How to fix: PaperPort appears to be running Windows XP Compatibility Mode, see Technote 6629

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Joe Winograd
50+ years in computer industry •Everything from development to sales •CIO •Windows •Document Imaging •EE MVE 2015,2016,2018 •EE FELLOW 2017
Nuance's PaperPort may display this error message:

PaperPort appears to be running Windows XP Compatibility Mode which may result in errors. We recommend disabling Compatibility Mode for the PaprPort.exe program, see Technote 6629.

This article provides a possible solution to the problem.

You are reading this article because you attempted to run Nuance's PaperPort program, but received the error dialog box shown above. This is the infamous Compatibility Mode problem, very well-known in PaperPort circles. To rub salt in the wound, when you try to find TechNote 6629, it isn't there, as Nuance took it down, although the similar TechNote 6330 remains:


More salt in the wound occurs when you try to go to the link in the dialog box:


That results in a 404 - File or directory not found error message — "The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."

Turns out that even if you could find TechNote 6629, it is almost surely not the solution in this case, even though the error message referred you to it. The far more likely solution is the so-called "AppCompatFlags\Layers" registry hack, which is described in this Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking knowledge base entry, and which folks have using been using for PaperPort, too:


That article says to find the following registry keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

It then says to delete them, but that is a seriously flawed solution because it will delete entries that belong to programs other than PaperPort, likely causing problems. So, you want to delete only the entries in those keys that belong to PaperPort. This is described in the two most recent Nuance KB articles on the matter (Answer ID 17383 and 18359):


They add a third key to look for:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\AppCompatFlags\Layers

Also, they correctly point out that you should delete only the "value on the right with PaprPort.exe" in it — not the whole key! Here's an example of an entry in one of those keys for another program:

Deleting the entire Layers key would likely cause real grief for the spjr.exe program.

Warning: Modifying the registry requires great care and carries an element of risk. If you are not comfortable doing it, get the assistance of a person who is knowledgeable with it.

N.B.: If you search in the registry (or the file system) for the PaperPort program, note that the executable is PaprPort.exe, not PaperPort.exe — that is, no letter "e" in the file name portion. This is because PaperPort was first released back in the 8.3 file-naming stone age and hasn't been changed.

With some luck, the method presented in this article will solve your problem. Please let me know if it does (or doesn't) by providing a comment below.

If you find this article to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. This lets me know what is valuable for EE members and provides direction for future articles. Thanks very much! Regards, Joe

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