Microsoft keeps launching windows based operating systems (OS) so frequently that one might find it difficult to keep track of the speed of this evolution. The computer market that started with MS-DOS about three and a half decades ago is now hit with Windows 8, the newest operating system from Microsoft. This sounds great but there is still a sizeable number of PC users out there in the globe who didn’t even had a chance to try out Windows 7 yet.
Besides, it’s not only the operating system one has to worry about, as every time you install a new operating system you have to migrate all your applications to this new operating system. You might be tempted to look at what more Microsoft is offering this new OS, on another hand, there is the concern due to the possibility whether some of your old programs would be compatible with the new OS or not. And if not compatible, you might have to walk those awkward paths to make your program work again with the new Windows operating system – you have just got loaded your PC with.
Why this is so important? Is because it might be a case you have spent so much time to learn a software application, and you are so comfortable with it, and you don’t want to lose this education. All of a sudden, if a program stops working in synchronization of your new OS, very likely you may find yourself disappointed, as many of your tasks might have halted due to this. You may even feel like going back to where you were, before installing the new OS.
Microsoft probably has also thought about this issue seriously, and as a result, in their new operating systems, they have integrated a feature to tackle the program compatibility issue more effectively. If you belong to this category of people, finding yourself in a situation with a non-functioning program, you may try this approach to see if you can bring that program back to life again. This feature, even though does not guarantee that all such incompatible programs will work, it is often the case that more than two out of three times, is worth giving it a try. You might end up with a properly functioning program that was sleeping for a while, with just a few mouse clicks.
How to Run Old Windows Based Programs in Windows 7?
- First of all, go to your start menu and head directly to the control panel, normally present at the right hand side of your system’s start menu. You will reach the control panel screen as shown in image 1 below. Then click on “find and fix problems” as shown by the arrow key.
- This will bring up the next screen as shown in image 2 below. Here just go ahead and click on “Run programs made for previous versions of Windows” as shown by the arrow key.
- This will make the system to scan for all the programs installed in your machine and to present you with a list of all these programs as shown in image 3 below. Here you will see all the programs recognized by your windows OS (Windows 7 in this case), including the ones that are not working at the moment due to incompatibility issue.
- For example, as shown in the above screen by the arrow symbol, let’s consider Adobe Photoshop is not working due to compatibility issue. Select this program and then hit next. It will pop up another screen with two options as shown below in image 4.
- Let’s try the recommended settings options as shown by the arrow key and let the system itself figure out the standard settings required for this program to run. If you take the other route, the 2nd one in the list, it might be too demanding, as in that case, you have to face a short interview conducted by the system, and answer the questions appropriately. That’s why I recommend, better to let the system use its own intelligence and figure out what configuration changes should be made for this program.
- After you have chosen recommended settings, at this stage the system has already changed the settings for this particular program to its suitable compatibility mode. You will be asked to run the program now as shown in image 5 below.
- Go ahead and hit the “Start the program” button as shown by the arrow and see if you get lucky with this one. More often than not, it will make the program work again.
- If by any chance, it doesn’t work, go ahead and try the 2nd option in image 4, as that’s the only option you are left with now. However, in this case you will need to answer the questions correctly the system is going to ask you during this process.
After doing all this, if your program still doesn’t work, you would be better off replacing this old program with a newer version. This could happen occasionally, if this program is a very old 16-bit program that the latest operating systems can’t figure out how to simulate a suitable environment for it to run. If this program was working with your previous version of the windows operating system, you may also consider going back to your old operating system, but that wouldn’t make lot of sense as today or tomorrow you will have to follow the trend or roadmap rather, and upgrade your PC to a new operating system anyway – to keep yourself in sync with this vast advancements in Information Technology.