Your new computer came with the latest version of Windows. While you really like the added speed and storage space, you cannot come to terms with the new OS. Or maybe some of your hardware or software isn’t compatible
Is Your Software & Hardware Compatible With Windows 8.1?
Windows 8.1 is much more than a simple service pack! Upgrading could mean you're stuck with a buggy OS. Don't be fooled into upgrading to Windows 8.1 before checking whether your current setup is compatible!
. Here is how you can combine the best of the old with the new Windows.
Try Compatibility Mode
In many ways, Windows hasn’t changed that much over the years. If your strongest reason for wanting to hold on to an old version is issues with running older software or games
How to Run Old Games & Software in Windows 8
One of Microsoft's big strengths -- and weaknesses -- is their focus on backwards compatibility. Most Windows applications will work just fine on Windows 8. This is especially true if they worked on Windows 7,...
, try compatibility mode.
To enable compatibility mode in Windows 7 or 8, right-click the respective program shortcut, select Properties, and switch to the Compatibility tab.
In Windows 8, click Run compatibility troubleshooter, which will aid you in identifying settings to fix issues. In Windows 7 you can click Help me choose the settings, which opens a Help and Support window with suggestions; from there you can also launch the troubleshooter. In both Windows 7 and 8 you can check the button to Run this program in compatibility mode for a matching operating system.
Dual Boot Your Old Operating System
The advantage of a dual boot is that you’re running full versions of both operating systems and can share files between them. The compromise is that the only way to switch between the two Windows versions is to reboot. You will also need a legal copy of Windows
4 Cheap Ways To Obtain A Legal Copy Of Windows 7
It seems like Microsoft is hitting the nail with Windows only every other version. Windows 7 was one of them. Thing is, Microsoft doesn't sell Windows 7 anymore. Here are your options.
to install into the dual boot setup.
Setting up a Windows dual boot is surprisingly easy. Basically, it’s a matter of installing the second operating system on a separate partition
Manage Your Hard Disk Partitions Like A Pro With EaseUS Partition Master [Windows]
When you ask a tech crowd about disk partition managers, many people will agree that EaseUS Partition Master is the best tools for the job. Why? Because it offers many great features, yet remains easy...
and Windows will automatically take care of the rest. Note that this separate partition could be an external drive. Once installed, you will be asked which version of Windows you would like to boot whenever you start your computer.
Depending on which versions of Windows you want to dual boot, you might run into different issues or subtleties, which is why it’s worth looking into the following setup guides: Microsoft on setting up a Windows multiboot, SevenForums’ guide to dual booting Windows 7 and XP, our guide on how to dual boot Windows 8 with Windows 7
Not Sure About Upgrading? Then Why Not Dual Boot Windows 8 With Windows 7?
Are you interested in Windows 8, but don’t want to abandon Windows 7 just yet? Well, why not dual-boot Windows 8 and Windows 7, selecting the operating system you want to use each time you...
, and EightForums’ dual boot installation guide for Windows 8 and 7 or Vista.
Run It In A Virtual Machine
With a virtual machine
What Is a Virtual Machine? Everything You Need to Know
Virtual machines allow you to run other operating systems on your current computer. Here's what you should know about them.
you can run one operating system from the desktop of another. This is a great way to test a new operating system
6 Quick Ways To Get Familiar With A New Operating System
In the past, the only consumer operating systems that mattered were Windows and maybe Mac OS X and Linux. Now, we also have Chrome OS, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone to worry about. And new...
or run certain programs in an older version of Windows. While you don’t have to reboot to switch between one OS and the other, the drawback is that virtual machines are often resource intensive and could end up being slower than a proper installation.
One of the best tools for running an old version of Windows on your new computer is VirtualBox. The open source tool is completely free and supports all current versions of Windows, as well as Linux and Mac. If this sounds like a good deal, read our full VirtualBox review
VirtualBox's Guest Additions: What They Are And How To Install Them
Installing an operating system to the virtual machine isn't enough – you need to install VirtualBox’s Guest Additions for the best experience. What exactly do they do, and how can you install them?
or our guide to installing Windows 7 on VirtualBox
How to Install Windows 7 on a VirtualBox Virtual Machine
Microsoft will soon stop support for Windows 7. One way of keeping it running is through a virtual machine with VirtualBox.
Install XP Mode
XP Mode is a type of virtual machine for running Windows XP SP3 on a virtual hard disk. It’s freely available for Professional versions of Windows 7, although a license for XP will also let you enable XP Mode otherwise.
To run XP Mode on Windows 7
How To Run Windows 7 In XP Mode & When You Need This
, you need to install Windows Virtual PC. We have previously outlined the XP Mode configuration
How To Configure & Use Windows 7's XP Mode
Installing XP Mode on Windows 8
Forget the End of Life Woes: Windows 8 Has an XP Mode
Windows XP mode is restricted to Professional versions of Windows 7. But there's a way to get Windows XP Mode running on Windows 8 anyway. All you need is a computer running Windows 8.
requires a hack, which my colleague Chris outlined in his article.
Change The Interface
If the sole source of your frustration is the new interface, change it. You can make Windows 7 look like Windows XP
How To Make Windows 7 Look Like Windows XP
Some people have a hard time letting go of Windows XP. If you know someone like that, follow this tutorial and they won't even know you upgraded them to Windows 7.
by switching to a different theme.
In Windows 8, you can also change the theme
Amazing Windows 8 Themes You Need To See
Windows has always had an active community of enthusiasts who customize everything about it, including its desktop theme. Although Microsoft tries to prevent this, Windows 8's desktop can be themed just like Windows 7's. We've...
. Furthermore, Windows 8.1 allows you to avoid the modern interface by booting straight to the desktop (Windows 8.1 Update 1
Windows 8.1 Update Is Here! What It Is & How To Get It Now
Curious about the latest Windows 8.1 Update or not sure what this is about? KB2919355 is a cumulative update that comes with useful features. It can also be removed in case it causes issues.
does this automatically for destkop computers). Briefly, go to the desktop, right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and switch to Navigation. Under Start screen, check the box When I sign in or close all applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start.
Don’t Hold On Too Long & Go With The Times
Holding on to an old version of Windows isn’t worth it in the long run, especially if it’s for sentimental reasons
5 Reasons Why You Love Windows XP & What You Sacrifice
Nearly 30% of computers are still running Windows XP. It was a stable and reliable system for years, but all good things come to an end. Almost no good reasons to keep using Windows XP...
. Eventually, you’ll have to bite the bullet and upgrade to a new operating system
Which Operating System Should You Choose for Your Next PC?
Buying a new PC? You have more operating system choices than ever. Which is the best operating system for your computer?
Are you still sticking to an old version of Windows or are you helping someone do so and what’s the reason? Is switching to Linux
The Best Linux Distributions For Windows XP Refugees
or Mac easier than accepting changes in Windows?
Image credits: Multi Boot Screen by Mitch Garvis