How to change the Windows compatibility mode

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

In the Windows operating system, software can be run using compatibility mode so that it can run as if it was running in an older version of Windows. Older software programs, designed for use in a specific version of Windows, may require compatibility mode to be used. Without it, the software will not run or experience multiple errors or functionality problems.

To turn on or change compatibility mode for a software program, follow the steps below.


Compatibility mode is not available for all software programs. If you do not see the Compatibility mode option for your software program, it is not available and can only be run in the current version of Windows on your computer.

  1. Find the executable file or shortcut file for the software program.
  2. Right-click on the executable or shortcut file and select Properties in the pop-up menu.
  3. On the Properties window, click the Compatibility tab.
  4. Under the Compatibility mode section, check the Run this program in compatibility mode for box.
  5. In the drop-down box below the checkbox option, select the version of Windows to run the software program under, for compatibility.
  6. Click the OK button to save the settings.

Compatibility Mode