After more than ten years since its initial release in 2009, Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. After the end of support, the company will stop releasing any software or security updates and fixes as well as stop technical support for any Windows 7 issues.
If you’re running Windows 7, your PC will continue to work. Still, any future issues that might arise due to software incompatibility or any other driver issue won’t have any official fixes or support. Without security updates, running Windows 7 will also mean that your machine will be more susceptible to viruses and malware.
The company recommends Windows 7 users to shift to Windows 10, which might require you to upgrade to a new PC itself as most of the old devices don’t support the new Windows.
For those looking to upgrade their Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free, there is no official support for a free upgrade anymore. At the time of Windows 10 launch, the company ran a promotional offer that allowed Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10 free of cost, but that offer expired on July 29, 2016.
If you’re looking to upgrade to Windows 10 now, you’ll need to either buy a copy of the OS, which starts at $139 or buy a new PC that comes loaded with Windows 10.
Since it’s the time around the end of support of Windows 7, you’ll be receiving a lot of notifications from Microsoft about the same, urging you to upgrade to Windows 10. But given that Windows 7 is more vulnerable to malware, viruses and ransomware, you should be careful about the notifications too. Below is the official image of the notification that Microsoft is serving people running Windows 7. If your notification differs significantly from the image below, avoid clicking on it as it may be a phishing link or some other malware. Also read: How to zip and unzip files in Windows 10
Why should you buy a new PC instead of upgrading the OS?
If you were running Windows 7 on a PC bought in the past five years deliberately, you upgrade to Windows 10 with ease and will most probably face no issues. But if your machine came loaded with Windows 7, it’s not such a good idea to upgrade the OS to Windows 10 as brings new capabilities which the old hardware might not be equipped to handle.
Windows 10 brings you more security tools that keep your PC protected in real-time from viruses, malware and ransomware.
Microsoft Office after Windows 7 support ends
Those running Windows 7 after its support ends will still receive security updates for Office 365 for the next three years, until January 2023, but won’t receive any feature updates for the software. They’ll need to move to Windows 10 to get the full Office 365 experience. If you’re using a non-subscription version of Office — 2010, 2013, 2016 — it’ll still be supported on Windows 7 as long as they are within the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. However, no tech support is offered by the company for a problem that arises due to incompatibility issues between Windows 7 and non-subscription Office software.
Other services affected by the Windows 7 end of support
- Related Windows 7 services such as Internet Backgammon, Internet Checkers and Electronic Program Guide for Windows Media Center, among others, will be discontinued over time following the end of support for Windows 7.
- Support for Internet Explorer will also be discontinued on January 14, 2020. Microsoft is releasing the redesigned Chromium-based Edge browser on January 15.
- Microsoft Security Essentials will stop receiving feature updates after January 14, 2020.
- Embedded Windows 7 (on ATMs or gas pumps) have different lifecycle dates to regular PCs.
Users will still be able to install and activate Windows 7 on a device after the support ends on January 14, 2020, but their PC will be vulnerable to security risks due to a lack of security updates.
Also read: Top 7 Android emulators for Windows