Q. I use XP Mode on my Windows 7 Professional edition machine to run older programs. Iâm considering upgrading to Windows 10 and would like to know if XP Mode is available in that operating system.
A. Windows 10 does not support the Windows XP Mode that came with some versions of Windows 7 (and was only licensed for use with those editions). Microsoft does not even support Windows XP anymore, having abandoned the 14-year-old operating system in 2014. If you absolutely need to keep your current Window 7/Windows XP setup to get work done and cannot deal with a lot of trouble, do not upgrade to Windows 10.
If you want to use Windows 10 and do not mind some tinkering around to get things to work, you might be able to install Windows XP on a virtual machine â sort of a system within a system by way of software. To do this, you need a virtual-machine program like Oracleâs VirtualBox or VMware Workstation Player. Microsoftâs Hyper-V software that comes with the Professional, Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10 has also been used to cobble together a virtual Windows XP system, but using old Windows XP Mode files is not licensed.
In addition to virtual-machine software (and computer hardware with enough memory and processing power to handle it all), you will need Windows XP installation files and a valid product key. You should also dig up the installation files for the programs you want to run in XP and consider getting XP-compatible antivirus software.
Once you have selected a virtual-machine program, follow the instructions for installing the software and guest operating systems on Windows 10. The online manual for VirtualBox or support documentation from VMware may be useful here, and general tutorials from tech-focused sites like Tomâs Hardware or the How-To Geek can help illuminate the process.