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Tweaking XP to Support Your Applications

Many applications have not specifically been written for Windows XP. Wouldn't it be great if you could change the response of XP by application? You can by selecting the application's executable, right-clicking on it, and selecting Properties. The changes made to the properties associated with a given executable are reflected in the Registry. You don't need to get into the Registry to change the mode in which it runs; Windows XP handles that for you. Here's how to change the mode that an application runs in:

  1. Open Explorer by right-clicking on My Computer.

  2. Select the application you want XP to respond to more effectively, based on which Windows environment the application was originally based on.

  3. Right-click on the application, and select Properties.

  4. Click once on the tab titled Compatibility. Halfway down in this dialog box, there are a series of selections for defining a specific compatibility mode for the chosen application. Figure 3 shows the Compatibility page for configuring QuickTime to run in a different compatability mode, for example.

    Figure 3 Figure 3 Using the Compatibility properties to define how XP should handle a given application's performance.

  5. Click once on the box titled, Run this program using compatibility mode.

  6. Select the operating system that best matches the application you are trying to increase the performance of. Using the pull-down dialog box you can select from Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT or Windows2000.

  7. Click once on Apply. The compatibility mode you asked for is now applied by XP specifically to the application selected.

  8. Click once on OK. The dialog box is closed and the request is recorded by XP to the Registry.


    It is not necessary to modify the Registry in any way to change the compatibility mode for an application. Windows XP handles that for you, which is something to be very thankful for! There are several steps involved in the Registry that are hidden from your view, so just leave the Registry out of the compatibility mode change.

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