Running old program on Windows 11

»» 08.NOV.2021 / updated: ---

Running old program on Windows 11

If you sometimes (rarely or never) want to install a program, or a favorite old game on your computer, because it is very old, you will not be able to start it on Windows 11.

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The good news, though, is that Microsoft engineers have thought of this option as well, so they've integrated a feature you can use to try to run very old programs.

Quick Tip: Running old programs or games poses a serious security risk because they have never been updated to meet the needs of a modern Windows system.

Let's begin:

If you still want to install, you can try two of the methods described below. To run the program in compatible mode, do the following:

1.) – FIRST METHOD: Automatic setting:

A.) – Because you have already tried to install, but failed, now right-click on the old program and click the Properties button at the bottom of the mouse menu that appears.

Properties button

B.) – The Program Compatibility Properties window appears. In the menu above, click the Compatibility button. The contents of the window change.

C.) – Click Run Compatibility Troubleshooter, where Windows 11 will help you determine the correct settings for the old program. Starts the compatibility tool which is built-in Windows.

D.) – In the new window that appears, click the Try recommended settings link.

Recommended settings

E.) – In the next window, press the Test the program button.

Program testing

F.) – If the old program or game (or installation) has started, click the Next button.

G.) – If the program or game did not start, click No, try again using other settings. Windows will try to find other alternative settings and allow you to test them.

alternative settings

If the program does not start with any of the options recommended by the system, you can click No, report the program to Microsoft, and then search the Internet for a solution using Google, where you can find out more through forums.

2.) – SECOND METHOD: Manual setting:

A.) – If you know, the program on which version of Windows was created, in the Compatibility Properties window (opened by the method described above), select the Run this program in compatibility mode for: then click the down arrow and choose the Windows version (if you don't know the version, try another system).

full screen optimization

B.) – In the same window, just below, under Settings, check the box before Reduced color mode and try 8 bits, which is only 256 colors, or 16 bits (65536 colors) because old programs or games generally used fewer colors.

C.) – If it does not work, check the box before Run in 640x480 screen resolution, then below, disable full screen optimization.

D.) – Click the Change high DPI settings button, and in the next window check the box below the DPI Program value, because very old programs were made at low resolution (then there was no HD resolution 1920x1080 or even larger 4K, 8K).

High DPI change

Finally, click OK and return to the previous window, where you click Apply.

Once the old program or game (or installation) has started, you can use it. If it doesn't start or install, look for a solution on the web using Google, where you can learn about other options in the forums.

3.) – THIRD METHOD: Installing the old Windows version on a virtual machine:

Windows 11 is not designed to run old programs or games, but it can help you install them. It is a great idea to create a virtual machine using the Hyper-v utility, which is a feature included in Windows, and then install an old Windows system (XP, Windows 95, Windows Vista, etc.) on the virtual machine, where you can install the old program or game without any risk.

Click on the link below to learn how to create a virtual machine.

Attention: The description is for Windows 10 and Windows 11, but the procedure is similar for old Windows systems (XP, Vista, Windows 7, etc.): Microsoft Windows Hyper-v...