Learn how to set User Account Control (UAC) to virtualize the registry and file system for old software that’s incompatible with Windows 7.
When incompatible software tries to write to a location of the registry or file system that doesn’t exist User Account Control can fool the software and virtually write to those locations. Turning this feature on will make some incompatible software compatible with Windows 7.
Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, and Starter Users
Unfortunately the most popular versions of Windows 7 don’t have a nice and easy way to edit this setting. The only way to change this setting is by editing the registry.
Warning: Edit the registry at your own risk. Editing the registry can cause your computer to crash and a loss of data if not done properly. Please consider backing up the registry before you edit it.
- Type regedit in the Start Menu’s search box and then press Enter on your keyboard.
- Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Policies, and then select System in the left column of the Registry Editor.
- Double-click EnableVirtualization in the right column of the Registry Editor.
- Set the Hexadecimal value to 1 and then click OK in the DWORD Value window to save the changes.
- Restart the computer
Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional, and Ultimate Users
- Type secpol.msc in the Start Menu’s search box and then press Enter on the keyboard.
- Expand Local Policies and then select Security Options in the left column of the Local Security Policy window.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the right column of the Local Security Policy window and double-click User Account Control: Virtualize file and registry write failures to per-user locations.
- Select Enable in the Local Security Setting tab and then click OK to save the changes.
- Restart the computer.
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