How to install and use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7

In the previous article of this series, I discussed about the new features introduced by Microsoft in Windows Virtual PC. Now moving further in this article I’ll discuss the methodology of installing and using Windows XP Mode in an easy way without any clutters.

Setting up your Windows 7-based PC to run Windows XP Mode is a simple and straightforward process but first you have to check whether Windows Virtual PC is already installed on your computer or not.

If you don’t already have Windows Virtual PC installed:

  • If Windows Virtual PC does not appear in your Programs list in Start menu, you’ll need to download it, as well as Windows XP Mode. The download links are at the end of this post. Follow these steps to download.
  • In Step 1, shown on the page, tells you about the requirement of Windows XP Mode.
  • In Step 2, select the edition of Windows 7 which is currently you’re using and then select your language in the right hand box.
  • In Step 3, when you have finished step 2, click on the blue Windows XP Mode button and follow the prompts to download and install.  Once you have completed this, click on the second blue button, Windows Virtual PC, and again follow the prompts to download and install.  Finally, click on the third blue button, Windows XP Mode Update and download and install it.

Windows Virtual PC is a system update, you will need to reboot your computer.

Installing & Setting up Windows XP Mode:

When installation of Windows XP Mode setup file is complete, go to All Programs and click on Windows XP Mode to begin the set-up of your Windows XP Mode environment. The set-up process for Windows XP Mode will take several minutes. During this time you be asked to accept the Windows XP License Agreement, as well as to create a new password and whether or not to receive Automatic Updates.  Once the process is complete, you will see your new Windows XP Mode environment as a window on your Windows 7 desktop.

Some important considerations:

Working with virtualization technology is the fact that the user has both the physical and virtual PC to maintain.  Every PC requires a degree of maintenance including but not limited to keeping the operating system and applications up to date with patches, virus and malware protection, and backup.

Windows XP Mode is pre-configured with the Windows XP firewall and to apply updates automatically from Windows Update.  It is not pre-configured with anti-virus or anti-malware software, and both types of security software are recommended.

You can install and run applications within this Windows XP environment (known as Desktop Mode) exactly as if you were running them on a Windows XP-based PC. If you like, you can expand the Windows XP desktop to completely fill the screen (Full-Screen Desktop Mode) by clicking on the Maximize button in the upper right corner of the window.

When operating in Full-Screen Desktop Mode, you will notice that there is a small menu bar at the top of the desktop. This will enable you to access certain Virtual PC functions that we’ll talk about in the article.

Download: Windows XP Mode.

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Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.

One Comment

  1. TuneUp

    Windows XP mode really is a great way to make a smooth transition when upgrading to Windows 7, but there are some performance issues and problems users might run into when using virtual Windows. I actually put together a blog post with a step-by-step guide on how to set up Windows XP Mode and increase the performance of this virtual Windows version. Just make sure you have Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate—the XP Mode is not available on Windows 7 Starter or Home Premium. See here for more info:

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