How-to: App compatibility

To run old applications in Windows 10 it is possible to set the compatibility options under File Properties > Compatibility.

This is a per user setting stored in the registry, so it will only work for executables on the local hard drive not on a network drive. It also will not work for protected files delivered as part of the OS such as notepad.exe. It is possible to make a copy of a system file and set the properties on that, or to create a shortcut and set the shortcut properties.

All of the settings in the Compatibility tab can also be set directly via the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers
or for all users:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

It is important to specify the options in the correct order, the sequence in which the options are displayed in the compatibility tab.

Syntax Windows 10:
   ~ [Privilege Level] + [Settings (value(s) with space between)] + [Compatibility Mode (only one)]

Privilege Level (pick only one or none) :

    ELEVATECREATEPROCESS  = Launch a child program as Administrator  (Vista only)  
    RUNASADMIN            = RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR

Settings:

    256COLOR     = Reduce color mode (8-bit 256 colors)
    16BITCOLOR   = Reduce color mode (16-BIT 65536 colors)
    640X480      = RUN IN 640X480 RESOLUTION
     
    PERPROCESSSYSTEMDPIFORCEOFF  Override system DPI @Windows logon  (Win10 build 17063)
    PERPROCESSSYSTEMDPIFORCEON   Override system DPI @Application start  (Win10 build 17063)
    HIGHDPIAWARE       Disable Display Scaling on High DPI Settings - Scaling performed by: Application
    DPIUNAWARE         Scaling performed by: Application   (Win10 build 15002+)
    GDIDPISCALING DPIUNAWARE     Scaling performed by: System (Enhanced)  (Win10 build 15002+)

Compatibility Mode (pick only one) :

    WIN95
    WIN98
    WINXPSP2
    VISTARTM
    VISTASP1
    VISTASP2
    WIN7RTM
    WIN8RTM

Example

Set WinXP compatibility for a program running under Windows 10 and Run as Admin (elevate):

~ RUNASADMIN WINXPSP2

“It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards” - Lewis Carroll

Related:

Elevate - Run with elevated permissions (As Admin).


 
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