App compatibility

To run old applications in Windows 7 and 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

Windows 7 and Windows 10 use a slightly different syntax and a different set of compatibility options. 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)

Syntax Windows 7 :
   [Compatibility Mode (only one)] [Settings (value(s) with space between)] + [Privilege Level]

Privilege Level (pick only one) :

    ELEVATECREATEPROCESS  = Launch a child program as Administrator  (Vista only)  


    256COLOR     = Reduce color mode (8-bit 256)    (Win7/10)
    16BITCOLOR   = Reduce color mode (16BIT 65536)    (Win10)
    640X480      = RUN IN 640X480 RESOLUTION    (Win7/10)
    DISABLETHEMES  Disable visual themes       (Win7)
    DISABLEWDM     Disable desktop composition (Win7)
    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  (Win7/10)
    DPIUNAWARE        Scaling performed by: Application   (Win10 build 15002+)
    GDIDPISCALING DPIUNAWARE     Scaling performed by: System (Enhanced)  (Win10 build 15002+)

Compatibility Mode (pick only one) :

    WIN95     (Win7/10)
    WIN98     (Win7/10)
    NT4SP5    (Win7)
    WIN2000   (Win7)
    WINXPSP2  (Win7/10)
    WINXPSP2  (Win7/10)
    WINSRV03SP1 (Win7)
    WINSRV08SP1 (Win7)
    VISTARTM  (Win7/10)
    VISTASP1  (Win7/10)
    VISTASP2  (Win7/10)
    WIN7RTM   (Win7/10)
    WIN8RTM     (Win10)


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


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


Elevate - Run with elevated permissions (As Admin).

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