How to Install XP Mode in Windows 7When it’s 2012 and you’ve gone through the trouble (and paid the cost) of installing Windows 7, you might wonder (and rightfully so) why you might want to use something called an “XP Mode.” After all, when you went through the upgrade process, didn’t you figure that XP was something you’d be leaving behind as a quaint relic of a bygone age? Why regress when the high-paced world of high tech is constantly screaming at you to progress?

With Windows 8 on the horizon (or already on your beloved system if you’re a brave preview consumer), who needs XP? Who needs Vista (aside from your worst enemies, of course)? Who even needs Windows 7, anymore? It’s so yesteryear. Geeks like new things! Geeks want shiny, happy operating systems! Bring us tomorrow, today!

Well, the need for such a thing isn’t Windows’ fault. It’s not even Microsoft’s fault. Of course, it’s not your fault, either. But just as you can’t play an old VCR tape of home movies that you made in the ’80s on a DVD player from the ’90s, there are some programs and applications that simply won’t run natively on Windows 7. Blame progress or the passage of time, if you must. As a result, you may find the need to trick your shiny, new, but oh, so naive system into thinking that the PIM (personal information manager) you’ve been using since December of ’01 (and three computers ago) should be allowed to run in Windows 7. Windows XP Mode is the ticket that’ll allow your obsolete, but beloved application to sneak past the bouncer and into Windows 7 just like it belongs there. (The attitude! The confidence! Now there’s an operating system that’s going places, man!)

Before installing XP Mode, verify that your computer meets all the hardware and software requirements.

  • Assuming that your computer meets all the hardware and software requirements, the steps for installing XP Mode are described below.
  • Go to the Windows Virtual PC website.
  • Select your edition of Windows 7 and the desired language for installation.
  • Click the Windows XP Mode download button.
  • Click Continue for Windows Validation. Then click Continue to download XP Mode.
  • Save the executable on your computer.
  • Once the download is complete, double click the WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe to begin the installation.
  • Click Next.
  • Click Next to accept the default installation directory.
  • Once the installation is complete, click Finish.

Now that you’re an expert in the art of installing XP mode in Windows 7, you probably have a few uses in mind for this old bird. Maybe you need to run some ancient software you’ve had sitting around in a box in your garage since Vista hit the fan shelves. Maybe your computer’s a resource hog and never really played well with the whole Windows 7 experience. Maybe you just like the Windows XP way of doing things better and we should just get off your back because who asked us, anyhow? Well, for the sake of our fellow LockerGnome readers, we’d love it if you’d share your reasons in the comments below. Not only is it something with which we’re fiercely interested, but it’s something that might just give our community members at large some new ideas for their own uses. We’re all about sharing — join the party!