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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How to Enable or Disable Windows 7 Program Compatibility Assistant


The Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA) runs in the background and 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.

The PCA is enabled and turned on by default. This will show you how to enable or disable PCA in Windows 7. Turning off PCA is useful for system administrators who require faster performance and are aware of the compatibility of the applications they are using.

This issue is usually faced with older programs made for Windows 98 or Windows XP.

With the PCA turned off, users will not be presented with solutions to known compatibility issues when running applications.

This article is not applicable to Windows XP. This is applicable to Windows 7.

The Diagnostic Policy Service (DPS) and Program Compatibility Assistant Service must be set to Started and Automatic in Services for the PCA to be able to be enabled and to execute.

Program Compatibility Assistant Warnings

These are some examples of the warnings that PCA may give you if it detects a compatibility issue with a program. You can read more about these here: Application Compatibility: Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA)

Through the Local Group Policy Editor

1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. In the left pane, click on to expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and Application Compatibility. (see screenshot below)

3. In the right pane, right click on Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant and click on Edit. (see screenshot above)

4. To Enable Program Compatibility Assistant

A) Select either Not Configured or Disabled. (see screenshot below step 6)

B) Go to step 6.

5. To Disable Program Compatibility Assistant

A) Select Enabled. (see screenshot below step 6)

6. Click on OK. (see screenshot below)

7. Close the Local Group Policy Editor window.

This article is not applicable to Windows XP. This is applicable to Windows 7.

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