Program Compatibility Assistant: frequently asked questions


The Program Compatibility Assistant automatically detects known compatibility problems in older programs.

After you run an older program in Windows 8.1, the Program Compatibility Assistant will notify you if there's a problem and offer to fix it the next time you run the program. If the problem is serious, the Program Compatibility Assistant might warn you or block the program from running. When that happens, you'll have the option to check online for possible solutions.

Here are answers to some common questions about the Program Compatibility Assistant.

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What changes does the Program Compatibility Assistant make?

It depends on the problem, but no changes are made to the program itself. For example, the Program Compatibility Assistant can automatically resolve conflicts with features in Windows, or, it can run the program in a mode that's similar to earlier versions of Windows.

Why do I see the Program Compatibility Assistant if the program installed successfully?

The Program Compatibility Assistant might appear if a program or driver didn't register correctly. This can sometimes happen when you install a device. If the program was able to install and work correctly, tap or click This program installed correctly to close the Program Compatibility Assistant.

How do I turn it off or on?

You can use Group Policy to turn the Program Compatibility Assistant off or on. For advanced info on how to use Group Policy, go to the Microsoft TechNet website and search for "Group policy."

The Program Compatibility Assistant couldn't fix the problem. Now what?

The Program Compatibility Assistant might not be able to detect or fix your compatibility problem. If that's the case, try the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter. For more info, go to Make older programs compatible with this version of Windows.