How to Install Act! 6.0 – Act! 2003 on Windows 7 & 8 64 Bit Operating Systems

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Act! 6.0 & Act! 2003 Can Be Installed
on Windows 7 & 8 64 Bit Systems

Update: A recent viewer has commented below that he tried this method of installing ACT! 6.0 on Windows 8 and it works exactly the same as installing ACT! 6.0 on Windows 7.

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I say Act! 2003 & Act! 6.0. They are in-fact the same edition of Act!, just by two different names.

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If you are like me, a small business owner, and using Act! 2003 by Sage Software and you have the windows 7 64 bit operating system, and you tried to install Act!, you ran into a compatibility issue. Act! 2003, Act! 6.0 would not install.

You may have tried the Windows compatibility tool in the control panel and found it does not fix the problem either.

Furthermore you went the Sage’s website and read this statement;

“Windows 7® (Only ACT! 2010 and later versions are supported on this OS)“

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At first glance, this leads you to believe that you will not be able to use your current Act! 6.0 Act! 2003 version of the software on your computer.

This also leads you to believe that if you do not buy the latest version, (upgrade prices do not apply unless upgrading from Act! 2011 or later), that you won’t be able to have access to your contacts in the Act! program that you have grown accustomed to. In my case, I have over 3000 contacts in my version of Act!, and want to keep everything as-is.

So what options do you have?

Option #1 Install Act! 6.0 Act! 2003

You can ignore the incompatibility message and follow the instructions I am about to give you here, and install Act! 2003, Act! 6.0 on your Windows 7 64 bit system, or go with option #2.

What Sage failed to mention, because they want you to buy more software is this; only the setup menu when you click setup.exe or run autoplay from the ROOT directory on theCD is incompatible. The program itself will work just fine.

Act! 2003

So what now?

The solution is very simple. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist, computer programmer, network administrator, nor a software engineer to install Act! 6.0 Act 2003 onto your Windows 7 computer.

All you need to do is open the Act! 6.0 folder on the CD and click the setup.exe and let it run, enter your serial number, and you are good to go. Back up your Act! database on your old system, and simply import that database into your Act! program on your new system. It really is that simple.

Act! 6.0 Act! 2003

Act 6.0 Act 2003

Option #2

Export your contacts on your old system into a format such as tab-delimited, xls etc, then import your contacts into a different program you have such as Excel. If you do that, you lose all the customization of your contact screens, and the note history, and all sorts of stuff that will only work in Act! So upgrading would be an option if you are so inclined.

If this helped you, leave a comment and let me know.


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  • JDWorks

    I needed to reinstall ACT! 6 on my Windows 8.1 64-bit PC from my old CD and ran into the same problems as others. The installation program would not run, because not a 64-bit program. Tried running with Windows Compatibility set to Windows XP, but no success. Finally, decided to download ACT! 6.03 from Sage website, and then install. Worked great, no problem.

  • Wayne

    Had a similar problem when I had to buy a new laptop with Windows 8.1. My old laptop ran Windows 7 Professional which has an XP Virtual machine built-in (ACT 6.0 loaded & ran fine). I tried using VM Player (free) as a virtual machine on 8.1 but couldn’t get ACT 6.0 to load from my CD. Then tried Skeeter’s solution which I couldn’t get to work. So I googled ACT 6.0 and found 6.0 downloads from Sage. The download installed seamlessly. I then imported my contacts from a flash drive. But you do need the license code on your CD.

  • malcolm westlake

    Good day Skeeter
    Has anyone reported success migrating over to Windows 10. I had one stab in June but the upgrade just did not work. I read of all the problems and decided to wait until Microsoft sort their act (not ACT!) out. I hear there is a service pack 1 on the way already.
    Malcolm Westlake

    • skeeter

      My mom was running Windows 8 and successfully upgraded to 10. I still use windows 7 and was going to wait until Win 10 sp1, but after reading about Win 10 and seeing it on my mom’s computer I have decided there is not really anything with 10 I want. Support and updates for Windows 7 will last until January 14th, 2020. For the most part from what I see, Win 10 brought back the desktop and not much more that interested me.

  • Scott Peterson

    Just tried to install on a new Dell computer with Win8.1 and it just sat there. Nothing happened. For informational purposes, if you start “task manager” you’ll see setkup32 among the running processes. Right-click and select ‘go to details’, then right-click again and select “analyze wait chain” you’ll see that it’s waiting on another program. Cancel that program and another will just pop up.

    1. go to the act install folder and right-click on setup.exe and select ‘properties’.

    2. Click on the compatibility tab and select compatibility with Windows 7 and check the ‘run as administrator’ box. Click apply. Then click OK. Then repeat and make sure the settings took. they don’t always.

    3. Restart Windows in SAFE mode.

    4. Run setup it should install.

    5. However, when you get to the registration step you’ll have no internet and no local printer. Just hit “cancel” and then reboot into Windows 8.1.

    6. When you start ACT, it’ll insist you register. Select PRINT, fill out the screen and print it.

    You’re done.

  • Mach Teresa

    It is true. I had no problem with installation Act!, but I have problem with opening old files .wpa. Can you help mi to solve this (W7)?

  • Bruce

    I had to get a new laptop, and like you have hundreds of old contacts on Act 6.0, since later versions were not as basic and utilitarian, and functional. But I lost my old copy of Act 6.) and just got a new one off Amazon for $30. But your fix is Not working on Win 8. Looks like clicking on the Setup.exe starts a process but goes nowhere. Any other angles?

  • Malcolm Westlake

    Re ACT6!. Just to thank you wherever you are for saving me a small fortune. I was told by the “experts” that trading up to Windows7 x64 was not possible but you put your finger right on the button with your very clear recommendation. Up and running in 5 mins. then downloaded 20 years of ACT entries from XP embedded in W7 in another 10. Must add though that you need the Ultimate version of 7 to get best results and NOT to touch Windows 8. ACT! just didn’t seem to like it. Instead wait for MS ver.10.

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