Application Compatibility Issues in Windows 7

Before you start

Objectives: learn how to use compatibility troubleshooter in Windows 7.

Prerequisites: you have to be familiar with different features in Windows which can be used to manage application compatibility issues.

Key terms: compatibility, windows, case, program, settings, option, issues, problems, troubleshoot

Compatibility Troubleshooting

In our example we have a program called COMREG which has some problems running in Windows 7. The first thing we will try is to troubleshoot compatibility. To do that we will right-click it and select the “Troubleshoot compatibility” option. The troubleshooter will scan the application and see if it the problem can be fixed.

 Troubleshooting Options

Troubleshooting Options

In our case we have two options. The first option is to try recommended settings. Let’s choose that option now.

 Windows XP Compatibility

Windows XP SP2 Compatibility

Notice that in our case the troubleshooter will apply create environment that corresponds to Windows XP SP2 system. If we choose the second available option (Troubleshoot program), we will be able to troubleshoot the problem ourselves. In this window we can respond to several questions and that will help us to solve compatibility issues. In our case we will select the first three options.

 Noticed Problems

Noticed Problems

When we click next we will be able to choose the version on which the program worked on. In our case we will select the Windows 98 option and click Next.


Windows Versions

On the next screen it will ask us about display problems that we noticed. In our case we will select the transparency issues.

 Display Problems

Display Problems

Once we click Next we will be able to run our program with different settings applied.

 Start the Program

Applied Settings

If we go to the properties of that program, and then go to the Compatibility tab, we will see all the options that were set during troubleshooting.

 Compatibility Tab

Compatibility Tab

So, we can set all those options manually in Compatibility tab of the particular program. By default compatibility settings will be saved for single user. If we want to force those settings for all users on the computer we can click the “Change settings for all users” button. Note that some applications won’t work even if we set compatibility modes. If that is the case we can take advantage of the Windows XP Mode in Windows 7, which is actually a virtual Windows XP machine.