Run Incompatible Windows XP / Win 7 Programs on Windows 8

Windows 8 is no longer news and despite the criticism it received at the beginning, more and more users are upgrading from Windows 7 to the latest Microsoft Windows operating system. The removal of the start button along with some rather radical changes made a lot of people stick with Windows 7 but one thing I love about Windows 8 that will never made me downgrade was the speed. It was much faster than its predecessor but I, like many other users, had some problems trying to make some software programs work on it.

My USB modem software, for example, was basically made for Windows XP / 7 and neither my operator nor Huawei was quick enough to release an update for Windows 8. That was the first issue I had after updating, some programs were just acting weird.

Of course, there’s an inbuilt feature Windows 8 has that lets you run programs meant for older Microsoft Windows versions smoothly on it in case  they’re not compatible with Windows 8. In most cases, running the program in Windows XP SP3 compatibility mode does the magic but not all Windows users know about this.

How to run Windows XP / Windows 7 Programs on Win 8

This is very simple and it’s recommended if you’ve used the program on a previous Windows version but finding it hard to work correctly or work at all on Windows 8. If you’ve already installed the program, you should first uninstall and follow this simple procedure.

1. Right-click on the installer program and select Troubleshoot compatibility.

compatibility mode in windows

2. On the next page, select Try recommended settings. This allows Windows to automatically choose how best to make the program work correctly.

compatibilty mode in windows

3. Select Test the program and the program should install in Windows compatibility mode that’s going to make the program run correctly.

compatibility mode in windows 8

This works fine most of the times but there are cases it won’t just work. In such situations, you may have to get the latest version of the program upgraded and optimized for Windows 8. But this workaround often works.

Filed Under: Windows

Author: Don Caprio

Don Caprio is a full time blogger / web designer living in Nigeria and apart from blogging, my other obsession is music. I'm a self-confessed Tupac fan, an iOS lover, an Android user, a Windows 8 power user, a writer with a 5-year old unfinished novel... and the list goes on and on. You can add me on Facebook, follow my updates on Twitter or add me to your circles on Google+! By the way, if your blog needs a custom design, you can contact me here...


  1. says

    Nice post. I use win7 & it looks like it also has the compatibility mode option for running older softwares. Will try it when next I need to run an older software. Off topic, Is that a multilinks 3G blueband modem that u use? Which part of lagos do u stay cos I haven’t seen service on mine for almost a year here in Ajah.

    • says

      You’re right, Sommie. It’s Multilinks and it still works here in Oshogbo (Osun) though the network is no longer available in certain parts of the town just like in Ajah.

  2. says

    thanks for writing this! My room mate has windows 8 and we’ve been having this very problem. I’m going to forward this article to her in hopes that it might help. -Samantha

  3. odoyi chuks says

    Good day Don, pls I need your opinion on windows 8. I am a windows 7 advance users and I’m thinking of upgrading to win 8, but I need your professional advice on it. I have read alot of good and alot of negative comments about windows 8, especially regarding d start button option Dat is not included. Pls do I upgrade to win 8 ? Pls give me your professional advice on why I should upgrade or not. Thank you as I await your response. Chuks

  4. Alias says

    My XPS Just Burned Out So I Was Considering Upgrading To A Win8 Laptop, The Compatability Help Seems To Be A Reasonable Solution,If it actually works, which it usually failed to do in earlier versions of windows,so im a bit skeptical still.

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