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PC Tricks Uncategorized Windows Tricks and Tutorials

Install/Run Old 16-bit/32-bit Software on 64-bit PC/OS | Compatibility Guide – Install Windows 7 Software on Windows 8/8.1


Many times we come across scenarios where we look for backward compatibility in order to run Legacy/Old Software’s on our Newer PCs or OSs . or may be we need to Run the 32-bit or 16-bit Software’s on our Newer Machines . e.g Installing Windows 7 Software on Windows 8, Installing Windows Xp Software on Windows 8.1 etc,installing 32 bit software on 64 bit os . This Compatibility Guide will cover all these Compatibility issues.

Compatibility Issue 1 : 16-bit Softwares on 64-bit OS (e.x Old Dos Games and Softwares on New Windows 7/8/8.1 64bit OS)

This Compatibility constraint is the most widely experienced and most searched after Compatibility issue , while running the Old Native DOS based games and apps, on 64bit OS these app simply do not get executed and display a warning message such as “This app can’t run on your PC” . The solution / fix to this problem is pretty simple – Using DosBox to mount and run these old 16bit apps, infact the apps Run as smoothly as if they were Running on Native environment e.x Windows 95/98, such is the high quality emulation provided by Dosbox. I searched and searched throughout the Internet for DosBox alternatives, but the closest thing i found similar to DosBox is DosBox Itself! . To run your Software through Dosbox, simply install the Turbo C installer from this Post ,Now drag and drop your .exe which is to be opened on the DosBox.exe icon present in the “C:\TurboC4\Techapple.Net” folder, and your 16bit app will directly Run in 64 bit Windows!

Compatibility Issue 2 :  Older Operating System Software on Newer OS (Windows XP or Windows 7 software installation on Windows 8/8.1)

This is another big Compatibility issue faced by most of Us, and the Solution too is quite Simply according to the Problem . If you are facing the error while launching the setup file, simply Right-click the .exe file, or a shortcut to the .exe file, and select Properties. Click the Compatibility tab. Then check Run this program in compatibility mode for and select an appropriate option according to the OS it was built for. Then try launching the Setup again , it should get installed 🙂  Check the alongside image for more details. Or if it’s giving the problems after installing try the above mentioned Compatibility method along with the “Run as Administrator” which appears after right clicking on the Icon . i.e Executing the program as Administrator. You can also add the tick in the Checkbox in the Compatibility tab to enable “Run as Administrator” Option.

Compatibility Issue 3 : Installing Running 32-bit Software in 64 bit

Generally, all the 32-bit software work well by default in 64-bit Operating Systems , but some legacy Softwares give errors, or simply won’t function properly 🙁 . The reason behind one is quite trivial One – All the 32-bit Softwares are installed in the directory “Program Files(x86)” And they are simply tuned and designed to work with their directory as “Program Files”  so the solution here is quite simple, At the installation time simply change/edit the installation directory to “Program Files” along with the generated installation directory and as i found out here while installing VB6 on windows 8.1 , It will work like magic! along with the above mentioned Run as Administrator/Compatibilty Tweak 🙂


I was able to solve all my Compatibility issues using the above 3 Tweaks, and yes if the Old Beast can still run on Newer Machines so why should we replace it 🙂 ? .And if even all the above 3 fail we always have the Option of Virtual Machine and installing OS on it which though lengthy always works, so Enjoy your favourite legacy and Old Softwares with the above mentioned tricks, and if in case Some Software still doesn’t run simply Comment, we would be glad to help!

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