How To Install & Use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7

Windows XP Mode is freely available for Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise users. It allows you to run legacy applications inside a Windows XP virtual machine running in the background. Windows XP Mode was primarily designed to help businesses move from Windows XP to Windows 7. Almost all programs that are compatible with Windows Vista and a majority of Windows XP programs, run well in Windows 7. But, if a program doesn’t run properly even after trying the Program Compatibility troubleshooter, you can run the program in Windows XP Mode.

Windows XP Mode runs in a separate window on the Windows 7 desktop, much like a program, except it’s a fully functional version of Windows XP. When you install a program in Windows XP Mode, the program appears in both the Windows XP Mode list of programs and in the Windows 7 list of programs, so you can open the program directly from Windows 7. Do note that it isn’t optimized for graphic-intensive programs such as 3D games or for programs with hardware requirements such as TV tuners.

The most important hardware requirement for using XP mode is a computer with a processor that supports hardware-assisted virtualization such as AMD-V, Intel-VT or VIA VT.  Microsoft has a helpful tool that will detect if your hardware is compatible called the HAV Detection Tool. On some computers the feature may be turned off in the BIOS, click here for instructions on how to turn it on. The other requirements are as follows:

Setting up and Using Windows XP Mode

First, visit the Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC website, and click Get Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC now.

In the Windows 7 system type drop-down list, select 32-bit or 64-bit depending on what Windows 7 version that you are using currently running. Next, in the Windows XP Mode language drop-down list, select the language you want to use for Windows XP Mode.

To find out whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7, click on the Start button, then right-click on Computer, and then click on Properties. The information about the version that you are using appears under System, next to the System type.

After selecting the options, download both Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC.


After installing the Windows Virtual PC component you will need to reboot your computer.

After the reboot, click on the Start Menu and navigate through All Programs, Windows Virtual PC and select Windows XP Mode to begin configuring XP Mode.

Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP in the list of programs

Accept the license terms and then click on Next.

Next, you will need to specify the password for the local account XPMuser that runs in the XP virtual machine. Type in a password in both boxes and click Next.


Windows XP Mode runs a fully functional Windows XP virtual machine in the background so it must be patched every month as new security updates are released to keep applications running in the VM protected.  The best way to do this is by turning on Automatic Updates.  Check Help protect my computer by turning on Automatic Updates now and click Next.


Now click on Start Setup. Setup will now run and configure the Windows XP virtual machine.  This will take a few minutes.


After the setup is completed, Windows XP virtual machine will be displayed. At this point install any applications in the XP Virtual Machine like you normally install applications.

Installing a program in Windows XP Mode

After the program’s setup is completed, you will see the programs icons in the Windows 7 Start Menu under All Programs, Windows Virtual PC and finally Windows XP Mode applications.


Just click on one of the shortcuts and the application will load in just like a locally installed app.

Programs can run in both Windows XP Mode and in Windows 7.

If you ever want to service or install more application in the XP Virtual Machine just click on the Start Menu and navigate through All Programs, Windows Virtual PC and select Windows XP Mode. That will start the XP virtual machine in desktop mode.

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