Software & Apps Windows 251 251 people found this article helpful When Was the End of the Windows 7 Lifecycle? As of January 2020, Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 users by Karen Marcus Writer Karen Marcus is a former Lifewire writer who has also written for companies like HP, Intel, IBM, Samsung, and others. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Karen Marcus Updated on May 27, 2020 reviewed by Michael Barton Heine Jr Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Michael Heine is a CompTIA-certified writer, editor, and Network Engineer with 25+ years' experience working in the television, defense, ISP, telecommunications, and education industries. our review board Article reviewed on Jul 30, 2020 Michael Barton Heine Jr Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email The end of the Windows 7 lifecycle, otherwise known as end of life, occurred in January 2020. At that time, Microsoft discontinued all support for the Windows 7 operating system, including paid support, and all updates, including security updates. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support. Prior to January 2020, the operating system was in an in-between phase known as extended support. During this phase, Microsoft offered paid support, though not the complimentary support that comes with the license. In addition, Microsoft continued to provide security updates but not design and feature ones. Oli Scarff / Getty Images What Does 'End of Life' Mean? End of life is the date after which an application is no longer supported by the company that makes it. After Windows 7 end of life, people could continue to use the OS, but at their own risk. New computer viruses and other malware are developed all the time and, without the security updates to fight them off, user data and the overall Windows 7 system became vulnerable. Why Is the Windows 7 Lifecycle Ending? The Windows 7 lifecycle is similar to that of previous Microsoft operating systems. Microsoft states: “Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it's no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to update, upgrade or make other changes to your software.” Upgrading to Windows 10 If you're still using Windows 7, you should upgrade to Windows 10, which is the current Windows version. Released in 2015, Windows 10 supports apps that can be used across several devices, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones. It also supports touchscreen, keyboard, and mouse input methods. Additionally, Windows 10 is faster than Windows 7 and provides several additional useful benefits. There are differences between the two interfaces but there are enough similarities that, as a Windows user, you'll be able to get up to speed quickly. The Windows 10 download process is straightforward for intermediate to advanced computer users; others may want to enlist the help of a computer-savvy friend. It's unlikely that you'll have to upgrade again once you migrate to Windows 10. This operating system was designed to be a software-as-a-service application, meaning it's periodically updated automatically with new features and security enhancements.