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Only 12 months until all Windows 7 support ends

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 1/14/19

After a decade since its release, the Windows 7 operating system will finally lose support from Microsoft after Jan. 14,2020. So, this is the last full year of support. Microsoft is offering some paid extended support options, but that looks like it will only be for large businesses with volume licensing. So, it’s strongly recommended by most in the computer industry for consumers and small businesses still using Windows 7 to upgrade to Windows 10 this year.

If you’re still using even older versions (such as Windows XP or Vista), you should upgrade now, as all support for those ended years ago.

What happens after support ends: Although Windows 7 won’t just totally stop working after the support ends, there will no longer be any daily or weekly updates or fixes provided by Microsoft to patch newly discovered security holes. Other Microsoft programs in Windows 7 will also lose support. For example, Internet Explorer will no longer be supported in Windows 7, making web browsing even more risky. Plus, users will likely be bombarded with alerts about the end of support.

Other third-party software vendors may or may not also pull their support for using their programs in Windows 7.

Checking your Windows version:If you aren’t sure of your Windows version, you can quickly check on your computer: click the Start Button in the lower-left comer to bring up the Start Menu, right-click “Computer,” and then select “Properties.”

If you don’t see “Computer” on the Start Menu, you may have Windows 8,8.1, or 10. In those versions, you’d right-click the Start Button in lower-left corner and select “System.”

Once you see the System window pop-up, you’ll find your Windows version and edition near the top of that window if using Windows 7 (or older) or near the bottom if using Windows 8, 8.1, or 10.

Upgrading to Windows 10:If your current computer is worth it, you may be able to have it upgraded to Windows 10. You can still upgrade without paying Microsoft for the Windows 10 license. I suggest contacting a tech support company to evaluate your computer’s specs and health to see if it’s worth the investment, or if it’s better to just purchase a new computer with Windows 10.

When Windows 8 came out, you may have heard a lot negative feedback about the changes from upset users. I also didn’t like the changes and thought Windows 8 and 8.1 were mistakes. However, I can honestly say Windows 10 is much better and most Windows 7 users can transition to using it without trouble, especially with the help of a computer tech.

You might have also heard horror stories from others about the upgrade to Windows 10. Some computers even automatically performed the upgrade without the user’s full understanding or consent a few years ago when Microsoft was aggressively pushing it. However, most of these problems were due to the way the computer was upgraded to Windows 10. But when upgraded properly by a computer tech, the upgrades seemed to work much better.

Staying with Windows 7 after support ends:I’m sure there will be people who can’t afford to upgrade their computer or simply choose not to.

If you’re one that continues using Windows 7 after the support ends, keep in mind there will likely be some things you can do to better the security and usability. This will probably include using a third-party web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and also using a good antivirus. But this depends on those vendors continuing to support their products on Windows 7, which isn’t clear right now. We’ll know more details at the end of the year, so stay tuned.

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