Windows 7: Disable Program Compatibility Assistant

This occasionally appears when a program made for an older operating system crashes. It appears with a dialog with the title "This program has known compatibility issues" like below.


Now, you can disable this in two ways. The first being through the Services Manager.

  • Run "services.msc"
  • Find "Program Compatibility Assistant Service"
  • Edit and stop the service (if running).
  • Set the startup type to disabled.
  • Optionally, you can do the same with "Diagnostic Policy Service" also as PCA is reliant on this service.

The second option is to use the Group Policy Editor.

  • Run "gpedit.msc"
  • Follow through to Computer Configuration
  • Administrative Templates
  • Windows Components
  • Application Compatibility
  • Edit "Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant" and set it to "Enabled"

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.

I've copied part of its description as a mini disclaimer: don't disable this unless you know what you're doing.

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