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Frequently Asked Questions
What does end of support mean for me as a Windows 7 user?
- After January 14, 2020, if your PC is running Windows 7, it will no longer receive security updates. Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to a new device with Windows 10 preinstalled, which can provide the latest security updates to help keep you and your data safer.
Will my Windows 7 PC stop working?
- Absolutely not. Your PC will still function unless something happens to the hardware itself. However, after support has ended, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Windows will continue to start and run, but you will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft. Additionally, Microsoft’s customer support will no longer be providing technical support for Windows 7.
Will you delete all my files?
- No, nothing will be removed from your PC. We do recommend backing everything up to OneDrive to ensure your data is safe as your computer ages and has a greater risk for hardware failures. That way you will have access to all your documents, files, and photos on both your PC and your smartphone. And if you decide to upgrade to a new Windows 10 PC, your files will automatically synchronize to your new PC.
Why can’t I just upgrade my existing PC to Windows 10?
- To take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities, we recommend moving to a new PC with Windows 10. As an alternative, compatible Windows 7 PCs can be upgraded by purchasing and installing a full version of the Windows 10 software but given the number of changes in hardware over the last 10 years, the recommended path is to move to a new PC.
What happens if I continue to use Windows 7?
- You can continue to use Windows 7, but after support has ended, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Windows will continue to start and run, but you will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft.
Will I know how to use a Windows 10 PC?
- Yes. The look and feel of Windows have been refreshed to help you be more efficient and productive. But don’t worry, it’s still just as easy to navigate and use for all your tasks. And to make it even easier for you, we have built useful tips and tricks directly into Windows 10. Simply type “Tips” to find the Tips app.
Why is the support ending for Windows 7?
- As part of our normal lifecycle support policies, Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009.
Can Windows 7 still be activated after January 14, 2020?
- Windows 7 can still be installed and activated after end of support; however, it will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses due to the lack of security updates. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft strongly recommends that you use Windows 10 instead of Windows 7.
What happens to all my bookmarks and saved sites in Internet Explorer if I get a new PC?
- Your favourite websites can be moved over to your new computer, where they can be imported into the Microsoft Edge browser (Move Internet Explorer favourites to a new PC)
Will my Office documents and files continue to work on a new Windows 10 PC?
- Absolutely. It is easiest to save all your files to OneDrive – that way they will automatically be synchronized down to your new Windows 10 PC. To open and edit the files, you will need Office on your new PC. If you have Office 365, you simply reinstall it on a new PC. Certain older versions of Office may require you to uninstall and reinstall Office on your new PC using the Product Key (Download and install or reinstall Office)
Can I move all my existing programs over to a new Windows 10 PC?
- For the best possible experience, we recommend doing a fresh installation of your programs and applications on your new Windows 10 PC. The Microsoft Store has a variety of 3rd party applications, that can be easily downloaded and installed. For any software not currently available in the Microsoft Store, we recommend going to that company’s official website and downloading the Windows 10 version from there. In limited circumstances, some older software may not have an updated version that is compatible with Windows 10.
When will users start receiving notifications?
- Consumers can expect to begin to receive Windows 7 EOS notifications from Microsoft in April.
I saw a few articles last week that notifications began ahead of April & could run daily.
- To prepare for notifications, we began rolling out an update (KB4493132) on 3/19 to Windows 7 consumer devices. This update will enable notifications to appear a handful of times beginning in April. As we previously shared in the March 12th blog, Windows 7 customers will only see notifications a handful of times between April 2019 and January 2020. To enable these notifications, the technology that manages notifications will run as a background task daily to control when reminders appear. As a reminder, we are not confirming specific dates of the notifications beyond “April 2019”. Please encourage partners to direct customers to www.microsoft.com/windows7 as the official source of information on Windows 7 end of support from Microsoft.
What versions of Windows will get the notifications?
- Consumer devices running Windows 7 SP1 including Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate. Customers running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Server versions and domain joined devices will not receive notifications.
How often will users get these notifications?
- In speaking with Windows 7 customers, they told us they would like a few courtesy reminders, occasionally, with early enough notice to prepare for their transition. Based on that feedback, we’ll send reminders once a month at most as we approach this important end of support date.
Will users be able to opt-out of receiving notifications?
- Yes. To turn off notifications, select “Do not notify me again” in the lower-left corner of the notification, and then close the window. After they make this selection, they won’t receive any more of notifications about the upcoming end of support date.
If users click on the close button, will they receive more notifications?
- Yes. Based on customer feedback our intention is to remind customers a handful of times as we approach the Windows 7 end of support date.
If users click on the close button (red-x), what happens to the notification?
- When they close the notification window, it will simply close.
Is the notification really from Microsoft? How do users know if it’s genuine?
- Users could compare what they are seeing to the image published in our customer-facing FAQ to verify it is genuinely from Microsoft. Alternatively, rather than clicking on a notification, they can visit www.microsoft.com/windows7 to learn more about Windows 7 end of support and what they need to do to get ready. As a reminder, Microsoft will never send users a notification asking them to call us or directly ask for payment.