How to Make Sure Windows 10 Compatibility Assistant Works with All Programs

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Windows 10 Compatibility Assistant

Windows 10 is endowed with phenomenal compatibility with older programs. These are programs and applications that were designed before the current iteration of Windows. Most applications like games or utilities that were created for earlier iterations of Windows will work in the latest iteration of Windows. But some will run poorly or not at all. The Windows 10 Compatibility Assistant runs in the background to help old programs run on the current operating system without errors or problems. Sometimes, however, it prevents some software from running. But if you know for a fact that it is fully compatible with your version of Windows. We’ll show you how to turn it off. And show you some ways to fix common issues with the program.

What’s Windows 10 Compatibility Assistant?

This is a feature of Windows 10 that’s great if you’re trying to install an incompatible program. The Program Compatibility Assistant is designed to find problems preventing any software or app from installing correctly. It’ll try to fix them. And enable said program to work correctly.

Put another ways Program Compatibility Assistant is a tool integrated into Windows 10. Its job is to automatically resolve any compatibility issues with the programs or apps you want to use. Should this tool be unable to repair the issue, you can create a program to operate in a compatibility manner manually. This will allow the program to run by using the settings from a previous version of Windows.

But it’s not perfect. The problem with the Program Compatibility Assistant is that it often shows false positive results. What do we mean? Sometimes it can trigger programs and apps that run on Windows 10 without a problem to show up as incompatible. Then the PCA tries to fix these non-existent issues and winds up breaking the program or app instead.

Related: Just How Long Should It Take to Reset a PC?

What Version of Windows is Your System Running?

If you’re not sure which version of the Windows operating system is running your laptop. You can check the version and build of Windows by entering winver in the Windows search field, then hit ENTER.

If the iteration of Windows you’re running is older than Windows 10, you will need to update to Windows 10 to follow along.

See Fix printer problems after updating or upgrading to Windows 10 if you notice any printer or scanner issues after the update.

For Bluetooth problems after a Windows 10 upgrade, you’ll also want to see Fix Bluetooth problems in Windows 10.

How to Run the Compatibility Troubleshooter

  1. Type the name of the program or app you want to troubleshoot in the search box on the taskbar.
  2. You can select and hold (or right-click) it, then select Open file location.
  3. You can select and hold (or right-click) the program file. Click Properties. Then select the Compatibility tab.
  4. Finally, select Run compatibility trouble shooter.

Still no answer? Then try adjusting the settings in the Compatibility tab.

Related: How Do You Start Up Performance Monitor?

Here’s What Each Compatibility Setting Does

Compatibility modeRuns the program using settings from an earlier version of Windows. Try this setting if you know the program is designed for (or worked with) a specific version of Windows.
Reduce color modeUses a limited set of colors in the program. Some older programs are designed to use fewer colors.
Change high DPI settingsIf your program isn’t displayed correctly on a PC with a high-DPI display (its features are blurry or are too big or too small), select Change high DPI settings, and then try one of these options in the Properties dialog box: Choose which DPI to use In the Program DPI section, select Use this setting to fix scaling problems for this program instead of the one in Settings to use the DPI settings you want to use for this program. Note: This changes the DPI only for the app you’re adjusting. If you want to adjust this for all apps, select Start Settings Advanced scaling settings and follow the instructions. 

For more info about changing the setting for all apps, see Fix apps that appear blurry.
For Use the DPI that’s set for my main display when, select one of the following: I signed into Windows Use the DPI that was set for your main display when you signed into Windows. This is the default setting. I open this program – Use the DPI that was set for your main display at the time you open the specific program. Change the application’s high-DPI scaling mode.

In the High DPI scaling override area, select Override high DPI scaling behavior, and then try one of the following options: Application – Disable all Windows scaling settings and only use the app developer’s setting. This option was called Disable display scaling on high DPI settings in previous versions of Windows. System – Overrides the program’s DPI settings and makes it run like it would on a low-DPI display. On a high-DPI display, this will make the program appear blurry. System (Enhanced) – Windows will try to use enhanced DPI scaling for this program. As a result, some programs will display with crisp text on high-DPI displays. This won’t work for all programs.
Run this program as an administratorSome programs require administrator permissions to run correctly. Sign in to your PC as an administrator to use this option.
Change settings for all usersApply the settings for that program to all accounts on the PC and select Administrator position required Change settings for all users. You might be prompted for an admin password or to confirm your choice.


How to Turn Off Windows Program Compatibility

Again, this tool isn’t perfect. If you know for a fact that the program you want to use is compatible with Windows 10. The best solution here is to turn Windows 10 Compatibility Assistant off, which is very easy to do:

  1. Go to the place where you save installer files. For many users, this will be your Downloads folder.
  2. Right-click the Visual Studio Installer image.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Click on the Compatibility tab.
  5. Once you find the Compatibility Mode section, uncheck Run this program in compatibility mode for:
  6. Finally, Restart the installation.


  1. Press the Windows Key + R on your keyboard.
  2. Then type services.msc and click OK.
  3. Double-click Program Compatibility Assistant Service.
  4. Open the drop-down menu and click Disable under the Startup type.
  5. Click Stop.
  6. Finally, click Apply and OK.