Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

How Do I Get Old Games To Work In Windows 8?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 by | Filed Under: I've Always Wanted To Know..., System Tune-Up Help, Windows 8

Michael from New York writes:

 First off thank you very much for the help you have given. I have just gotten a new computer that has windows 8.1. I have some older games and I would like to know if there is any way that I can install them? Some will install and some will not.These games have worked in every computer I have had. I was wondering if there might be some kind of back door way of doing this.

The very problem Michael mentions is why my gaming desktop PC still runs Windows XP, while my work laptop grudgingly runs Windows 8. If you’ve had to upgrade and find your classic games no longer install or run, there are some workarounds available so you can get back to shooting aliens, saving princesses, and solving puzzles.

One common problem with running older games comes from your computer’s administrative rights. From Windows Vista onward, the operating system no longer assumes the current user is an administrator with full access to make changes. This can help prevent certain viruses and spyware from infecting your computer, but it also means older games may not always install or run properly without actually specifying you are the computer’s administrator.

Open the folder containing the game’s executable or installation file, right-click the file, and then choose “Run As Administrator” to see if this is the root cause of the problem.

Running as administrator

Microsoft actually foresaw the potential for compatibility problems between versions of Windows, which is why in Windows 8.1 you can run individual programs in “compatibility mode,” which emulates a previous operating system. To be clear, this isn’t a universal fix – there are programs that still won’t work in compatibility mode – but it is absolutely worth trying to get your treasured old games running.

To use this mode, right-click the executable file (or the desktop shortcut you use) for the game and select “Properties” and then navigate to the “Compatibility” tab.


Click the “Compatibility Mode” check box, and then select an operating system from the drop down box that you know the game previously worked in, such as Windows XP. Click “Apply” and “OK” and then open the game to see if compatibility mode will get it running properly.

Compatibility Mode

In part 2 of this article, I’ll explain some changes you may need to make to ensure that your games look their best.

~ Ty Arthur

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “How Do I Get Old Games To Work In Windows 8?”

  1. David Tillman says:

    Does Win 8 have pre-installed games like Vista, or is it all by ordering an app?

  2. Subham yadav says:

    How get old game work on my new hp laptop which has win 8.1

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive