Microsoft has announced the date for Windows 7 “End of Life”; January 14th 2020. This means Microsoft will no longer provide important security updates or support for the operating system after that date.

While Windows 7 is now several years old (it launched on July 22nd 2009), it still remains incredibly popular, with a recent report suggesting that Windows 7 is still in use on 39% of PCs.

The news that Windows 7 will soon no longer be supported by Microsoft means there are a lot of users who need to start thinking about finally moving on from the trusted operating system.

If you’re one of those people, in this guide we’ll explain how you can prepare for Windows 7 End of Life. We’ll look at why the end of support for Windows 7 is so important, as well as the options you have, and how you can go about moving to Windows 10, Microsoft’s most recent operating system.

Windows 7 End of Life: when does Windows 7 support end?

Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13th 2015. Extended support for Windows 7 ends on January 14th 2020.

During this extended support phase, although no new features have been added, the operating system has still been patched to ensure security issues are fixed.

When Windows 7 enters its End of Life phase, this support will end as well.

As with all operating systems, it doesn’t make sense both from a financial point of view and in terms of time and effort to keep old software patched and updated; especially when there are newer versions of the software available.

Windows 7 End of Life: what happens next?

When Windows 7 reaches its End of Life phase on January 14th 2020, Microsoft will stop releasing updates and patches for the operating system. It’s likely that it also won’t offer help and support if you encounter any problems.

That doesn’t mean Windows 7 will stop working; you’ll still be able to use Windows 7 for as long as you want; but just because you can continue to use Windows 7 in its End of Life status, it doesn’t mean you should.

The biggest issue with continuing to use Windows 7 is that it won’t be patched for any new viruses or security problems once it enters End of Life, and this leaves you extremely vulnerable to any emerging threats.

What’s more, if a large number of people continue to use Windows 7 after the End of Life date, that could actually be a big incentive for malicious users to target viruses and other nasties at Windows 7.

So, while Windows 7 will continue to work after January 14th 2020, you should start planning to upgrade to Windows 10, as soon as possible.

If you continue to use Windows 7 once it enters its End of Life phase you’ll be vulnerable to viruses and other security threats.