No software can last forever. Every program has to go sooner or later; This is often due to an outdated core or changed priorities of the developers. The Windows operating system itself is no exception.
When does Windows 10 support end? What happens when Windows reaches the end of its support? We'll answer these and other questions when we look at how the Windows lifecycle works.
What is the Windows lifecycle?
When Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, the support date is already set. You can find this information on the Windows lifecycle data sheet.
There is no definitive end of Windows 10 life like previous versions. Because Microsoft updates Windows 10 regularly, it supports every major version (called a feature update) for 18 months after its release.
On this page you will find a table of versions with the release date and end date of the service so that you know what to expect. We'll talk more about certain versions of Windows 10 shortly.
Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and older show two end-of-life dates: Mainstream support and extended support. These are pretty simple:
- While Mainstream supportA Windows version receives security updates and possible feature updates. This takes at least five years after the release of a version.
- Then Windows enters extended support. Microsoft continues to release security patches during this period, but no new features appear. This starts at the end of mainstream support and takes at least 10 years after the first release of the operating system. This means that the extended support usually takes five years after the end of mainstream support.
What happens when Windows 10 support ends?
As soon as extended support ends (or support for a specific version of Windows 10 ends), this version of Windows is practically no longer available. Microsoft does not offer updates – not even for security problems – except in rare cases.
As your computer continues to function properly with age, it becomes increasingly insecure. If attackers find a vulnerability in the operating system, Microsoft will not patch it. Over time, popular software will no longer support older versions of Windows.
Which Windows versions are no longer supported?
From 2020, Microsoft will only support Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Windows 7 discontinued extended support in January 2020, with Vista and XP expiring years ago. If you are still using one of these versions, you will need to upgrade, which is covered below.
Windows 8.1 left mainstream support in January 2018. It will be supported until January 2023. Note that the original version of Windows 8 is no longer supported. You should therefore upgrade to Windows 8.1 to ensure security.
When does Windows 10 support end?
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft takes a different approach with Windows 10 support. Before Windows 10, the end of the life of your version of Windows meant that you had to upgrade your computer or pay for a new copy of Windows.
Microsoft offers Windows 10 as a service
The latest version of Windows 10 won't be the last
The company regularly updates Windows 10 to make it even better. These updates are free for private users.
This means that Microsoft doesn't release a brand new version of Windows every few years, but instead starts feature updates about twice a year. They are scheduled for March and November, but the actual start date may vary.
If you are using Windows 10, it is a good idea to know the end of the Windows 10 support date for your current version. This way you can make sure that you don't use it after the expiration date.
Check your current version of Windows 10
It is easy to see which version of Windows 10 you have. Press Win + R. To open the Run dialog box, type Winver and press Enter. You will see a simple dialog box with Version XXYY Near the top.
These numbers indicate the (intended) release year and date. For example, Windows 10 version 2004 is April 2020, although the update didn't start that month. This way you can get an idea of how close your version is to the end of the 18-month support period.
Aside from the number, each version also has a "Friendly Name" that Microsoft uses to identify it. These once used unique names like that Creator update or Anniversary update, but now you follow a simple month / year schedule, such as May 2020 update (this is version 2004).
On the aforementioned Windows lifecycle page, you'll see a list of all Windows 10 versions and the date of service end. When the end of the support date for your version is near, it's a good time to update.
How to update Windows 10 before support ends
Since Windows 10 updates automatically, you don't usually have to worry about manually updating your copy of Windows before support ends. Unless you've delayed Windows 10 updates
7 ways to temporarily disable Windows Update in Windows 10
Windows installs the latest version shortly after it starts.
A message appears on the website a few months before support for your version ends Windows update Page that says "You are currently running a version of Windows 10 that is nearing the end of support." When it gets closer, you may also see a pop-up that warns you about it.
At this point, you should follow the steps to get the latest update. When the message "Your version of Windows has reached the end of its service" appears, it is time to upgrade immediately.
Go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update and click Check for updates to get the latest version. Depending on your version of Windows 10, a separate feature update section may appear.
If you can't download the update using this method, go to the Windows 10 download page and click Update now to use the update wizard instead.
Update Windows 8.1 and older at the end of the service
If you are not yet using Windows 10, you should schedule the end of the service date of your operating system.
Those running Windows 8.1 don't have to worry yet, but should plan to upgrade to Windows 10 before 2023. As long as you have an original copy of Windows 8.1, you can currently upgrade to Windows 10 for free
How to get Windows 10 for free or cheap
with the same installer as mentioned above. However, this may not be the case in 2022, so it is wise to do so earlier.
While many PCs that can run Windows 8.1 work with Windows 10, you may want to make sure that your computer can still run Windows 10. If you can't, you will need to buy a new system or install Linux on your computer when support ends.
Windows 7 is no longer supported. For more information, see our guide to your Windows 7 upgrade options
4 best ways to upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 before 2020
For more information. If you're still using Windows Vista or XP, it's time to buy a new Windows 10 computer.
Fix Windows 10 upgrade issues
If you're having trouble installing the latest feature update for Windows 10, use the Windows 10 download page instead of Windows Update. If that doesn't work, you can try installing Windows 10 via USB
How to install Windows 10 from a bootable USB drive
Another common problem is that there is not enough space to run the update. Follow our guide to clean up your Windows PC
The best way to clean Windows 10: a step-by-step guide
To make some space, try again.
Finally, make sure your computer meets the Windows 10 requirements described above. There is a possibility that your computer was compatible with an earlier version of Windows 10 but did not make the cut for the latest offer.
What happens when Windows 10 support ends? Now you know
Tracking Windows lifecycles can be a little frustrating, but Windows 10 makes this a lot easier. Just check your version from time to time to make sure updates are installed automatically and you don't have to do much more. If you are using an older version, it is advisable to upgrade as soon as possible.
If you are new to Windows 10, check out important tasks that need to be done after installing Windows 10
After installing Windows 10: 6 you need to do some steps
for best results.
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