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The latest version of Microsoft Virtual PC lets you run applications installed on your virtual Windows XP Mode in Windows 7 without loading the whole operating system in the background. In this guide you’ll learn:

  • How to turn on Auto Publish to view programs on Windows 7’s start menu.
  • How to run Windows XP Mode applications in Windows 7.
  • How to add XP Mode programs to Windows 7’s start menu.
  • How to exclude XP Mode programs from Windows 7’s start menu.

Note: A few weeks ago, we asked you if you used Windows XP Mode and many of you responded by saying you didn’t know about it so we wrote this guide: What are Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode and How Do I Use them? This is a good place to start if you’re new to Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode.

If you get to the end of this guide and still have questions about Windows Virtual PC or XP Mode, please ask them in the Windows 7 forum.

How to Turn on Auto Publish to View Programs on Windows 7’s Start Menu

Auto Publish is an integration feature of Windows Virtual PC that adds the programs installed on the virtual machine to the host machine’s start menu. By default, this feature is enabled for Windows XP Mode, but to verify so you can follow the rest of the guide:

Click Tools > Settings… and click Auto Publish in the left-hand menu. Ensure Automatically publish virtual applications is checked.

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If Auto Publish is not enabled:

1. Click Ctrl+Alt+Del (or press Ctrl+Alt+End.)

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2. Click Shut Down…

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3. Select Shut down and click OK.

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4. After XP is shut down, in Windows 7, click the Start button, type virtual, and click Windows Virtual PC.

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5. Right click Windows XP Mode and click Settings.

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6. Click Auto Publish in the left-hand menu. Check Automatically publish virtual applications and click OK.

You can now start Windows XP Mode again.

How to Run Windows XP Mode Applications in Windows 7

For this example, I’ll use Office 95 (seems like a good candidate for use with Windows XP (although it will work in Windows 7), but for this guide we’ll pretend we had to use XP Mode to get it working :)

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Once you install Microsoft Office 95, you’ll see the shortcuts appear on the XP Start menu…

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…and on the Windows 7 host machine’s start menu.

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This happens because any shortcuts for programs in the All Users folder are automatically put on Windows 7’s start menu. But what if a program doesn’t appear in the Start menu or programs appear that you don’t want in the start menu? Learn how to fix these potential issues below (How to Add XP Mode Programs to Windows 7’s Start Menu.)

If you click to open a program and have Windows XP Mode running, you’ll be asked to exit XP Mode. Click Continue.

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The application will launch:

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You’ll be able to work with the program seamlessly as if it were a Windows 7 application:

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How to Add XP Mode Programs to Windows 7’s Start Menu

If you install a program in Windows XP Mode and it doesn’t show on Windows 7’s start menu (like it did in the example above):

1. Click the Windows XP Mode Start button, right click All Programs, and click Open all Users/Explore All Users.

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2. Click the Windows XP Mode Start button, right click All Programs, and click Explore/Open.

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3. Copy the shortcut, which you want to appear in Windows 7, from the folder opened in step 2 to the folder opened in step 1.

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4. Now go to Windows 7 and verify the shortcut exists.

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How to Exclude XP Mode Programs from Windows 7’s Start Menu

If you want certain programs excluded (or default programs, like the somewhat classic calculator, included) you’ll need to add/remove registry entries from the exclude list. If you are unfamiliar with registry editing, follow this guide and then come back.

Exclude a Program

To exclude a program:

1. Click the Windows XP Mode Start button, click All Programs, right click the shortcut you’d like to exclude click Properties.

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2. Copy the Target field.

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3. Open regedit and navigate to:

HLKM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Virtual Machine\VPCVAppExcludeList

4. Right click in a blank space and click New > String Value. Give the string a name (the application name e.g. Binder.exe)

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5. Double click the newly-created String Value and paste the shortcut to the file (include quotes if there’s a space in the file/folder name.)

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Include an Excluded a Program

If you want to include an excluded program like Windows XP Calculator:

1. Open regedit and navigate to:

HLKM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Virtual Machine\VPCVAppExcludeList

2. Right click the program you’d like to include and click Delete.

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The program will now be available for use.

There you have it: the basics of Windows Virtual PC Auto Publishing.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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2 thoughts on “Run Windows XP Mode Applications in Windows 7 [How To]”

  1. Tjackson says:

    i am trying to add a DOS app to the virtual list of applications.  it runs fine within xp mode, but i dont want the xp mode winodow open.  i want it to run seamlessly like other apps.

    are there registry keys or something that i can create/modify to add these applications?

    1. Gay Rapist 69 says:

      no there aren’t, what a gay ass question

Comments are closed.

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