How to Run Old Software & Games on Windows 10, 8.1 and 8 with Compatibility Mode?

make older desktop apps run again on Windows 10

After upgrading to Windows 10 you will see that some of your older desktop apps and games get disabled and you can’t run them anymore as they become incompatible with the latest Windows 10 operating system.

This situation is very irritating for users as they get unable to access all the information related to the incompatible apps.

If you are unable to run your desktop items and want to make older desktop apps run again on Windows 10 then you are at the right place, in this blog, you will read how to Old Software & Games on Windows 10, 8.1, 8 with Compatibility Mode?

In this Windows 10 guide, you will learn some easy steps to let the operating system automatically fix the compatibility issue. Here you will also learn how you can set the compatibility mode options manually and make the older apps compatible with Windows 10.

Note: It is suggested to make sure that your Windows 10 system is packed with all available updates. If any latest update is available then download it, this will fix the problem and don’t have to run the below-given steps.

Why Desktop apps get Incompatible?

Before applying any tricks to fix Windows 10 incompatibility it is recommended to know what the causes due to that your old game or software may be refusing to play with Windows 10.

  • Some software and games are dependent on old libraries which are no longer automatically installed by default after upgrading to Windows 10.
  • If you are running a 64-bit Windows 10 then first make it clear that it does not contain the built-in compatibility layer for 16-bit Windows applications.
  • Like all previous versions of Windows OS, Windows 10 is no longer runs on top of DOS. Some DOS programs will still run, but it gets fail to run games.
  • Outdated or non-available DRM solutions that stop applications booting.

Top Fixes for Windows 10 Compatibility mode & make old apps compatible

Fix 1: Run as Administrator

This is the very basic trick to make any app executable or run app without any issue, some applications were programmed with the assumption they had administrator access, and would not execute if not.

So it is recommended to run the application with administrator privilege, to do this: right-click, and choose Run as Administrator.

Fix 2: Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

In this fix, we will allow Windows 10 to make its possess choice about compatibility settings. Windows 10 is packed with an integrated Program Compatibility Troubleshooter that allows the user to “detect and fix common compatibility problems.

Step 1: Go to the search box and type run program in the box, after it, select Run Program made for previous versions of Windows.

Step 2: Click Next.

Step 3: It will take a few seconds to detect the issue.

Step 4: Choose from the list of the software which you are unable to run due to compatibility issue and select Next.

Step 5: At the Select troubleshooting option window, you could select Try recommended settings.

Step 6: Save the settings as below given image.

Step 7: If you select the Troubleshoot program in Select troubleshooting option panel.

Then you will be redirected to this page. Select one of the four options that fit your situation and allow the Windows OS to do all other tasks.

If you want to fix more than one older software that is suffering from compatibility issues then you need to repeat this procedure.

After fixing the issue, a popup will appear that ask you if the fix was successful or not. If you choose Yes then it save these settings for the related program and close the troubleshooter. If you choose No then windows try again using different settings will open an additional dialogue that includes the following options:

The program worked in earlier versions of Windows but won’t install or run now.

Example: The setup program won’t begin.

The program opens but doesn’t display correctly.

Example: Wrong colors, size, or resolution.

The program requires additional permissions.

Example: Access denied errors appear, or the program requests administrator permissions to run.

I don’t see my problem listed.

Choose one according to the results of the test executed previously.

Note: You can also use the Microsoft Compatibility Checker, this tool is designed by Microsoft that tells you if the devices and software on your computer compatible with Windows 10. For more, you can visit:

Fix 3: Disable Driver Signature Enforcement

In order to boot windows with disabled Driver Signature Enforcement, you must use advanced boot options. Sometimes this trick will fix the compatibility issue and make older desktop apps run again on Windows 10.

Note: This change is not permanent, and get activated next time you restart Windows 10.

Step 1: Open the advanced boot menu (Press Shift key while you click on the Restart)

Step 2: Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.

Step 3: Press Restart.

Step 4: Press 7 from your keyboard when the Startup Settings screen appears. By this, you can activate the “Disable driver signature enforcement” option. Now hit the Enter key to boot your system.


That’s all, with the help of the above-given solutions now you can easily enjoy your old games and software on your Windows 10 system.

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