How to Enable XP Mode in Windows 7 Using Microsoft Virtual PC

Windows 7 Logo

Part of the problem with the release of Windows Vista was that many apps (particularly corporate applications) simply did not work. In an effort to encourage the adoption of Windows 7, Microsoft developed XP Mode. XP Mode allows applications that run under Windows XP to run alongside Windows 7 applications. Unfortunately, this feature is only provided for the Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate Editions of Windows 7.

XP Mode can also be used to run different versions of the same application side by side. As a web developer this allows me to run IE8 (running in Windows 7) and IE6/IE7 (running using XP Mode) side by side for testing web site compatibility.

Lets see how to install and get started with XP Mode in Windows 7.

Part One: Downloading XP Mode and Virtual PC

Step 1. Navigate to the Windows XP Mode and Virtual PC download page, and select your edition of Windows 7 and desired language for installation. If you’re not sure what edition of Windows 7 you are running follow our guide to find out.

Selectyoureditionof Windows7Anddesiredlanguageforinstallation

Step 2. Download XP Mode

Download Windows Xpmode

Step 3. You may be prompted to validate your copy of Windows. Click Continue to proceed.

Xpmode Windowsvalidation

Step 4. Save the file to your computer and run it once the download is complete.

Windows Activation Update
Update Installation Succeeded

Step 5. Once the Windows update installation has finished, click Continue.


Wait for the validation process to complete.


If the validation was successful, then you should get a message similar to the following. If you get an unsuccessful message, then your copy of Windows may not be genuine and you will not be able to proceed.


Step 6. You should now be able to download Window XP Mode.

Windows Xpmode Download Confirmation

Step 7. Download Windows Virtual PC.

Download Windows Virtual Pc

Step 8. Install the update to XP mode, if you are not on Windows 7 SP1 or later.

Update Xpmodeifnotrunning Sp1Orlater

Part Two: Installing XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC

Step 1. Install XP Mode.

Xpmode Installation Step1

Specify where you would like the virtual hard disk file to be stored. (The default is fine)

Xpmode Installation Step2

Wait for the setup to complete.

Xpmode Installation Step3

Click Finish.

Xpmode Installation Step4

Step 2. Install Windows Virtual PC.

Virtual Pcinstall Update

Install any updates it prompts you to install.

Virtual Pcinstallation Licence Agreement

Wait for it to complete.

Virtual Pcinstallation Installing Updates

Restart if prompted to do so.

Virtual Pcinstallation Installation Complete

Part Three: Setting Up and Configuring XP Mode

Step 1. Launch XP Mode from the start menu.

Launch Xpmode

Step 2. Accept the License Agreement.

Accept Licence Agreement

Step 3. Specify a password. (You’ll also likely want it to remember your credentials, otherwise you’ll need to enter your password each time you launch an XP Mode application.)

Specify Credentials

Step 4. Enable automatic updates.

Turn On Automatic Updates

Step 5. Start setup.

Click To Start Setup

Step 6. When the installation is complete XP Mode will be running within Windows Virtual PC.

Xpmode Up And Running E1298992642260

Part Four: Installing Applications in XP Mode

Step 1. Using IE in the Virtual Machine, download an application.

Download An Application E1298992511326

Step 2. Install the application.

Install The Application E1298992236921

Step 3. Log off XP Mode via Start > Log Off.

Log Off Xpmode

Step 4. Launch the application you just installed via the start menu in Windows 7.

Launch Installed Application

Step 5. The application should now be running alongside your other Windows 7 apps.

Application Runs Alongside Other Apps

Step 6. If you want to run an application that was installed with Windows XP such as IE6, open XP Mode again from the start menu.

Launch Xpmode

Step 7. Create a shortcut to IE6 in the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs folder.

Create Shortcut To Ie6 E1298992729779

Step 8. Log off XP Mode via Start > Log Off.

Log Off Xpmode

Step 9. IE6 should now appear in the Windows XP Mode Applications folder in the Start Menu.

Ie6In Xpmode

Step 10. Launch IE6.

Ie6 Up And Running

That’s it! You should now be able to run all your XP applications alongside your windows applications.

Last updated on 07 February, 2022

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