How to Check if Your Software or Hardware is Compatible with Windows 7

Do you have questions about the compatibility of a particular software or bit of hardware with Windows 7? You could experiment and find out the hard way or head over to the Microsoft Windows 7 Compatibility page to do a quick and easy search instead.

Note: There may be some software or hardware that has not been listed at the Windows 7 Compatibility website yet.

The Windows 7 Compatibility Homepage

If you want to do a direct search at the compatibility homepage you can use the search functions located at the top. You will need to choose either software or hardware from the drop-down menu. Notice that there is an Advanced Search option available as well.

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For those who are curious this is what the Advanced Search looks like.

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Gong back to the compatibility homepage you can also choose to look through the categories available for software and hardware. First the software section…notice that each category has a drop-down menu to help you refine your search.

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An example of what you will see. This is from the first page of Kids & Educational – Reference sub category.

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Here is an example of a direct search for a particular software (Paint.NET). This particular software is listed as Status varies, so a quick click on View details will be helpful for understanding why.

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The additional details for Paint.NET show which versions are and are not compatible with Windows 7.

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As with software you can search through different categories of hardware to refine your search.

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The first page of results for Displays – LCD sub category.

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For our hardware search example we chose “HP w17e 17″ Widescreen Monitor”.  Looking good.

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Using the Accelerators for Internet Explorer

If you use Internet Explorer there are two add-ons that you can install. The first is an accelerator to help you conduct searches for highlighted terms from the Context Menu. The second on adds a new search engine to the search box and a new accelerator to the Context Menu. Choose the one that best fits your needs or both if you like. For our Internet Explorer example we chose Winamp.

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One thing to keep in mind when using the Search with Windows 7 Compatibility Center accelerator…it will default to a hardware search, so you may need to manually select software when the appropriate page opens. Using the Check Compatibility with Windows 7 accelerator will default to software when the appropriate page opens.

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Just what we were looking for. Whether you use the homepage or Internet Explorer add-ons, this should help you find the answers you are looking for on Windows 7 compatibility.

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Visit the Windows 7 Compatibility Homepage

Install the Windows 7 Compatibility Center Accelerator

Install the Windows 7 Compatibility Center Search Engine

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .