How to Enable XP Mode in Windows 7

Are you running into trouble with incompatible applications in Windows 7? If you’re reading this chances are that you have already tried all of the comparability tools available in Windows 7 and are still looking for a solution. Windows 7 allows Enterprise, Ultimate, and Professional users to run Windows XP mode.

Windows XP mode is essentially a virtual installation of Windows XP that allows you to seamlessly run incompatible applications on your Windows 7 machine. When configured, the end-user will never know that they are running the application in an virtual environment. The How-to below will show you where you can download and install Windows XP Mode and how to set it up for first use.

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Note: I used Windows 7 Ultimate in this tutorial.

Display all Control Panel items in one Window - Windows 7

1. Download and install the following (Microsoft website);

  • Windows XP Mode
  • Windows Virtual PC
  • If necessary – Windows XP Mode update

Note: If your computer does not support hardware virtualization you will need to install the Windows XP Mode update (third download).


Once everything is installed and you restarted your computer, follow the steps below.

Display all Control Panel items in one Window - Windows 7

1. Open the Start Menu by clicking on the Orb.

2. Click on All Programs

Prevent Windows 7 from Rebooting After System Failure

3. Click to expand the Windows Virtual PC folder. Here you will find the shortcuts to Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode.

Run Windows XP Mode

1. When you are ready to use Windows XP Mode, click on the Windows XP Mode shortcut located in the Start Menu (see above).

Prevent Windows 7 from Rebooting After System Failure

2. If you accept the license terms click on the check box.

3. Click Next to proceed.

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4. If you wish to specify a different directory for the XP Mode installation, do so by clicking on the Browse button.

5. Enter the password you wish to use for the virtual machine. Unless you want to constantly enter the password I recommend you add click on Remember credentials.

6. Click Next to continue.

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7. Select Help protect my computer by turning on Automatic Updates now.

Note: It is recommended you use this setting to keep the Virtual PC up to date.

8. Click Next to proceed.

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9. Click on Start Setup to begin the setup process.

Prevent Windows 7 from Rebooting After System Failure

Installation progress…

Prevent Windows 7 from Rebooting After System Failure

Windows XP Mode running on Windows 7

  • I wasn’t aware that Windows XP Mode was just through MS Virtual PC. It’s just a pitty that it isn’t on Windows 7 Home Premium.

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  • XP mode is such a great feature of Windows 7. Just make sure your Hardware will support it!

  • XP mode is such a great feature of Windows 7. Just make sure your Hardware will support it!

    • Very true, but you’d be surprised by the low hardware requirements.