Windows 7 End of Support Notification Arrives

Posted on March 21, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Windows, Windows 10 with 25 Comments

As promised, Microsoft has begun warning users of Windows 7 that support for the system ends on January 14, 2020, less than 10 months from now.

“After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing an end,” the notification, which displays an ancient-looking and bulky Windows laptop, reads. “January 14, 2020 is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates and technical support for computers running Windows 7. We know that change can be difficult, that’s why we’re reaching out early to help you back up your files and prepare for what’s next.”

A button on the notification links to Microsoft’s new Windows 7 website and offers more information. And yes, there is a small but clear “Do not remind me again” link as well.

Unfortunately for those individuals using Windows 7, there’s not much you can do beyond purchasing a new computer: Microsoft is no longer offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 for various reasons, including that most PCs that came with Windows 7 when new will offer a non-optimal experience or are, in some cases, unsupported.

So Microsoft offers a three-step plan for moving past Windows 7: Back up your files and photos, check out the latest PCs and pick one that is right for you, and then learn more about Windows 10. If I might be so bold, buying my Windows 10 Field Guide is a decent investment for Windows 7 upgraders as well.

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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Windows 7 End of Support Notification Arrives”

  1. Polycrastinator

    Has anyone seen if there's a way to disable this from ever coming up in the registry or by policy? I'm a little afraid customers are going to start seeing this pop up on their screens and I'd like to avoid it if possible. Or maybe a KB we can just block from installing?

  2. jmetzner

    My dad claims that he was offered a free Windows 10 upgrade on his Win7 machine through a Microsoft popup. The machine is upgraded now so I guess it wasn't a scam, but obviously I'll never know what the actual prompt was. Has anyone heard of Microsoft making this kind of offer to Win7 users lately?

  3. codymesh

    The truth is that most Windows 7 machines run Windows 10 just fine, even the apps. Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge computers that were put on sale during the Windows 7 era are still mighty fine for most of the things we do today. Personally I would recommend people to upgrade to Windows 10. Even Ubuntu from 2009 is not supported - Microsoft has offered the longest support, of any OS vendor.


    People used to bitch and moan about compatibility but this time it's completely on them. Move to Linux if all you care about is a shell to run Chrome on. Adios.

  4. JaviAl

    The main problem is that currently there is no substitute or upgrade for Windows 7 as a desktop operating system because Windows 10 is an operating system for mobile and for the cloud as a service that does not make any sense or utility for a desktop computer. Also is ugly and not useful for desktop computer and the user experiencie is terrible, a completely a nightmare.


    Also use Windows 10 is to expose all your data, files and all the use you make of Windows 10 since all of these are constantly sending to Microsoft, as stated in the Windows license agreement, which makes Windows 10 the less secure operating system in all the history of desktop operating systems (without taking into account Android or iOS that are mobile operating systems, such as Windows 10).


    Keeping Windows 7 with a good antivirus and a good firewall is currently the best option. Downgrading to Windows 10 is never recommended.


    To avoid this Windows 7 End of Support Notification block the KB4493132 patch.

    • DaddyBrownJr

      In reply to JaviAl:

      You don't need a replacement for Windows 7. You need a lifetime supply of tinfoil hats.

    • codymesh

      In reply to JaviAl:

      This is the kind drivel Windows XP holdouts were spouting about Windows 7 back in 2009 as well. We've all been here before lol.


      Change is hard (for you people), but that's just how technology will always be. Move along now.

      • JaviAl

        In reply to codymesh:

        Never had any problem to upgrade with any product except Windows 10. I update all Windows operating systems in the first two month when RTM is available. With Windows 7 my only little problem is the option to Expand "All Programs" menu that solve with Classic Shell.


        But Windows 10 removed a lot of useful features, options and settings. In addition Windows 10 is not a product, is a service. And i need and want a product, not a service.


        Windows 10 is a clearly downgrade to Windows 7. All of our clientes and customers tells the same. Windows 7 has really no substitute or upgrade today.

        • Kevin Costa

          In reply to JaviAl:

          Stop spreading lies, man. Windows 10 is an improvement over any previous version of Windows in almost every aspect (except maybe interface consistency), and the under-the-hood improvements are really good.


          Clearly you have not used the OS recently, and is thinking that is the same as Windows 8 about the mobile UI. Go check the changelog of every version after W7 to see for yourself.

          • JaviAl

            In reply to Kevin_Costa:

            And what are the improvements?


            The UWP mobile apps? The telemetry? The Microsoft Store? The new big calculator? The new limited and slowly one-window settings instead of the fluid multi-window Control Panel? The requirement of a second hard disk to enable the older versions files? The new start menu that not allow drag and drop like any other UWP app or allow to sort it in my own order? The new Snap & Sketch (Jajajaja)? The uncontrolled Windows Updates? The uncontrolled auto drivers updates that install older versions or not running drivers? The ugly only one color user interface that lacks contrast between areas like menu bar, icon bar, work area, etc.? The cryptic icons? The ads in start menu, notifications, lock screen and file explorer? The support for calls and SMS's? The XBox constantly running services? The Microsoft Edge engine that Microsoft recently abandoned? Groove Music maybe, or its abandoned too? The Contacts in taskbar? The subscription pay games like the solitarie collection in order to remove the ads? The Tiles? The mail app? Cortana?


            Why copying files between NVMe drives is very more fast in Windows 7 than in Windows 10 on the same computer? Why opening Calculator or Control Panel or Start Menu is very more fast in Windows 7 than in Windows 10 on the same computer? Yes, a computer, a real computer, not a device.


            Please, illustrate me. I do not think Windows 10 is the same as Windows 8, I think it's worse than Windows 8.x and the worst operating system in the world and the whole history of the computer ever launched. Do you really know how Windows 10 develops and know all its API's, libraries and interfaces? Because I am a developer and I have knowledge of Windows 10 APIs, libraries and interfaces and I know what I am writing about.

        • codymesh

          In reply to JaviAl:

          Ah yes, there it is, Classic Shell, can't have a conversation with you people without mentioning your lord and savoir.


          And you, Classic Shell user on Windows 7, are telling us that Windows 10 removed features, without a hint of self consciousness. And that all your clients are the same. Cool. Extremely normal user, with an extremely believable story.


          The problem isn't Windows 7's "All Programs" menu, and the problem isn't Windows 10. It's you.

  5. siv

    If you stick Linux Mint 19.1 on your old Windows 7 box it will run fine. The requirements for Linux are much lighter than Windows 10 and you don't have to put up with adverts in File manager and all the spying.


    Most "normals" who need a word processor and spreadsheets plus email and web can get by perfectly well on Linux Mint. It's only if you have a Windows specific application you can't live without that would stop you going down that line.


    I am finding a lot of my older clients prefer Mint as it behaves more like Windows 7 than Windows 10 and there are Linux equivalents to most things people use on Windows.


    Office --> LibreOffice

    Email --> Thunderbird, Evolution

    Browser --> Chromium, Firefox

    Picture Editor --> Gimp, Pinta (based on Paint.Net)


    And all free, or better still an optional small donation to the developers.


  6. blackcomb

    Whatever. Just keep using Windows 7 while Chrome still supports it.

  7. sevenacids

    The laptop looks like a ThinkPad T400 (or maybe T61?). It's been a great and reliable machine, but a little too old even for Windows 7: As far as I know, they were shipped with XP or Vista preinstalled, so Microsoft over-emphasized the issue here a little bit. Bulky is also relative because this kind of PCs used to have an optical disk drive (DVD) at the time. And you could upgrade or replace every part except for the CPU in most cases.


    Windows 10 runs perfectly fine on older hardware. I still have two ThinkPads from that time around, a X201 (featuring a 1st generation Core i5 processor) and a T420 (2nd generation i5) and they just work. The X201 is not the fastest, but it's not slower than with Windows 7 on it. Both were shipped with Windows 7.


    The hardware is not really the point. Unless you have something that didn't even run Windows 7 smoothly, or a processor that is not supported by Windows 10 anymore (because of missing features), I'm pretty sure it will run Windows 10 just the same. And, to be honest, the Spectre/Meltdown issues are overrated. As long as you keep using safe website and tools, the risk is pretty low.

  8. Sir_Timbit

    "Microsoft is no longer offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 for various reasons."


    Your results may vary...Just two days ago I reformatted a six year old HP ProBook that had Windows 7 Pro with Windows 10 Pro. All I used was the Windows 10 media download tool to save the installer onto USB. No fancy steps required. It accepted the Windows 7 key from the sticker on the back during installation and remains activated.

  9. scrooge mcduck

    Thats not completely true.. I bought a refreshed Windows 7 laptop for my parents and updated it for free to Windows 10. And that was in February.

  10. Lordbaal

    You do not have to buy a new PC. Windows 10 will work find on older PC's that ran 7.

    You also don't have to pay for it. You can download and install the 10 using the media creation. It's just that you cant do a couple things. But otherwise it will work normally, and you can still use 99.9999% of it. It's just the personalizations won't work.

  11. StagyarZilDoggo

    Pretty much any computer running Windows 7 should be able to run 10. Getting it to run may take some work though... I have it on a 10 year old machine with a Pentium Dual Core CPU (i.e. a dumbed-down Core2 Duo) and 2 GB RAM. The biggest challenge was the ATi X550 graphics card, which only has Vista drivers.

    • Kevin Costa

      In reply to StagyarZilDoggo:

      I made Windows 10 run on a Pentium 4 with 1,5GB of RAM, when 1607 launched. If you tweak the system enough, you can make it run pretty decently on this hardware. Of course I don't recommend this over keeping it with Windows 7, but it's possible as a workaround.


      As contrary as Paul said and thinks, Windows 10 runs very well on 4GB of RAM and Core 2 Duo/Quad era processor. It's not ideal, but it's fine for basic productivity and work (and older games, of course).


      And yes, the upgrade is still free! Enjoy while you can!

    • StevenLayton

      In reply to StagyarZilDoggo: The issue is there will be a large number of 'normals' for who this will just be beyond them. "Hey mum, yeah, all you need to do is do a Google search for your missing video driver. You''ll be fine".
      Most people who are still running Windows 7 are not going to be tech savvy enough to cope with things like that.


    • jimchamplin

      In reply to StagyarZilDoggo:

      The driver model hasn’t changed, has it? I know the problem with a lot of drivers is that the .exe installer is foolishly hard coded to a particular Windows release.

  12. kevinlawson

    I am worried about my pc and operating system, though I have taken some backup. I don't know why windows 7 is not upto the premium level. Though I have some other operating system other than windows.

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