Can You Run Visual Basic 6 Apps on Windows 11?

Windows 11 has made major strides for the operating system, but can you run older Visual Basic 6 apps on it still?

A programmer is working on app development on computer

The number of VB6 users has declined over the last decade, but a small proportion of developers still use VB6 apps.

You might be running VB6 apps under Windows 10 and tempted to upgrade it to the latest version. As such, here is all the information you need to know about running VB6 apps under Windows 11, which will help you decide whether it’s worth updating or not.

Does Windows 11 Allow Visual Basic 6 Apps to Run?List of Operating Systems That Support VB6 Applications

Microsoft has confirmed in a support statement on Microsoft Docs that it will not stop supporting VB6 applications on Windows 11 by including it in the list of operating systems that can run Visual Basic apps.

You can see this for yourself on a VBForums thread about VB6 compatibility on Windows 11. Users have successfully run VB6 apps on Windows 11 without any issues. Moreover, the company has stated that mainstream and extended support total over 10 years, so you can expect to use VB6 applications for another decade.

3 Reasons Why Microsoft Hasn’t Abandoned Support for VB6 Apps

Here are some of the reasons why Microsoft isn’t abandoning VB6 support:

  1. Microsoft hasn’t introduced any alternatives that could replace VB6. As long as no alternative is offered, Microsoft will not abandon it overnight.
  2. Another common reason is to satisfy the concerns of developers who use VB6 for maintaining applications already developed. Having no alternative and cutting down the support in new upgrades means that they will either lose their work or stick to running older versions of Windows to run those apps.
  3. Microsoft doesn’t spend any money on upgrading VB6 to a newer version. It has been this way for years. Hence, with no overhead cost, it doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to abandon applications that have been around for decades.

Possible Issues You May Encounter While Running VB6 on Windows 11

There are many possible issues you can encounter when running VB6 under Windows 11, but here are two that users have reported:

  1. Visual issues are one of the possible problems you might face while using VB6 on Windows 11, as reported by users. Although one can’t comment on the origin of this issue, updating the graphics driver may help.
  2. Another user reported VB6 was presenting errors while loading a project after copying the project directory from Windows 10 to Windows 11. Thus, you may see these errors while importing project directories from an old Windows version into a newer one.

In the VBForums thread we linked above, one user weighed in their method for fixing this issue:

If it’s the same issue that’s been causing that for me when I migrated from 7 to 10 recently, click yes to continue loading project, just don’t touch anything, immediately re-add the objects though the Components or References, exit saving only changes to the .vbp, and reload the project. Then all is well.

These are the most common errors that one can encounter when running VB6 applications on Windows 11. When dealing with all sorts of issues regarding VB6 app execution, you should consult fellow developers on different forums or talk to an expert.

Unable to Run VB6 on Windows 11 for Some Reason?

If you have already upgraded to Windows 11 and are facing issues with running VB6 apps, you may be able to use Windows compatibility mode to get things going. In this way, you won’t have to revert the upgrade while still running VB6 apps.

You can run any app in compatibility mode by following these steps:

  1. Right-click on the app, and go to its Properties.
  2. Click on the Compatibility tab in the Properties window.
  3. Check the box for Run this program in compatibility mode for:
  4. Choose a previous version of Windows from the dropdown menu.
  5. After hitting Apply, click OK.
    Running an App in Compatibility Mode

Compatibility mode is one of the hidden modes in Windows that can come in handy when they’re needed.

Run VB6 Apps on Windows 11 With Ease

Thanks to Microsoft, you can still run VB6 applications under Windows 11. Moreover, compatibility mode will not fail you even if Windows 11 raises its hand to play the apps.

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