How to change the compatibility mode for apps in Windows 10

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Marie-Ange Demory

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When Windows 10 was released, people were concerned about switching to the new operating system, under the pretext that many programs developed for older versions of Windows are not compatible with the newer ones.

While it is true that many programs are not directly compatible with later versions of Windows, few know that Windows has an option called Compatibility Mode that helps users avoid this gap.

However, putting the program in compatibility mode isn't the only change needed to help run a program, and we will discuss these cases in this text.

How to change compatibility mode settings in Windows 10?

1] Right click on the incompatible program and select Property.

2] Go to Compatibility tab and change the following settings accordingly:

Run this program in compatibility mode on: We could set the program in compatibility mode for the last known operating system with which it worked fine. Check the box "Run this program in compatibility mode on“, Then select the personal mailbox operating system you want to use for the compatibility settings.

Reduced color mode: Previous versions of Windows (especially Windows XP) did not have as many color settings as there are newer versions, which confuses the incompatible application.

It works at a screen resolution of 640 x 480: If you remember, previous versions of Windows supported a screen resolution of 640 x 480 and most applications had the same aspect ratio. This is where it would be useful to run a program in 640 x 480 mode.

Ignore the high DPI scaling behavior: As mentioned in this reference

, a high DPI causes problems when running many programs. We could use this option to override it, and interestingly enough, it's just as useful for newer apps, tailored for Windows 10.

Disable full screen optimizations: The operating system allows graphics to wrap around to fit the entire Windows screen. However, it distorts applications that are not compatible with this provision, especially older applications.

Use the program's compatibility troubleshooter

While the options mentioned above are good enough to help run any program in compatibility mode, we never know where the error is and which setting would work. Therefore, Windows 10 has a built-in program compatibility troubleshooter.

1] Search "Run the program created for previous versions of Windows. “Open the option that appears.

2] In the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter window, select problematic program from the drop-down menu and run the troubleshooter. I would ask for a few more details, which is quite understandable.

3] Once done, start again the system.

I hope this helps!

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