Windows 7 End of Life has come and gone: did you get your OS affairs in order by January 14? If not: have no fear! Read on and find the details you need to know before moving forward:
What does “End of Life” mean?
Windows has officially pulled support for Windows 7 as of January 14, 2020. Microsoft is finally wrapping up it’s “extended support” phase for Windows 7, as it’s no longer viable to continue patching and updating Windows 7. Sunsetting this older OS will free them up to focus on current and future versions of Windows 10.
What am I risking by putting off the update?
As you may have noticed, Windows 7 didn’t magically stop working on January 14, but every day you continue using it without upgrading to Windows 10 is a security risk. Microsoft will no longer be issuing patches to address new threats and security problems, meaning that anyone left behind could fall victim to a threat like 2018’s “Meltdown” bug.
What are my next steps?
Unfortunately, upgrading also means you need to have a computer that can handle Windows 10. Many common computers that are older than 2011 or 2012 may struggle to run Windows 10 correctly (or flat out can’t run it at all). Below are the basic requirements:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
- Display: 800 x 600 resolution
This walkthrough from TechRadar recommends using at least a 2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM (8GB ideally) and a 160GB hard drive for a smooth Windows 10 experience. If you’re wary of trying to install Windows 10 on an older computer, this guide from CIO.com should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Microsoft is offering paid support to help some organizations make this transition, but it isn’t cheap, and seems tailored towards large and enterprise-scale businesses. You can read more about it in this article.
I’m ready to move to Windows 10, now what?
Backup your files
Although Microsoft has a built-in tool that will carry all your files over from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (provided you’re staying on the same PC), it’s always important to back up your files before a process like this, in case you run into problems along the way.
Acquire Windows 10
Once you’re ready, you can download Windows 10 here, or you can purchase a copy from a retailer like Amazon or Walmart. Follow the instructions given, and you’ll be on track to a safer Windows experience.
Need help getting up-to-date?
Does your organization need advice or an extra set of hands to get your PCs off of Windows 7?
Reach out and tell us more about your situation.