Compatibility Mode in XP

Windows XP includes a feature that allows you to run most executables in “compatibility mode” for older Windows distributions. What this means is that you can run a program in a mode that emulates any older Windows distribution that you choose. Doing so can be enormously helpful in troubleshooting certain older program files, particularly older games.

To turn on compatibility mode for a certain older Windows OS, simply right-click the program file (or a shortcut leading to the program file) that you want to run in compatibility mode.

Next, click on the “Compatibility” tab, and check the box next to the text “Run this program in compatibility mode for.” Finally, choose an operating system from the dropdown box, and press “OK.” Now, when the executable is launched, the program will be emulated under the OS that you chose. Note that to turn off compatibility mode, all you have to do is go back to the Compatibility tab and uncheck the box that you previously checked.