Newer versions of Windows sometimes have trouble running older games. Introduced with Windows XP, compatibility settings can fix some of these problems to varying degrees.
Note that compatibility settings will not fix problems such as Missing DLL errors or rainbow colors. Refer to their resprective pages for further details.
Try enabling this setting and choosing a Windows version that the game was originally designed for. The versions listed will vary somewhat depending on the version of Windows that is currently being used.
As of Windows 10, here are all the possible options:
Try choosing the appropriate mode when running 256-color and 16-bit games. This is also useful for games that run correctly without this setting but warn about too many colors; enabling this setting will skip the warning.
For Windows 7 and earlier, 16-bit color can be used by changing the desktop color depth before running the game.
Try this when running 256-color games. This is also useful for 256-color games that run correctly without this setting but warn about too many colors; enabling this setting will skip the warning.
This sets the Windows resolution to 640x480 before launching the game.
Stops visual themes built in to the operating system from affecting the game.
Disables Aero, the default theme and graphical user interface.
This prevents automatic resizing of programs if large-scale font size is in use.
This setting makes the game run as an administrator, which is required for some games. This setting is automatically set when the compatibility mode is set to Windows XP or earlier, so if one of those modes are being used, then the option does not need to be changed manually.