Some programs developed for Windows Vista and XP may work in Windows 7 too but some older programs may not run correctly due to not installed correctly.But there is  Program Compatibility troubleshooter  in Windows 7  which allows to run older version of programs with compatibility mode settings applied to particular application.

program compatibility wizard

But it is recommended not to use Program Compatibility troubleshooter to run older programs like old anti-viruses, disk utilities and system programs which may make system unstable.

Running the older version of programs with program Compatibility troubleshooter in Win7

1.Click Start menu>Control Panel>System and Security  >Click Find and Fix problems

2.Now under Programs click Run programs made for previous versions of Windows  which opens program compatibility troubleshooter(PCT), click Next to follow the instructions on the screen.

3.PCT will scan and search for older programs installed in your Computer and shows the list of programs you have problem with running.

program compatibility

4.Select the program you are having problems from the list and click Next where Windows will automatically apply recommended compatibility settings for the program to run.

5.If program not in the list you can select Not Listed and browse for the path of program to let Windows to apply recommended compatibility settings and run the program.

6.If your program has also not run under compatibility settings , then go to program manufacturer’s website and download the updated version.