The strange case of error “Windows Program Compatibility mode is on.” when installing Visual Studio 2012 language packs

Another problem apart from this other one that can happen installing Visual Studio 2012 language packs to try your extension with other languages is the following:

“Windows Program Compatibility mode is on. Turn it off and the try Setup again”


The error message is misleading: I have found that it happens if you rename the setup file from the original name “vs_langpack.exe” to something else, such as “vs_langpack_english.exe”, etc. (for example, to have all the language packs in the same folder).


  • The problem doesn’t happen with Visual Studio 2013 language packs, though.
  • I am using Windows 8.1 RTM. It could be that the problem doesn’t happen on other Windows versions.
  • Apparently the same happens to VS 2012 (not a language pack) if not named correctly, according to this bug report on Microsoft Connect. Microsoft says it’s a bug of Windows 8.1 RTM.