Windows 10 compatibility with old programs on your PC

Upgrading an OS is not always a smooth process, especially when you have purchased and installed several software on your current version of Windows. Imagine you bought some programs for Photo and video editing, Anti-Virus, PDF editing, etc.. on your Windows 7 PC and now you wanted to upgrade to Windows 10 and in a big dilemma as to what happens to those old programs? Unfortunately, the answer is not simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. You need to completely understand how is Windows 10 different from the earlier versions of Windows, more interestingly Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8.

Windows 10

Windows 10 under the hood

Basically, Windows 10 is same as Windows 7/8.1/8 when it comes to what is under the hood. Microsoft doesn’t change the basic architecture of platform with every version of Windows. For near-by Windows versions, they only apply some tweaks to performance, major changes in UI, and better integration and compatibility with latest technology, devices, and drivers. therefore if programs that you have installed on Windows 7/8 are running smoothly, then you should not have any trouble in Windows 10. Having said that, note that if you had age old programs on Windows XP that were not compatible with Windows 7 in first place, then don’t expect it will magically work in Windows 10.


Windows 10 compatibility mode

The only problems you may see is the incompatibility of programs due to old drivers and hardware, but again, if it was working on Windows 7, they should be compatible with Windows 10 too. However, just like Windows 7 did, Windows 10 also has the awesome backward compatibility mode. By using this feature you can fake and tell the incompatible program that you are using Windows 7, although you are on Windows 10. To do that, you need to right-click on the program or shortcut and go to ‘Properties’.

Click on ‘Compatibility’ tab.

Check the box ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for:’ and select the Windows version where the program was running smoothly. Click ‘OK’.

Windows 10 Compatibility Mode

Windows 10 Compatibility Mode

Now Windows 10 will apply corresponding OS settings only to the selected program and should run without problems.

Get Windows 10 App

On the other hand you can download and  install ‘Get Windows 10‘ app from Windows store and use it to get a report of what programs are compatible to Windows 10 and what not.

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Kiran Kumar

Hi there! Kiran Kumar is an Engineer by profession, and loves blogging primarily on Microsoft Windows operating system and also enjoys reviewing software and products. Currently, he is exploring Windows 10 and you will see a lot of articles on know-how about it. When he is not writing for TWP, he enjoys time with his Family, listens to lot of music, enjoys Biking, and occasionally plays racing games on Xbox One.