Run Virtual PC in Windows 8 bypass compatibility assistant

Windows 8 no longer allows Virtual PC 2007 to be installed. Attempts to install Virtual PC 2007 will bring up the Program Compatibility Assistant saying This program has compatibility issues which prevent installation. Virtual PC 2007 has been removed because Windows 8 now comes with its own inbuilt virtualisation software Hyper-V. However this requires your CPU to support SLAT, which many older processors do not.


To install Virtual PC 2007 you can disable the Program Compatibility Assistant. To do this you need open the Group Policy Editor.

Press Win + R and then enter “gpedit.msc”


The two options to enable are found here:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Application Compatibility

You need to enable both Application Compatibility Engine and Program Compatibility Assistant.

registry options

You then need to Reboot your machine for the change to take affect.

Last step, simple involves renaming the setup file you downloaded. e.g. change setup.exe to setup2.exe.

Now when you go to install Virtual PC you will bypass the Compatibility restriction. (Although I would recommend after installation restoring the Program Compatibility Assistant)

Below is a screenshot showing Virtual PC running on my Windows 8 test machine.

windows 8 and virtual pc

5 thoughts on “Run Virtual PC in Windows 8 bypass compatibility assistant

  1. Hi, the installation went perfectly well 🙂
    Adding a new/existing machine – mo problems.
    Trying to start is … blue screen 🙁 (even if I created a brand new machine)

    Any suggestions…?

    • @Andrzej: There are some issues with Virtual PC in Windows8 which I guess is why they disabled it. However you can make it work. One thing that is important to note is to make sure the amount of RAM you have assigned to your virtual image is actually currently available. If not, either reduce the amount of RAM assigned to it, or close some application down to make sure there is available memory to use when it starts up. Hope this helps.

  2. HIya

    thanks for this

    sorry to be dumb how do i get the XP part of the install in there?

    I have a virtual machine now but how do I get xp in it?


  3. I have a Toshiba that has Windows 8 and I have folloed these step but i still can’t download a virtual pc of activate the features. What am I doing wrong?

  4. I managed to install VPC64 bit on my Windows 8.1 pro but if i run, it displays the compatibility assistant screen and thats it. Any ideas how to make it run? Or do i need to install the VPC service pack 1?

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