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Published on 05.27.09 by Brent Trahan

Turn Off Program Compatibility Assistant

Learn how to turn off the Program Compatibility Assistant in Windows 7.

This policy controls the state of the Program Compatibility Assistant in the system.

The PCA monitors user initiated programs for known compatibility issues at run time. Whenever a potential issue with an application is detected, the PCA will prompt the user with pointers to recommended solutions. For more information on the various issue detection scenarios covered by PCA and the policies to configure them, refer to policies under System->Troubleshooting and Diagnostics->Application Compatibility Diagnostics.

The PCA is on by default.

If you enable this policy setting, the PCA will be turned off. This option is useful for system administrators who require faster performance and are aware of the compatibility of the applications they are using. Note: With the PCA turned off, the user will not be presented with solutions to known compatibility issues when running applications.

If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, the PCA will be turned on.

Note: The Diagnostic Policy Service (DPS) and Program Compatibility Assistant Service must be running for the PCA to execute. These services can be configured using the Services snap-in to the Microsoft Management Console.

Turn Off the Program Compatibility Assistant

  1. Type gpedit.msc in the Start menu’s search box and then press Enter.

    Note: This guide shows you how to make changes to Windows 7 using Group Policy. Group Policy is not available in Home versions of Windows 7.

  2. Navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and then select Application Compatibility in the left column of the Group Policy editor.


  3. Double-click Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant in the Settings section of the Group Policy editor.
  4. Select Enable and then click OK to save the changes.


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5 Responses to “Turn Off Program Compatibility Assistant”

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  1. Adam Orama says:

    That wont help at all. This will help
    Well Dude,

    It is very simple. There is no way you can Disable PCA without it popping up. But if you want to stop that permanently, you have to delete PCA from your computer. Here are the steps to delete PCA from your Computer.

    1. Go to start and click computer.

    2. Now click the search bar and type in “PCAUI”.

    3. Now you should see a whole bunch of files.

    4. Now first Right Click any-file inside the search results.

    5. Click properties.

    6. Go to Security.

    7. Click the advanced button below the permissions box.

    8. Now click the Owner tab.

    9. Now click Edit

    10. Select Administrator

    11. Click Apply

    12. Click ok again

    13. now where we first began, in the properties windows click security again

    14. CLick edit

    15. Allow FULL CONTROL to everybody


    17. Now click ok

    18. Repeat steps 3-17 again with all the files

    19. When you are done, select all the files in the folder

    20. Click on your keyboardm SHIFT+delete

    21. Click YES

    22. Now you should not have anymore problems

  2. adam orama sucks says:

    and since when was it ever a good tip to start deleting system files? dont listen to this idiot please…

    use the group policy editor as shown in the article, make sure to disable the corresponding service,REBOOT your computer. If that doesnt work, try this, but DONT go deleting system files when it it absolutely UNNECESSARY.


  3. Rob says:

    To the original writer. Wow. Incorrect information on the maximum PC site. I have tried this, and it DOES NOT WORK. Please test this for yourself, and consider apologizing to the community.
    I am so disappointed in MAXIMUMPC for permitting this incorrect information on there site. I used to take your information as fact, it is unfortunate I will need to second guess the information provided from MAXIMUMPC in the future.

  4. Paul says:

    perhaps making sure the policy is activated?

    gpupdate / ?
    Description: Updates Group Policies settings.

    Syntax: GPUpdate [/Target:{Computer | User}] [/Force] [/Wait:]
    [/Logoff] [/Boot] [/Sync]


    Value Description
    /Target:{Computer | User} Specifies that only User or only Computer
    policy settings are updated. By default,
    both User and Computer policy settings are

    /Force Reapplies all policy settings. By default,
    only policy settings that have changed are

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