As the saying goes: all good things come to an end. This is especially true in the rapidly changing world of technology, where large hardware and software can quickly become obsolete. That’s why no one uses the original innovative iPhone anymore, when the value of classic consoles is purely nostalgic.
It seems the same can be said for Windows 7. Microsoft’s desktop operating system was released in 2009 and will soon be deprecated in three major versions, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from using it.
According to StatCounter, about 16% of all current Windows PCs were running Windows 7 as of July 2021. Some of these devices are likely to be inactive, but that still leaves a significant number of people using a Software which is no longer supported since January 2020.
It is extremely dangerous. Not only does Microsoft no longer release updates for Software for Windows 7, but also does not fix security issues or provide technical support. For the vast majority of people, it’s just not a risk to take.
Windows 7 paid updates are only available for businesses
Refusing to ditch Windows 7 doesn’t make sense to most of us, especially since you can always upgrade to Windows 10 for free. However, there are some people who have legitimate reasons to stick with the 12 year old operating system.
For many businesses, upgrading to Windows 7 isn’t worth it. the Software It might be free on its own, but the migration process certainly isn’t.
Additionally, some employees may need assistance when new to a new operating system, and not all current applications and programs will continue to function.
In this scenario, Microsoft continues to provide annual updates and fixes for Windows 7 to businesses. This is thanks to what’s known as the Extended Security Update Program (ESU), although the last one is scheduled for 2022.
Extended Security Updates are only officially available through licensed vendors and cannot be purchased by individual users or small businesses, even if they are running Windows 7 Pro.
Patches claiming to circumvent these restrictions can be found on the internet, but we cannot comment on their safety or effectiveness.
There̵ 7;s no reason most people stick with Windows 7
Objectively, there is little reason to stick with Windows 7 and refuse to upgrade to Windows 10. The hardware requirements for both operating systems are almost identical, the upgrade is free for most. people and the user experience on Windows 10 will be relatively family-friendly.
However, some older computers cannot run Windows 10. If you are using one of these devices, it is probably time to upgrade.
The compatibility of Software This is a more legitimate concern: Not all Windows 7 applications will work well on Windows 10. But both are relatively rare, so we encourage you to persist in the update process if you experience any issues.
Most of the time, Windows will automatically recognize the components and drivers that you have already installed. You may need to download new ones or update them manually, but all basic functions will work immediately.
If there are any drivers that your PC no longer recognizes, you should be able to find them through the VOGONS Vintage Driver Library.
It’s also worth checking out your device manufacturer’s service and support pages – many older drivers will still work fine on Windows 10.
For software, it’s even easier. Windows 10 has a built-in compatibility mode, which allows you to run programs that don’t normally work.
You just have to write “compatibility” and open the corresponding option in the control panel. You can then choose the affected app and (hopefully) fix the issues.
How to get Windows 10 for free
If you’re still using Windows 7, there’s an easy way to update your device without paying a dime. Windows 10’s ISO was only going to be available a year after the OS was released, but it’s still available from 2021.
For more details on how to upgrade using this method, see our dedicated guide: How to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
Can you upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 11?
Technically, yes. Most older devices won’t meet the updated Windows 11 hardware requirements, but there is a way around the need for a TPM 2.0 chip and minimal RAM / storage options.
However, the need for a recent Intel / AMD / ARM based processor can be a sticking point. You will also need to reinstall a clean version of Windows 7 on your PC before attempting the update.
Although you can work around these limitations, Windows 11 will not be designed to run on this older hardware and therefore may not work properly.
A version of this article was originally published in German on our partner site PC-Welt.