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2,851 Tutorials

How to ensure software compatibility in XP

XP causes compatibility headaches too

Compatibility issues have been a major concern since Vista's launch in early 2007. But XP isn't innocent in all this. It, too, has it's own fair share of conflicts and, equally, tricks to get around them.

1. XP is not without its compatibility issues when using older programs. Getting them to run smoothly in XP requires a different approach (which can also be used in Vista). Locate the problem program, right-click its icon and select Properties from the menu that’s displayed.

Step 1

Step 1

2. In the dialog box that appears, click the Compatibility tab. This menu displays options that can affect how older programs run. The most important of these is the drop-down box under Compatibility mode. Tick the box next to ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for’, then select an operating system.

Step 2

Step 2

3. In other cases, as with Vista, it may be that display settings are preventing programs running properly. In most cases, the issue can be resolved by selecting the option to ‘Disable visual themes’. For an older program it may still be possible to get things working by selecting 256 colours or VGA resolution (640x480).

Step 3

Step 3

4. XP, like Vista, also has a Program Compatibility wizard. Go to Start, Programs, Accessories and select Program Compatibility wizard if it’s listed there. If it isn’t, access the wizard via Start, Help and Support. Once started, follow the steps we listed for making programs work under Vista.

Step 4

Step 4

See also:

How to make programs work with Vista

How to upgrade your Vista drivers

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