All good things come to an end. On 14 January 2020, support for Windows 7 is coming to an end. The operating system that so many of us have used over the years is being phased out, making way for more support with Windows 10, which better fits with the way we work, surf, study, shop, game and play with our PCs today.
This is an ideal time to make sure your PC is safe and family-friendly and up-to-date for your needs. Here, we take you step by step through the process.
What Windows version am I running?
Windows 7 was launched in 2009 – the year Barack Obama was inaugurated for his first presidential term and Susan Boyle burst onto our screens in Britain’s Got Talent. In computing terms, it was a lifetime ago. Therefore it’s time to make sure your PC operating system is fit for purpose.
Not sure which version of Windows you’re running? Here’s how to find out!
What does Windows 7 End of Support mean for you?
First of all, end of support does NOT mean that your computer will stop working on 14 January 2020. However, Microsoft will no longer provide:
– Technical support for any issues
– Software updates
– Security updates or fixes
So why does it matter?
End of support means you can’t get tech help when things go wrong. But it also results in outdated software and security holes, which means that over time computers are more vulnerable to things going wrong or even being maliciously targeted. Specifically, end of support means computers running Windows 7 will be at greater risk of viruses and malware.
What should you do now if you have Windows 7?
There are steps you can take to prepare for End of Support for Windows 7.
- Back up
First is to back up your files and photos, saving them all to OneDrive or to an external hard drive. (Go here to learn all the different ways to move your files.)
- Think about upgrading your device
The truth is that as technology evolves, we have to keep up with our devices and our software. For machines running Windows 7, the end of support is an indication that it might be time to upgrade your computer. The new modern PCs faster, thinner and have longer lasting batteries – some even with touch screens and other cool features. Plus, the average price for a great PC is considerably less than it was 5-10 years ago.
- Get informed about Windows 10
Windows 10 offers benefits that are more important than ever for families. It helps us use our PCs in ways that fit our lives now. Some of the benefits of Windows 10:
- It helps protect your data via device encryption. Only authorized individuals will be able to access your device and data
- It has built-in features like firewall and network protection to help safeguard against viruses, malware and ransomware
- Windows Defender SmartScreen helps protect your device from potentially dangerous apps, files, websites and downloads
- Parental controls provide ways to manage screentime , limit access to mature content, set limits on gaming and more – fitting in with family life today (See how a Family Account and Parental Controls can help keep your family safe.)
- If your device is lost or stolen, features like BitLocker & BitLocker To Go puts everything on lockdown so no one else can access it
- …And more! See more features of Windows 10 here.
A Windows 10 benefit: Your files wherever you need them
With Windows 10 your PC can connect to OneDrive, the Microsoft cloud storage service that you can access from virtually anywhere. Using OneDrive, you can create a file on your computer and then pick up where you left off on your laptop, tablet or phone. It also means your files are easy to share content with others and collaborate on documents.
With the Files On-Demand feature you can access files without having to download first, saving your device’s storage. Signing up for a free OneDrive account couldn’t be easier from your Microsoft account – you can do it in a few clicks and be setting up your OneDrive in minutes. But you need Windows 10 to take advantage of it.
How do I get Windows 10?
You can purchase online a full version of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro for your Windows 7 PC. But for computers more than three years old to get the full benefit, consider upgrading your computer. Find out what type of computer is best for your needs.
Purchase and download Windows 10 here right now!
This post is part of a paid project with Microsoft.