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Resolve Compatibility Issues in Windows Vista – Part 1

written by: sammy•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 5/11/2009

Are you having problems running programs in Vista? Here are some tactics on straightening out Vista compatible issues.

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    Installing Windows Vista Compatibility Update

    Vista is one of the most significant upgrades that Microsoft has ever released. Each and every aspect of this operate­ing system has been rewritten to make it better, but this can be a drawback too as all these changes mean some old applica­tions (some favorite game of yours that you loved playing in Windows XP) won't install or run properly on your new Windows setup. If this is the case then your first step should be to look for an update for the program in question. Try searching at Google to find out whether an update for that application exists for Vista. You can also install the official Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update. Installing this update will also improve support for many applications and is worth downloading, even if it doesn't sup­port your program. If nothing works you don’t have to loose your heart because here are some more tricks you can try to solve compatibility issues.

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    Running Applications in Vista’s Compatibility mode

    Go to the shortcut icon of the program you are having problems with. Most likely you will find it either on you desktop or in the Start menu. Now you need to right-click on the icon and select Properties →Compatibility and tick the box next to Run this program in compatibility mode. Now choose a version of Windows this program pre­viously worked with and click OK. Now, when you will launch the program again Windows Vista will try to fool it into thinking it's running under an older version of Windows, hopefully solving the problem. If it doesn't, return to the Compatibility Mode screen, check all the Settings and try running the program again. If you are not able to find an icon for the program, or you need more help, click Start → Control Panel → Programs → Use an older program with this version of Windows. This will launch the Program Compatibility Wizard, which will guide you through the configu­ration process.

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    Run as Administrator

    Windows Vista includes new security settings that may sometimes cause compatibility issues which are annoying but for­tunately very easy to fix. To fix these issues right-click on the icon for your program and select Run as Administrator. This will make the application run without any difficulty as it did in Windows XP. Again, right-click on the program's icon and select Properties → Compatibility and check the Privilege Level box and click OK. This will make the application run properly every time you open it and you don’t have to repeat the procedure again. Running an application as an Administrator is a powerful technique, but you need to keep one thing in mind that it will turn OFF the Windows Vista security for that appli­cation. So only open applications that you completely trust and never try to test this on something you have downloaded from the internet.

Resolving Compatibility issues in Windows Vista

This series covers the compatibility problems faced by common user in Windows Vista and effective tips and tactics to overcome these difficulties.
  1. Resolve Compatibility Issues in Windows Vista – Part 1
  2. Resolve the Compatibility Issues in Windows Vista – Part 2