10 things to try when applications won't work with Windows 8

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If applications won't work in Windows 8, try 10 ways as listed in the article.

Transcript of 10 things to try when applications won't work with Windows 8

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    Takeaway: If you have problems getting an app to run on

    Windows 8, all s not lost. One of these strategies or

    workarounds may get the application running.

    Windows 8 is more forgiving with regard to application

    compatibility than some of the previous versions of Windows

    were, but some applications just will not work with it.

    Thankfully, you dont always have to accept defeat. Although

    there is no silver bullet that guarantees application

    compatibility, you can use a number of tricks to improve your

    odds of getting a stubborn application to run in Windows 8.

    1: Create a virtual machine

    I will go ahead and get the last resort step out of the way up

    front. Windows 8 includes its own copy of Hyper-V. If you can

    t get an application to function in Windows 8, you can enable

    Hyper-V and create a virtual machine running a legacy

    version of Windows as a way of running the application.

  • 2: Turn off User Account Control

    I haven't experienced any User Account Control

    (UAC)-related compatibility problems in Windows 8 yet, but I

    have run into problems in Windows 7. When I first adopted

    Windows 7, there was a particular dictation application that

    would not work until I disabled UAC. I have read posts on the

    Internet from people who have had similar experiences in

    Windows 8, where disabling UAC resolved a compatibility

    issue.

    3: Install .NET Framework 3.5

    When you install Windows 8, version 4.5 of the .NET

    Framework is installed by default. However, older apps often

    require an earlier version of the .NET Framework. If you

    receive a .NET Framework-related error, you can go into the

    Control Panel, click on Programs, and choose the option to

    turn a Windows feature on or off. Windows will display a list of

    the various components you can enable or disable. One of the

    items on the list is .NET Framework 3.5, which also

    includes .NET 3.0 and 2.0. Installing this component will likely

    correct the issue that you are experiencing.

  • 4: Check for application patches

    One of the first things you should do upon discovering an

    application compatibility problem is contact the application

    vendor and find out if it has a Windows 8 patch available.

    Sometimes, a patch is all you need.

    5: Upgrade to the next version

    When I made the switch to Windows 8, I discovered that a

    video-editing application I use on a regular basis would not

    work with Windows 8. Although I might have been able to

    resolve the problem using less drastic measures, I ultimately

    decided to simply upgrade to the newest version of the

    application. Not only was the latest version certified to work

    with Windows 8, but it also had some other new features I

    wanted to try out.

    6: Upgrade your hardware drivers

    One of the biggest problems I had when I upgraded to

    Windows 8 was that a program I use every day wouldnt run.

    The error message I received indicated that Windows 8 did

    not support OpenGL. However, OpenGL support is provided

    by the video driver, not by the operating system. It turned out

    that my problem was caused by an outdated version of AMD

  • Catalyst. When I upgraded to the latest version, the problem

    went away and I was able to run the application.

    7: Let Windows troubleshoot the problem

    Windows 8 includes a utility called the Program Compatibility

    Troubleshooter that can sometimes automatically resolve

    compatibility problems. You can run the Program

    Compatibility Troubleshooter by right-clicking on the

    problematic application and choosing the Troubleshoot

    Compatibility command from the shortcut menu.

    8: Trick the application into thinking it is running on an earlier

    version of Windows

    Some applications are hard-coded to look for a specific

    version of Windows. In these types of situations, you can

    configure Windows 8 to lie to the application about what

    version of Windows you re running. Start by running the

    Program Compatibility Troubleshooter (as described above).

    When you get to the What Problems Do You Notice screen,

    choose the option for programs that worked in an earlier

    version of Windows. After clicking Next, you will have the

    option of telling the utility which version of Windows the

    application worked in.

  • 9: Provide the application with extra permissions

    Some legacy applications (especially those written for

    Windows XP) fail to run due to inadequate permissions. Once

    again, the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter can help.

    When you get to the What Problems Do You Notice screen,

    choose the option related to the program requiring additional

    permissions. As an alternative, you could try right-clicking on

    the application and choosing the Run As Administrator option

    (assuming that you have administrative permissions).

    10: Check the Compatibility Center

    One last thing you can do is check the Compatibility Center for

    information about the application. The Compatibility Center is

    a Web site Microsoft uses to provide application compatibility

    information for Windows 7 and 8. In some instances, it

    provides a link to detailed instructions on what you must do to

    make an otherwise-incompatible application work with

    Windows 8.

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    About Brien Posey

    Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written

    thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of

    books on a variety of IT subjects.

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