The Retirement of Windows 7
As of January 14, 2020, Microsoft has officially discontinued support for Windows 7, and as many users had gotten notifications, there’s a lot of questions about what that means for users still using the platform and their options to upgrade, if they choose.
To start, when an operating system has been discontinued in the past, such as XP or Vista, it means Microsoft will no longer continue providing Windows updates to the platform, issuing patches for security threats, or new versions of software that meet modern security standards like Internet Explorer.
Some of the major concerns revolve around security. Many banks or websites that require password logins will require a browser that meets modern security standards. With Windows 10, the default browser is Edge, and although common alternatives like Chrome or Firefox can be used, Edge is the default application made by Microsoft for Windows 10, and it’s the browser they will continue to maintain and update.
For many, this will eventually be one of the biggest reasons to upgrade. Although alternatives through Chrome and Firefox may continue support a little longer, software developers will eventually discontinue updates for their apps on the platform as well.
Yearly subscriptions or software purchases will also not have support for Windows 7. The retirement of Windows 7 comes at a time when many are preparing for taxes, and programs such as Turbo Tax or H&R Block will not install on Windows 7.
Antivirus support will become increasingly difficult to find as patches for the operating system no longer occur and software developers for security apps will be taking on the task of filling those gaps. In time, they too discontinue that service.
Those are just 3 of the primary concerns. Peripherals, such as printers or cameras, driver support, resource upgrade, etc. are other concerns as time goes by.
So where do users go from here? If you’re part of the Windows 7 crowd and none of the above are major concerns for you, your experience with Windows 7 may continue without much difference. It’s always highly encouraged to be aware of your security, and if you access the internet, be mindful of your security software’s support.
For those who choose to make the upgrade, there are several things that can be checked before making the jump. Can your system support Windows 10?
A very important note to emphasize before attempting any of these options is to make sure you have an effective backup of your data. Although the majority of upgrades go through without a problem, some can not, and it’s only mid-upgrade that this becomes evident. A backup of your important data can be extremely important.
Microsoft has an Upgrade Assistant that can be run to check your hardware, as well as software compatibility.
If everything appears compatible and your computer has the resources to support 10, you can continue the upgrade with this same utility.
Will any applications interfere with the upgrade? If your computer is already struggling to perform well, it might be best to do some maintenance first. We highly recommend cleaners like ADW Cleaner, Rkill and tdsskiller before attempting an upgrade. At the very least, a good cleaning never hurts, and these programs will remove the vast majority of malware and adware complications that can interfere with an install.
What if the upgrade fails? In most cases, the upgrade can be reverted to previous settings and you’ll find yourself back at Windows 7. A clean install of Windows 10 would be recommended if this occurs. The Upgrade Assistant also has an option to create a bootable media, such as a flash drive, where a clean install can be done. Backups are especially important if you’re doing a clean install. Once the drive is formatted, there is no recovering files or programs. Backups can be a life saver here.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the process at any point, we offer our services to help get you to that next step as easily as possible. Data backups, upgrades, cleaning, activation – we can help with every step. Don’t hesitate to give us a call or stop in if you have questions or concerns. In many cases, the process can be done within the same day.