Microsoft will stop updating Windows 7 in 2020, but it will start nagging you to upgrade to Windows 10 starting next month

A computer store employee carries promotional signage for Microsoft's new operating system 'Windows 7' ahead of its official launch at midnight tonight on October 21, 2009 in London, England.

caption
A computer store employee carries promotional signage for Microsoft’s new operating system ‘Windows 7’ ahead of its official launch at midnight tonight on October 21, 2009 in London, England.
source
Oli Scarff/Getty

  • Microsoft will stop providing security updates to Windows 7 in January 2020.
  • The company will start sending notifications to Windows 7 users about the final deadline starting in April 2019, and will prompt users to upgrade to Windows 10.
  • You can upgrade your old PC to Windows 10, or buy a new Windows 10 PC.
  • Whichever upgrade route you choose, you should back up all your data before upgrading.

Microsoft will stop delivering security updates to Windows 7 machines in January 2020, but the company will start nagging you to upgrade to Windows 10 starting in April 2019.

“Beginning next month, if you are a Windows 7 customer, you can expect to see a notification appear on your Windows 7 PC,” Microsoft said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Windows 7 users can expect to see the notificantion “a handful of times in 2019,” the blog post said.

computer shop

source
Flickr/IntelFreePress

Despite the notifications, Windows 7 users will still get security updates until January 2020. But after January 2020, Windows 7 users will be scusceptible to vulnerabilities in the Windows 7 operating system that could crop up after the last and final security update from Microsoft, and the company won’t be patching those vulnerabilities.

You can’t blame Microsoft, as the company has been warning you that it’s ending Windows 7 support since 2014. It even extended its original “end-of-support” date from 2015 to 2020, which is pretty generous.

Windows 7 users could totally ignore the notifications, and they can even set the notifications to stop appearing, should they wish.

It’s probably a better idea to upgrade to Windows 10, though. It’s just not worth the risk of becoming a victim of a security vulnerability for the sake of saving $140. One could easily argue that those who are still using Windows 7 got their money’s worth out of the old operating system.

Better yet, you could treat yourself to a nice new PC that comes with Windows 10 pre-installed. Indeed, chances are your Windows 7 computer is on the older side if it came with the Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft’s notifcations for Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 will even contain a link that leads you to newer PCs that run Windows 10. It’s likely that even some of the cheapest Windows 10 PCs will outperform your current Windows 7 PC at this stage.

Whichever upgrade route you choose, whether its upgrading your old PC to Windows 10 or buying a new Windows 10 PC, you should back up all your data before upgrading. To do so, you can either use an external hard drive, or back up all your stuff in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud service, where you get a free terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) of storage.

As for commercial Windows 7 commercial users, they will be able to buy Windows 7 Extended Security Updates from Microsoft.