Don’t Panic: You Can Keep Using Windows 10 Until 2025. How long will windows 10 be supported

While some people have been using the same computer for a decade, many choose to upgrade much earlier. According to Statistia, the average lifetime of a desktop PC these days is around 6 years before it gets replaced with an upgrade, whether it’s Windows 11 or not. This is part of a pattern that dates back to the dawn of the PC industry.

What Happens When Windows 10 Support Ends?

What happens when Windows 10 support ends? Here’s what to do before your version of Windows ends.

no software can last forever. Sooner or later, every show has to go; this is often due to an outdated core or changed priorities on the part of the developers. The Windows operating system itself is no exception.

So when is support for Windows 10 ending? What happens when Windows comes to an end? We’ll answer these and other questions as we take a look at how the Windows lifecycle works.

What Is the Windows Lifecycle?

When Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, it has an end-of-support date already set. These dates can be found on the Microsoft Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheets page.

There is no end to the life of Windows 10 as it was in previous versions. Since Microsoft regularly updates Windows 10, it supports each major version (called a feature update) for 18 months after its release.

This page has a version table with release and service end dates so you know what to expect. We’ll cover more about specific versions of Windows 10 in a moment.

For Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and earlier, you will notice two end-of-life dates: Basic Support and Extended Support. They are quite simple:

  • During mainstream support, the version of Windows receives security updates as well as possible feature updates. This continues for at least five years after the release goes live.
  • Then Windows enters extended support. During this period, Microsoft continues to release security patches, but you won’t see any new features. This begins at the end of mainstream support and continues for at least 10 years after the first OS release – meaning extended support typically lasts five years after mainstream support ends.

What Will Happen When Windows 10 Support Ends?

After extended support ends (or support for a specific version of Windows 10), that version of Windows is practically dead. Microsoft will not offer any updates – even for security issues – except in rare circumstances.

While your computer will continue to perform well, it becomes more and more insecure as it ages. If attackers find a vulnerability in the operating system, Microsoft will not patch it. Over time, popular software will stop supporting older versions of Windows.

Which Windows Versions Are No Longer Supported?

As of 2020, Microsoft only supports Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Windows 7 left extended support in January 2020, while Vista and XP expired years earlier. If you’re still using any of these versions, you’ll need to upgrade which we’ll cover below.

Windows 8.1 left mainstream support in January 2018; is in extended support until January 2023. Please note that genuine Windows 8 is no longer supported, so please upgrade to Windows 8.1 to stay safe.

The key difference between the two different phases of the Microsoft product lifecycle under the LTSC program is the level of support that customers receive.

By 2025, Your Current PC Will Be at Least Four Years Old

Microsoft has set an end-of-support date for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025. After that, Windows 10 will no longer receive new security updates from Microsoft and Windows 10 will be considered “retired” (commercially dead).

Meanwhile, Windows 11 will only run on CPUs from late 2017 or earlier – among others. This led several authors to announce that Microsoft would be needlessly orphaned perfectly fine hardware, potentially creating an unnecessary problem with electronic waste.

But here’s the thing: if you have a PC from late 2017 or older (around four years old), right now that PC will be at least eight years old when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 10 in 2025. So you’ve got plenty of time to use from your current Windows 10 computer before the next update. Four years is a long time in the world of technology!

While some people have been using the same computer for a decade, many choose to upgrade much earlier. According to Statistia, the average lifetime of a desktop PC these days is around 6 years before it gets replaced with an upgrade, whether it’s Windows 11 or not. This is part of a pattern that dates back to the dawn of the PC industry.

The Endless PC Upgrade Cycle

The computer industry has been entangled in an endless cycle of modernization since its inception, due to the rapid pace of technological advancement in information technology. Windows 95 in particular caused the press to wrinkle hands with the starvation of the operating system for 8 megabytes of RAM, which left millions of Windows 3.1 computers in the cold.

We’ve even been here with Windows 10 – the system requirements for the 2017 Windows 10 Creators Update prompted ComputerWorld to complain that too many computers would become obsolete. (After all, Microsoft has allowed some slightly older computers to continue to receive security updates.)

Certainly, e-waste is a huge problem, but discarded computers from 2025 will not be solely the fault of Windows 11. Even if Microsoft had never released Windows 11, many people and organizations would have abandoned their eight-year-old computers in 2025 because the hardware will crash and new innovations will encourage upgrades.

If you have a Surface device or a new device from one of Microsoft’s partners, you likely have Windows 11 on the day it was announced. However, new devices that still have Windows 10 installed can now be upgraded to Windows 11 through Windows Update.

When Will Windows 10 Stop Getting Security Updates?

As mentioned above, Windows 10 Home, Pro, Education, Enterprise, and IoT Enterprise will no longer receive security updates after October 14, 2025.

Windows LTSC, a specialized version of Windows for businesses that need long-term support, will continue to receive updates for the next several years. Windows 10 2019 LTSC and Windows 10 IoT 2019 LTSC will stop receiving security updates on January 9, 2029.

Windows 11 is inevitable, whether we like it or not.

Windows 11 is inevitable, whether we like it or not. Microsoft

Once you’ve stopped the security update, you’re on your own. Any new vulnerabilities found in Windows 10 after these dates may not be patched by Microsoft (although there have been rare exceptions to this rule). Still, it’s definitely not reliable, so it’s best to upgrade to Windows 11 by October 2025. On the other hand, it looks like Windows 11 packs a lot of useful new features, so it shouldn’t be a painful upgrade.

How Long Can I Keep Using Windows 10?

Windows 10 will not stop working its magic in October 2025, even if Microsoft stops delivering security updates. This means that you can technically still use it (as some loyal followers have done in the past with older versions of Windows), even though it’s generally not a good idea.

As sophisticated phishing attacks, remote exploits, and ransomware are common these days, the stakes are simply too high for most people to risk their personal information with an unsupported operating system.

So update when you are ready – you have until 2025 to do it safely – but remember that technology is constantly changing and time flies. One day we will all look back at Windows 10 running in the museum and remember the good old days. Stay safe there!

  • ›How to install Windows 11 on an unsupported computer
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