The day has arrived, and today Microsoft ends Windows 7 support. Microsoft has already pushed a bunch of last updates, and they are still available. If you haven’t done it till now, you might want to update your Windows 7 one last time. In this post, we will talk about Windows 7 End of Support, followed by Windows 7 End of Life recommendations – should you choose to stay with Windows 7.
Windows 7 End of Support
So what does Windows 7 End of Support mean? It means Microsoft will not fix any security issues even if they are openly reported. If you are planning to use Windows 7 without the internet, then you may do fine, but if not, be very careful. Unethical hackers and malware creators will be ready with their delivery package that can not only steal data from your computer but can also spread viruses over the network, lockdown files using Ransomware, and more. The risks of staying with Windows 7 after End of Life may be far too much to handle!
I am sure Windows 7 is doing an extraordinary job for you, but the latest version of Windows 10 has changed a lot and offers more features and security. It makes no sense for Microsoft to maintain it anymore.
Windows 7 End of Life recommendations
While Microsoft may release a security update for Windows 7 if it’s a significant outbreak, do not cling to any hope. By the time the update is released, the system might already be compromised. So here are our opinions, if you plan to stick around with Windows 7 for a while, think of the following:
Windows 7 Extended Security Updates
System Image Backup
Keep your Files in the cloud
Microsoft Security Essentials
Lockdown Windows 7 Computer
You can follow all or some of them based on the choice you make.
1] Subscribe for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates
Microsoft is offering one last chance to those who are serious about moving to Windows 10. Extended Security Updates is a subscription plan by Microsoft. In it, you can pay per user per computer every year to get fixes for any new vulnerability that is found or reported. It is the best option for anyone who wants to keep using the internet for their business and applications. Read more to find out if your computer is eligible for the Security Updates.
We recommend you to buy a paid subscription plan and move all your files to services like OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Build a habit of saving data into the clients you install on Windows 7 PC or upload them. It will make sure your data are always safe. When I say files, it also includes photos, videos, and more.
4] Microsoft Security Essentials
Unlike Windows XP End of Life, Windows 7 users are lucky. Microsoft will support and rollout malware signature updates for the next three years. The chances are that most of the antivirus solutions will either stop working or will cost. Make sure to download and install Microsoft Security Essentials if you haven’t done so.
5] Lockdown Windows 7 Computer
Keep the computer disconnected from an existing network. If possible, create a separate WIFi SSID for Windows 7 and connect only through it. It will make sure that no malware spreads through it to another computer.
Apart from this, create a restore point every time you start the computer, remove admin rights of other users, looking at desktop virtualization are some other temporary solutions you may want to consider. Our post on securing Windows 7 after End Of Support January 2020 is sure to give you a lot of tips about this.
If you are open to the idea of upgrading from Windows 7, then here is what you can do.
Windows 7 is a decade-old software. It neither can offer features that the current user base needs today, nor the security against threats like Ransomware. So if you can, then upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and chances are you can get it for free. If you have a genuine Windows 7 license, upgrade it to Windows 10, and the chances are that the free upgrade offer still hasn’t been closed.
You can also choose to upgrade to Linux or Mac if that works for you. At the end of the day, think of moving from Windows 7 to any modern operating system.
Windows 10 might not work well on Windows 7 hardware if it’s too old. You can think of getting a new Windows 10 PC, which comes preinstalled with Windows 10. It will save you money.
All Windows 7 users will have to eventually move to Windows 10, or whichever OS works for you. Our suggestion would be to shift to Windows 10 right away – and if that is not possible, buy the extended update subscription plan and move out of Windows 7 as soon as it is possible.
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP since then. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.