Windows XP Mode in Windows 7

What is Windows XP Mode?

Although Windows 7 can easily run most applications designed to run on Windows XP, in certain instances there may be compatibility issues. In such a case you can use Windows XP Mode to run your older productivity programs right on your Windows 7 desktop. Windows XP Mode utilizes virtualization technology to provide a virtual Windows XP environment that can be seen and accessed from a Windows 7 desktop. In other words, you feel like you’re using your Windows XP computer yet you’re reaping all the benefits of Windows 7.

Run Money 2003 with Windows XP Mode

Set up Windows XP Mode

Before you can use Windows XP Mode on your PC running Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, you must check to see whether Windows XP Mode is already on your computer or whether you need to download and install it. Click here to watch an introduction video on Windows XP Mode.

  1. Click the Start button Windows Start Button
  2. Click All Programs
  3. Scroll through to see if you have Windows Virtual PC
  4. Click on Windows Virtual PC and see if Windows XP Mode comes up. If it does, you’re ready to start.

If neither Windows Virtual PC nor Windows XP Mode shows up within your Start menu, you will need to download them.

Install Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode

Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode are available for free—you can check that your PC meets the necessary system requirements and download Windows XP Mode here. You can also watch this handy video that walks you through the download and installation steps.

Before downloading, you will be asked to identify what edition of Windows 7 your PC is running. If you are not sure, click on the question mark next to the Select System box in Step 3. It will help you determine the correct answer. Continue to follow the steps on the page to complete installation.

Installation screen for Windows XP Mode

Make sure the download works

Because Windows Virtual PC is a system update, you’ll have to reboot your computer after installation is complete. You’ll also want to make sure that both programs downloaded correctly. To check for proper installation, follow the 4 steps from the How to set up Windows XP Modesection listed above in this article.

Configure Windows XP Mode

After the Windows Virtual PC and the virtual Windows XP environment are installed, Windows Virtual PC provides a simple wizard to set up Windows XP Mode with just a few clicks. This includes accepting the license agreement, selecting a password, and choosing automatic updates. Upon completion, Windows XP Mode will appear as a window on your desktop.

Windows XP Mode Setup screen

Open Windows XP Mode

You can install applications in Windows XP Mode the same way you normally would on a Windows XP PC. For example, you can install from the Web, storage device, or a CD/DVD. Clickhere to watch a quick tutorial.

  1. Click the Start button Windows Start Button
  2. Click All Programs
  3. Scroll through to Windows Virtual PC and click on it
  4. Click on Windows XP Mode
  5. Make sure you are in full screen desktop mode

Windows XP Mode – Windows Virtual PC

Browse to the source of your download (Web site, storage device, or CD/DVD). If you use a storage device or CD/DVD, you should do the following:

  1. Within Windows XP Mode, click on My Computer

Install productivity applications in Windows XP Mode

  1. Locate the source you are using and double click on it.
  2. Follow the prompts to install.
  3. Make sure you select install for all users in order to publish the application to your Windows 7 desktop.
  4. Exit Windows XP Mode.
  5. Run the Windows XP application from your Windows 7 desktop

An extra perk is that while in your virtual Windows XP environment, you can continue to access your Windows 7 Folders such as My Documents, Pictures, Desktop, Music, or Video.

Find your Windows XP application

You can find your Windows XP application by clicking Windows XP Mode Application listed under Windows Virtual PC. However, if you use the application often and want easy access you can drag and drop the application icon into the Windows 7 task bar. If you prefer to access the application from the Start menu, right click the application and then click Pin to Start Menu.

Finding your Windows XP Mode applications

Opening applications in Windows XP Mode

Comments (1)


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