Pc Guide

Windows program compatibility troubleshooting

Program compatibility Windows programs can present problems right from installation, especially if they have not been updated for a long time. Older programs (even if still perfectly working) may show errors when starting the setup, errors at the end of the installation process or not start correctly by pressing the program icon.

Although Windows 11 and Windows 10 are compatible with a large number of programs, we will show you in the guide below how to fix program compatibility problems in windowsusing the compatibility tool (included in the latest versions of the operating system manufactured by Microsoft) or virtual machines.

READ ALSO -> If a program crashes and stops responding, what to do (Windows)

How to use the compatibility troubleshooter

On Windows 11 and Windows 10 we can quickly solve any program compatibility problem by right clicking on the problematic program icon or on the installer that does not start, pressing on the item Property and finally clicking on the tab Compatibility.
Windows compatibility By opening this tab we will have two tools available to solve the problem: the automatic compatibility tool and the manual compatibility tool. The first can be started by simply pressing the button at the top Run the Compatibility Troubleshooterwhich will automatically set the best settings to start the program or installer.

If the automatic tool does not solve the problem, let’s go to the card Compatibility as seen above and check the item Run the program in compatibility mode fortaking care to select in the drop-down menu Windows 7. After activating this item, press down on OK and try running the problematic program or installer again.

Does the program persist in not starting? It is probably very old and needs further settings; to proceed, let’s always go to the Compatibility tab and, in addition to the settings seen a little while ago, activate the check mark on Disable full screen optimizations and select as the operating system to emulate Windows Vista.

How to use a virtual machine

The compatibility system included with Windows may be useful for some older programs, but for others it will never work unless we emulate the entire operating system it was designed on, using a virtual machine. The best program to manage virtual machines is VirtualBoxavailable for free download from the official website.

Before continuing we will have to download the Windows 7 ISO, which is the operating system with the highest compatibility among all versions of Windows. Since this operating system has been out of support for years, we can safely download the ISO using the tool Windows ISO Downloaderavailable from the official website.
Windows ISO Downloader Downloaded this portable tool let’s start it, select the item Windows 7 (August 2018)we select the version to download (for maximum compatibility we recommend Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit), choose the English language and press the button Downloadin order to start the download on our default browser.

At the end of the download, start VirtualBox, press the button at the top Newwe enter as the name of the virtual machine Windows 7, we choose Windows 7 (32-bit) as architecture and confirm the next steps leaving the basic settings.

Now that the virtual machine is ready, select it in the list on the left, press at the top on Start and, using the proposed wizard, we select the Windows 7 ISO image as the boot disk of the machine, so as to be able to install Windows 7 on a ready-to-use virtual machine.

To learn more we can also read our guides Virtual PCs and systems emulation: Linux, Windows and Mac on the same computer and the complete guide to VirtualBox.


All popular programs are compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11, but even now there are free programs on the web that are not updated to run on these systems; these programs could still run on Windows 10 or Windows 11 but if we encounter problems installing or starting up, it is advisable to try one of the methods seen above to solve all the compatibility problems and start any program on our PC.

Let’s not forget that often the incompatibility of a program is due to the lack of the right .NET framework or other indispensable programs, as also seen in our guides Microsoft .NET Framework, fix installation and uninstallation errors e Programs needed on PC to play any game.

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