How to Install and Run Windows XP Mode in Windows 7

By Tyson Cliffton

As slick as Windows 7 may be, not all programs that worked perfectly in Windows XP are going to work just as well in Windows 7. Windows has made it possible for some Windows 7 Professional and higher users to download and install Windows XP Mode to run those programs on their Windows 7 machines without having to install Windows XP on a hard drive partition just to run some of their favorite, older programs.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows 7 Professional or higher

Install Windows XP Mode

Step 1

Verify that you are running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate edition. If you are running Windows 7 Home, you will not be able to download and run Windows XP Mode.

Step 2

Click the "Download Windows XP Mode" link in the Resources section.

Step 3

Click the drop-down box that says "Select System" and select your Windows 7 operating system from the list. Click the "Select Language" drop-down box and select your language.

Step 4

Click and download the blue "Windows XP Mode" box below the "Download and install Windows XP Mode" section. Click "Run" to install the download. Upon completion of that download, click and download the blue "Windows Virtual PC" box in the same section. Click "Run" to install the download. Upon completion, click and download the blue "Windows XP Mode Update" box. Click "Run" to install the download. When you are prompted to continue the software upgrade, click "Yes." Upon completion of the software update installation, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Click "Restart Now."

Step 5

Click "Start" and then click "All Programs." Look to make sure that Windows Virtual PC is in this list. Your installation is complete.

Set Up, Configure and Run Windows XP Mode

Step 1

Click the "Start" icon in the lower, left corner of your Windows 7 home screen and click "All Programs."

Step 2

Scroll through the list and click "Windows Virtual PC." Click "Windows XP Mode."

Step 3

Click the box to accept the license terms and then click "Next." Type in a password, and then type the password in again to confirm it. Check the box to the left of "Remember credentials" if you want your computer to remember your password, or leave it blank if you want Windows XP Mode to ask for your password every time. Click "Next."

Step 4

Choose whether or not you want to share any data you create and save in Windows XP Mode with your Windows 7 operating system. If you choose no, you will have to log in to Windows XP Mode to retrieve the data. Click "Next" after making your selection.

Step 5

Choose whether you do or do not want Windows to automatically download updates for Windows XP Mode. Click "Next." Windows XP Mode will show up as a regular program screen on your Windows 7 desktop.

Step 6

Install any programs in Windows XP Mode that run smoothly in Windows XP, but have difficulty running in Windows 7.

Step 7

Close Windows XP Mode when you are done. To run Windows XP Mode from this point forward, repeat Steps 1 and 2 in Section 2.