• Can I install my old Windows programs on Windows 10?

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Windows » Windows 10 » Questions: Win10 » Can I install my old Windows programs on Windows 10?


    I was forced to upgrade to a Windows 10 laptop when my old laptop developed a problem that couldn’t be fixed. I’m trying to install my old copies of Office components but Microsoft will not take my product keys because they are in an old format. I don’t want to sign in with a Microsoft account to use my own computer. Is there a way to make these programs work? There’s nothing wrong with them and they work fine.

    Viewing 13 reply threads
    • #2295676

      Newer versions of Win10 come with Office preinstalled (which is not your old version). If you are trying to install an older version of Office, and the key you have is legit, you should completely uninstall the preinstalled newer version first, because that is probably what is trying to install with your old key and doesn’t work. You don’t need to log into Microsoft if you have an older perpetual version of Office that is installed from a DVD or ISO.

    • #2295681

      Uninstall Office (newer, pre-installed versions).

      Then you should be able to install your old versions – providing you have the disks. At least I have been able to do that on my rig. The activation key should be on the disk or the sleeve the disk came in. I use a sharpie pen to write the activation key on all of my disks (don’t use a ball-point pen – that can ruin the disk).

      I have Office 2003 installed on 1909.


    • #2295704

      Many old programs, apart from earlier versions of Office, will run successfully on Win 10.  I have a few from the XP days, still running OK.  Some you may need to run in “compatibility mode”, but always worth a try.

      Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 20H2

    • #2295723

      Thanks so much for the suggestions.

      I did uninstall the trial version that came on the laptop. I installed my versions and I can open them and use them but still it is demanding the key each time and it won’t accept my key because it is a different number of digits than what they currently use. So it tells me I can use my programs on a trial basis, until tomorrow, since I don’t have a key.

      I’ve spent so much time on Microsoft’s site trying to find a solution but just going around in circles that go nowhere.

    • #2295738
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2295775

      Thanks so much! I will try these and report back!

    • #2301123

      Thanks so much for the help! I made sure the Office suite that came on the laptop was totally uninstalled and was able to install my copy and it seems to be working ok!

      One more question- I would like to install my copy of Quickbooks but it needs to install Flash to work and it seems that Windows 10 blocks that from installing. Is there a way around that?

    • #2301124

      According to QB you need at least QB2018 or downgrade Windows.

      An unconfirmed suggestion was to install in W7 compatibility mode.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2302934

      I’ve read a couple accounts where a person was able to remove the registry settings for Flash safe versions, and were then able to install it, but Windows 10 will not allow me to change those settings. Anyone know if it is possible or advisable?

    • #2302985

      What were those suggestions? Can you link to them?

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2303219

      Thanks for bearing with me! This is old so maybe it’s just totally outdated, but this is the idea: https://www.itninja.com/question/force-flash-player-10-to-install


    • #2303230

      The installer they are referring to is not available to “mere mortals”. The standard Adobe one is an internet enabled downloader that picks up the latest version.

      Have you tried to install Flash from the Adobe site?

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2304126

      Ah, I see. The problem with Quickbooks is that it tries to install Flash 10 in the sequence of its own installation, so if Windows stops it from installing Flash 10, the installation gets aborted. It doesn’t seem to recognize if you already have a later version of Flash already installed. Probably just a bad way the program was made to install. I was hoping I could keep using it for now, while I look for a better financial software. I don’t want to buy a new copy because I’m retired from business now, I just kept using QB for my personal finances because I had it and I know it really well. But it’s not ideally suited to personal finances, not worth investing in a new copy. Thanks for clarifying what they were recommending on that site, I only know enough about computers to get myself in trouble!

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by DriveBee.
      • #2354754

        Hi DriveBee.  Did you find any solution to keeping your finances?  I am in the same position as you were – I have been using QB for business and personal finances.  I am retired.  My QB is expiring in May and I do not want to renew or keep paying for it (I can keep it, but it will no longer update and I won’t be able to download credit card transactions).  I don’t want to use financial software that requires user to enter account credentials. I thought excel would be good, but haven’t found anything that would work for me.  Have you?

        And Paul – are you using a spreadsheet for finances? I think it is the best solution for me, but, how does that work ?  I am coming from QB with a great deal of functionality – so I’m stepping down to bare bones, I think, and I don’t understand how I can do the same sort of things with a spreadsheet, but I hope it works!  thanks.

        • #2354890

          I just have income and expenses in my sheets for tax purposes. I don’t do account / CC reconciliation because I can do that in my head by looking at the bank statements.

          cheers, Paul

    • #2304138

      Maybe a spreadsheet is the best solution?  🙂

      cheers, Paul

    Viewing 13 reply threads
    Reply To: Can I install my old Windows programs on Windows 10?

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: