Time’s Up! – Windows 7 EOL
After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs with Windows 7.Source: Microsoft
Yep, you’ve heard correctly folks – Windows 7 is no more. But where does that leave you?
It’s a question among many that has troubled my customers, and (unfortunately) with the help of social media and word-of-mouth, people are receiving the wrong information. Today, I hope to clear up these misconceptions and point you in the right direction.
Overall, the goal is to upgrade to Windows 10 wherever possible and there a few ways to accomplish this.
Let’s start with some short and sweet answers:
My computer is still on XP!
Well first of all, you’re not alone! Surprisingly (and a little scarily) there are lots of people still using operating systems older than Windows 7, including both XP and Vista.
If this is you, you’ll most likely have noticed web browsing is almost impossible and new programs will not install. Windows XP and Windows Vista have been unsupported for 6 and 3 years respectively, and there is no direct upgrade path to Windows 10. If you’re looking to continue on using anything web-based, you will need to replace your existing hardware. It simply will not be powerful enough to run Windows 10.
I’m running Windows 7 and I don’t like change!
Once again, you’re not alone. I’d estimate 1-in-5 of my customers initially want to stick with Windows 7 and fear Windows 10 with a passion.
Thankfully, your computer is not going to self-destruct or delete all of your files spontaneously. In fact, not much will happen to Windows 7 at all, but I must stress that it’s the things that aren’t going to happen of which can make a big impact.
Let’s talk a little about security.
Microsoft provides updates free of charge to all computers running a current version of Windows. These updates include, but are not limited to, security patches, driver updates and bug fixes. Without updates, your computer can become quite vulnerable to new attacks and exploits in a rapidly-changing online world.
With the rise in new methods of attacks, especially those involving ransomware, it is critical that your PC is protected. If you must stay with Windows 7, ensure you have sufficient protection from the latest threats. ByteMan Solutions recommends Malwarebytes.
Alas, this isn’t a long-term solution. Other programs you have installed will eventually stop being supported and will become increasingly difficult to complete day-to-day tasks.
I’m on Windows 7 and I’m ready to upgrade!
Great! We just need to check a few things first to ensure your upgrade runs smoothly.
First of all, how well is your computer running?
If it’s running okay and doesn’t take an excessively long time to load, so far so good! Otherwise, if your computer is super slow, don’t upgrade just yet. I recommend you read my post about upgrading to SSDs.
What specs does your computer have?
It’s important to check that your hardware is compatible to run Windows 10.
If your computer is running a 32-bit (x86) version of Windows, I would suggest not to upgrade.
From here on in, all information relates to 64-bit (x64) systems.
Let’s start with memory or RAM, not to be confused with your hard drive or storage. Microsoft recommend a minimum of 2GB (gigabytes), although I would suggest a minimum of 4GB for general use (emails, web browsing and occasional streaming).
If you use your computer for office use including multi-tasking and photo editing, I recommend 8GB of RAM.
If you don’t meet these requirements, you will most likely be able to upgrade your RAM to a higher capacity (depending on make/model of PC).
Next, let’s talk about processors or CPU. Most processors are powerful enough to run Windows 10, although there are a few that are notoriously slow.
In the Intel series, if you sport a Core i3, i5 or i7, you’re good to go. If you’ve got a Atom, Celeron, Core 2 Duo or Pentium (excluding Pentium Gold), it may be time to replace your PC.
In the AMD range, as long as you haven’t got an E-series processor and it’s made within the last 6 years, you should be okay.
Please note, first-gen Intel laptop models such as an i3-5xx, i5-7xx or i7-9xx are known to produce an extreme amount of heat and aren’t recommended to upgrade to Windows 10.
Now let’s look at the hard drive or storage. It’s important to ensure enough space is available to install Windows 10. Microsoft recommends 20GB of free space, but we must think about the future use of the computer. If your hard drive is almost full, either you need to clean out unnecessary data or upgrade the drive to a larger capacity. There’s no point upgrading if you have no room left! If you do need more space, I highly recommend a Solid-State Drive.
Do I have a license for Windows 10?
Technically, Windows 10 isn’t free. Although, if you already have Windows 7 or a later version installed, you can upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost. If you haven’t got Windows installed or it’s pirated/not activated, you will need to purchase a license.
If you’ve ticked all the above boxes, you’re ready to upgrade!
You can upgrade Windows yourself directly through Microsoft. Simply visit the Download Windows 10 page and click ‘Download tool now’.
I’m on Windows 8 or 8.1. Am I affected?
Simply put, no. Windows 8 and 8.1 are supported by Microsoft until January 20th, 2020.
This means you’ve got a few more years left. Although, you are also eligible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free using the method above, and I personally recommend this. Windows 10 provides a much better platform for day-to-day tasks and runs more reliably than 8 & 8.1. At the end of the day, the choice is yours!
I want to upgrade but need professional service and support!
Simply book an appointment with ByteMan Solutions – we’d be happy to help you out!
I’m on a Mac and have no idea why I’m on this page!
Me neither. I think you’re lost? I can’t help you with that one I’m afraid.
(Unless you really want to run Windows on a Mac – we can actually help with this!)