Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Operating system:

Troubleshoot desktop apps on Surface Pro or Surface 3

Get help with common issues running desktop apps on Surface Pro models and Surface 3.


I need help installing a desktop app

Surface Pro models and Surface 3

If you’re having problems installing a desktop app on your Surface Pro model or Surface 3, try these solutions.

Check if your app needs an update

To see if you need to install an update for your app or change its settings, do the following:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and enter security.
Step 2: In the search results, select Security and Maintenance.
Step 3: Follow the on-screen instructions to resolve any problems.

Check if your app is compatible with Windows 10

To see if your app can run on Windows 10, go online to the Windows Compatibility Centre.

Surface RT and Surface 2

Only built-in apps and apps that you download from the Windows Store will run on Surface RT and Surface 2. If you get the error message “This app can’t run on your PC. To find apps for your PC, open the Windows Store,” you may be trying to install an app from somewhere other than the Store.

I need help with desktop-app compatibility

Most desktop apps written for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 also work in Windows 10, but some older apps may run poorly or not at all. If an older app doesn’t run correctly, run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter. Here's how:

Warning
Don’t run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter on antivirus programs, firewall software, backup software, disk utilities, or system programs that came with Windows. This might cause data loss or create a security risk.
Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and enter run programs.
Step 2: In the search results, select Run programs made for previous versions of Windows.
Step 3: In the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, select Next, and follow the on-screen instructions.

See Windows Compatibility Centre and select Apps to learn more about which desktop apps are compatible with Windows 10 and your Surface Pro model or Surface 3.

A desktop app doesn’t display or respond correctly

Feature enhancements in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 improve how text and desktop apps scale with high-resolution displays. Updating from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 can fix display scaling problems for many apps. For more info, see Update to Windows 8.1 on Surface or Upgrade to Windows 10.

Note
If you're already using Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 and you're having display problems, see Get the best display on your monitor.

I need help with other desktop-app problems

Install Surface and Windows updates

Installing the latest Surface and Windows updates can fix some problems with desktop apps. For more info, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

Check with the publisher of your desktop app

Check with the publisher of your desktop app to see if you are running the latest version of the app and to find out about any known issues with running your app on Surface.


I need help installing a desktop app

Surface Pro models and Surface 3: See Get your apps and devices working with Windows 8.1 for help with desktop-app installation issues.

Surface RT and Surface 2: Only built-in apps and apps that you download from the Windows Store will run on Surface RT and Surface 2. If you get the error message “This app can’t run on your PC. To find apps for your PC, open the Windows Store,” you may be trying to install an app from somewhere other than the Windows Store.

I need help with desktop-app compatibility

Most desktop apps written for Windows 7 also work in Windows 8.1, but some older apps may run poorly or not at all. If an older app doesn’t run correctly, run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter. Here's how:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Search.)
Step 2:  Tap or click the arrow above the search box, and tap or click Settings.
Step 3:  In the search box, enter compatibility, and in the search results, tap or click Run programs made for previous versions of Windows.
Step 4: In the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, tap or click Next, and follow the on-screen instructions.

See Windows Compatibility Centre and click Apps to learn more about which desktop apps are known to be compatible with Windows 8.1 and your Surface Pro and Surface 3. To find more info to help you get your apps working, see Get your apps and devices working in Windows 8.1.

A desktop app doesn’t display or respond correctly

Feature enhancements in Windows 8.1 improve how text and desktop apps scale with high resolution displays. Updating from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 can fix display scaling problems for many apps. For more info, see Update to Windows 8.1 on Surface.

Note
If you're already using Windows 8.1 and you're having display problems, see Get the best display on your monitor.

I need help with other desktop-app problems

Install Surface and Windows updates

Installing the latest Surface and Windows updates can fix some problems with desktop apps. For more info, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

Check with the publisher of your desktop app

Check with the publisher of your desktop app to see if you are running the latest version of the app and to find out about any known issues with running your app on Surface.