Paid security updates for Windows 7 via Extended Security Updates (ESUs) are coming to an end tomorrow (January 10, 2023), so anyone still running this system should upgrade to Windows 10 soon to remain safe. Free Windows 7 updates stopped being issued in 2020 but due to its popularity, Microsoft decided to offer Windows 7 ESUs for a price which extended security updates until now.
Customers that bought the extended support got updates delivered each month through Patch Tuesday when other versions of Windows were updated. Unlike newer versions, however, Windows 7 ESU only received security updates, but not feature updates, due to its age. It will get its last Patch Tuesday update tomorrow but afterwards, you need to upgrade. With Windows 8.1 support ending this week too, you’ll need to move to Windows 10 or Windows 11. For computers that don’t support those versions of Windows, running Linux is also an option. Linux Mint 21.1 came out just before Christmas and it looks a lot like Windows 7 so it may be a good option if Windows 10 is off-limits.
Keeping updates coming for Windows 7 is something Microsoft didn’t really want to do, as it’d much prefer to see users upgrade to new editions of Windows. To make it worth its time to keep Windows 7 supported, customers had to buy Windows 7 ESU SKUs each year in 2020, 2021, and 2022 if they wanted updates. Additionally, if you came along in the second or third year, you had to pay for prior ESU years too.
While Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 ESU tomorrow, 0patch stated last year that it would be providing security updates for Windows 7 until January 2025. 0patch is free for personal, non-profit educational, and testing use but commercial users will have to pay. You can find more about pricing here.
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