What to do now before Windows 7 support comes to an end

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 7/29/19

The date when Microsoft completely quits supporting the Windows 7 operating system is approaching.

After Jan. 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer release any updates to patch security holes.

Other software vendors may start ending support for their programs on Windows 7 as well.


If you’re still using Windows 7, it’s advised by pretty much everyone to either upgrade to Windows 10 or buy a new computer running Windows 10 already.

Next year, your computer won’t just stop working after support ends, but you will be more vulnerable to viruses and hacking.
If you’re uncertain what to do, consult advice from a computer tech. I suggest doing this soon, as computer retailers and shops will likely been very busy the closer it gets to the January deadline.

The warning pop-up: Recently, Microsoft started sending a warning about the end of support to Windows 7 users on their computer screen. If you receive that support alert, then you indeed have Windows 7. But don’t rely solely on seeing that alert, as they may not appear on all the computers.

If you aren’t sure of your Windows version, you can quickly check on your computer: click the Start Button in the lower

 

left corner to bring up the Start Menu, look for “Computer” or “My Computer,” right-click and select “Properties.” If you don’t see “Computer” or “My Computer” on the Start Menu, you may have Windows 8, 8.1, or 10. In those versions, you’d right-click the Start Button itself in the 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. If you still have Windows XP or Vista, it’s strongly recommended to buy a new computer right away as support for those Windows versions ended years ago.

Upgrading or buying new: If you do have Windows 7 still, then you can either upgrade your current computer or buy a new computer (brand new or refurbished). Upgrading depends upon the age of the computer, the specs (processor and memory), and the health of the hard drive.

When considering buying a new computer you might find them as low as $200, but keep in mind that you tend to get what you pay for. The cheaper the computer generally means the slower the computer will be. Cheaper computers also usually offer fewer ports and are less likely to be upgrade able in the future. A cheap computer may also be slower than your current computer, even though it’s new.

I usually suggest budgeting for at least $500 to $600 dollars for a new computer and about $150 additional if you need a new monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If this is out of your price range, I suggest buying a good refurbished computer from a trusted source for $250 or more.

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