Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, Leaving Systems Without Patches

Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, Leaving Systems Without Patches

If you continue to use Windows 7 after January 14, your computer will still work but it can become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses

November 24, 2019

If you still haven't upgraded your Windows 7 operating system to Windows 10, you need to pay attention. Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. After that date, Microsoft will no longer provide new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates for Windows 7. But you can still upgrade your system.

What does this mean

After January 14, 2020, if your computer is still running Windows 7, it will no longer receive software or security updates. In addition, Microsoft customer service will no longer be available to provide Windows 7 technical support. Related services for Windows 7 will also be discontinued over time. For example, certain games such as Internet Backgammon and Internet Checkers as well as Electronic Program Guide for Windows Media Center are scheduled to be discontinued in January 2020. Support for Internet Explorer will also end. Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 will be the only supported operating systems.

Why is support ending?

Windows 7 is more than ten years old. Windows 10, Microsoft's newest operating system, is more than four years old and is the most supported Windows operating system. But good things can't last forever. The constant maintenance of several different versions of the Windows operating system is a costly and time-intensive measure, even for such a large company. The goal is to focus more resources on Windows 10 to make it more secure against threats.

Do I have to upgrade?

Your computer will still operate just fine, but you won't get any software updates, security updates, or technical support. It might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work. It's not exactly the safest thing to do, though.

Will Security Essentials Still work?

No. Your system will not be protected by Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) after January 14, 2020. This product is unique to Windows 7 and follows the same lifecycle dates for support.

Can I still upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost?

Technically, no. You will have to buy a software license in order to run Windows 10. But most users are reporting that downloading the Windows 10 media tool and using their existing Windows product key during installation from a USB drive will give them a free upgrade anyway. If you are planning to upgrade to Windows 10, you should try doing it this way before purchasing a license. But keep in mind that a lot of older systems may not work with Windows 10. Some older hardware may not be fully supported, if at all, by the vendors.

find out which version of Windows you are using

  • Click the Start button icon button, and then type winver in the search box.
  • Click winver in the list of results to open the About Windows dialog box where you can see the version of Windows installed.