Tutorial: Run old games and programs on Windows 8 with this how-to

In this tutorial we are showing you how to properly run old games and programs on Windows 8
running old games




Up gradation from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is far more pain-free, than up gradation from Windows XP to Vista, or Vista to Windows 7. There were some compatibility headaches while running some old programs or games in Windows Vista or even in Windows 7. Despite of having attractive metro interface and metro apps Windows 8 has more or less same salient features like Windows 7. So it is expected that there will be no compatibility issue in running those programs which are compatible with Windows 7.

Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO said at the Worldwide Partner Conference 2011,
“The gateway to get to Windows 8 is Windows 7, and we will have backward compatibility with Windows 7 embedded into Windows 8. That’s something that we’re very committed to. But that’s a really important first pillar.”

But you may face compatibility issue while running some old programs or games, which were meant to be run only on Windows Vista or XP. In that case follow these steps to solve the problem.

Steps to run Old programs and games

Compatibility issue can be appeared during the installation of any old program, during the execution (run) of a old program, or in both of the situations. Here, old version of “Connectify” (compatible with XP service pack 2 or 3) application has been chosen to describe the steps.

1. First of all click on the setup file of the program that you want to install. If the version of the program is not compatible with Windows 8 “Program Compatibility Assistant” dialog box will appear. Click on “Run the program using compatibility setting” . Now, the installation process will start.

 Compatibility During Installation

2. After the installation process is finished, try to run the program. You will see the same compatibility problem what you have experienced during the installation process.

3. Now, right click on the game or program icon (here, connectify icon) in your desktop and click on Properties option. New Properties window will pop up. Navigate to Compatibility tab.

 Right Click and Select Properties

 Select Compatibility Tab

4. Now, if you know the exact compatibility mode for running the game or program, first check “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” box and then select desired Compatibility mode from the dropdown list. Then press “Apply” and then “OK”.

Manually Change Compatibility Mode

5. If you are confused in choosing a compatibility mode for an old program or a game, click on the Recommended Option“Run the compatibility troubleshooter to choose the settings”.

Recommended Option

6. Program compatibility Troubleshooter window will pop up. Now click on Try recommended settings option.

Try Recommended Settings

7. Window will automatically choose a compatibility mode for the game or the program. Here you can see program name (here connectify) and the compatibility mode (here XP service Pack 3) applied by windows troubleshooter.

8. Now, click on “Start the Program” option.

 Start the Program

Now, the program or game should run properly in compatibility mode.
8. Finally, click on Yes, save the settings for the program option to save the compatibility mode settings for that particular program or game.

 Save Settings

Follow these steps to run any other old programs or games to install and run on Windows 8.

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Tutorial: Run old games and programs on Windows 8 with this how-to 2.8/5 (57%) 6 votes



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4 Responses

  1. Bruce Ramos said:

    I just spent $1700 on a new computer and Windows 8 is not compatible with ANY of my games that worked fine in XP. How can you put out a new OS and have it be so user unfriendly? I already tried to use the compatibility procedures and none of the games will install. Is it possible to dump Windows 8 and install XP?

  2. disappointed said:

    So, basically, your how-to is a tutorial for the windows 8 compatibility wizard?

    Thank you for showing us how to click “next” a few times only to find out the program is still broken.

  3. sOliver said:

    The only other way to run old games is to use DOSBOX or Virtual PC – so if the method above does not work try that

  4. Jeanne said:

    Windows 8 is the most unfriendly, worst program yet. NONE of my old games and other items work – they don’t even show up. Almost impossible to get to a semi-friendly user screen. If my 5 year old computer hadn’t died I would never have bought this – didn’t have a choice about loaded program. Terrible program.

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