So far, Windows 7 has proven itself to be a good operating system in general. It brought several necessary improvements and even some new technological features.
However, Windows 7 may have some backward compatibility issues that should be expected with any new operating system. Microsoft foresaw this and decided to add XP Mode to Windows 7.
XP Mode allows you to run Windows XP in a virtual machine in Windows 7. In turn, you can run older applications and programs if needed. The following guide will walk you through adding XP Mode to your Windows 7 installation.
Install XP Mode on Windows 7
Before proceeding with the XP Mode installation, you must first check if your computer supports virtualization. Use this tool directly from Microsoft to check the compatibility of your computer.
The file size does not exceed 1 MB (depending on the selected components), so it will not take long to download it. After downloading, install the file and run the check. If it says everything is ok, continue.
You can now download the actual XP Mode file here. Once the download is complete, double-click the installer file to install XP Mode on your computer.
Install Windows Virtual PC
Now that you have the XP Mode file ready, you need to install the Windows Virtual PC platform. Return to this page and click the Download button.
Save the installation file to your computer and double-click it to run. Install Windows Virtual PC and all updates on your computer. After the installation is complete, you will need to restart your computer.
After your computer restarts and installs the new files, you should be able to start Windows XP Mode. Click the Start menu and select Start All Programs Windows Virtual PC Windows XP Mode.
Enter the password in the pop-up window to use it for your virtual machine, enter it again to confirm and click Next. On the second screen, select the option to enable automatic updates and click Next. Windows Virtual PC will now set up your XP Mode machine. This may take a couple of minutes.
After the installation is complete, Windows XP will automatically start in a virtual machine window.
From here, you can set up your virtual machine in XP mode just like you would on a real computer with a normal XP installation. You can add or remove accounts, add or remove programs, change desktop themes, etc.
You can expand the virtual machine in full screen mode by clicking the maximize window button (the same button that you would use to maximize any window). Alternatively, to return to normal view, simply press the restore button.
That’s all. You now have Windows XP Mode installed, ready to use in Windows 7. Now you can simply install any old programs that do not work with Windows 7 into your XP Mode virtual machine.