Windows 7 Support Has Officially Ended – Now What?

If you have been clinging on to the much-loved Windows 7 on your PC, resisting the many reasons to upgrade to Windows 10, this might be the point when you should start to reconsider. Microsoft officially ended support for their 10-year-old operating system on the 14th of January 2020. So what does this mean for those still using it?

Why has Microsoft ended support?

The ending of support for digital products is a normal thing once they have been superseded by a newer version (Windows XP support ended in 2014, after 12 years). It is also possibly something of a push to get more users onto the much more secure and modern Windows 10. Microsoft could, of course, continue support for as long as they wanted, but to do so would seem to signal a lack of faith in their newer OS.

Will I be forced to update to Windows 10?

No! If you want to continue using Windows 7, you most certainly can. You just need to be aware that there will be no more security updates, no more supported software updates, nor any way to get official technical support (of course, there will still be Windows 7 help forums and websites run by others).

Without continued software and security updates, Windows 7 will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. You may also start to find that less and less third-party software works with the older OS.

Can I still upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 for free?

The free upgrade offer ended in 2016, so unfortunately you will need to pay for Windows 10. Prices vary depending on which edition you get (Home, Pro, etc.,) but you can often find a downloadable version for as little as £20 from offer sites like Groupon.

Is upgrading to Windows 10 easy?

Yes, in most cases, it is very easy. Once you have the Windows 10 disc or ISO file, the upgrade process begins with your computer being scanned for compatibility. The upgrade process can take a while, but none of your personal files should be lost, although you may need to reinstall specific software you have installed in 7 once the upgrade to 10 is complete.

Is Windows 10 more secure than Windows 7?

The answer, for most average users, is yes! Windows 10 is the most secure Windows OS ever built, with comprehensive end-to-end security that covers antivirus, firewall, internet protections, and more. This means more security features, dashboard displays, and ongoing updates to help safeguard against future threats.

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Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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