W10, so just in case there’s problems I can revert back to Windows 7 which I have been using for the past 5 years or so. Yes there have been several automotive Windows programs I’ve tried out through the years but I have got so used to this particular program (Microbiz) that I don’t want to change unless I have no other options. So far W10/32 has been working for the 3 weeks I’ve used it.

  8. Fintan

    April 2, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Thank you. That worked perfectly. I hope it stays like that!!! It was the only problem I had with my new pc. I haven’t bought a computer since 2006. Lots of files to be copied and backed up and this had me pulling my hair out. Thank you again.

  9. Rachel Bussey

    December 14, 2020 at 11:16 am

    I have had Microsoft Home Publishing Express for years. I love it. Easy to use and covers most of what I need for cards, etc. It works on one of my computers, but another one with the same operating system (Windows 10 v.1903) will not open Clip Gallery. The other computer does. Tried to see how my files were installed… looks the same??? Changed compatibility to Windows XP Service Pack 3, but still does not work.

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