Can You Still Use Windows 7 in 2020?

If you haven’t been sold on Windows 10, you’re not alone. To this day, Windows 7 remains the 2nd most popular Windows desktop operating system, with almost ​34 percent of computer users using it globally. Despite mainstream support for Windows 7 ending in 2015, and Microsoft’s insistence on users making the switch, there are plenty of people still holding out. Privacy concerns over Windows 10 ​calling home to Microsoft have been a concern for many people. Whatever your reasons are for remaining with Windows 7, we’re sharing our tips for keeping it running as long as possible.

First, let’s review what’s going on with Microsoft and what users can expect in the short term.

• As of January 13, 2015 Microsoft support for Windows 7 ended. Canceling any new Service Packs and features for the operating system. Microsoft is however still patching the operating system.

​• Extended support for users is still being offered until January 14, 2020. On this day, Microsoft will stop issuing new security updates and patches for Windows 7.

​Ultimately what this means for Windows 7 fans is that it is safe to continue using it until 2020, assuming you continue installing updates. After that point, however, is a different story. Come January 14th, 2020, security patches will cease to apply to your ​computer, ​resulting in your machine becoming vulnerable to known exploits. This is very dangerous.  Without proper patch management, cybercriminals ​will be able to compromise Windows 7 machines using known vulnerabilities in the operating system that are not patched.

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Continue updating

​In the meantime, while users can still feel secure in their use of Windows 7 there are a couple of outlining factors to consider. While many users are hesitant to install updates in fear of ending up with Windows 10 ​accidentally, entirely avoiding them is not a ​secure option. ​You must apply security patches.

Switch browsers

If you haven’t already, stopped using Internet Explorer. Microsoft has announced they will stop offering security updates for Internet Explorer 11 come 2020, and the latest Microsoft Edge is not available for Windows 7 computers. Fortunately, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are still reliable options for Windows 7 users. We can’t guarantee either of these browsers will continue offering Windows 7 support once Microsoft stops, but you will be able to utilize new features and updates for the time being.

Prepare to pay

In a blog post by Microsoft 365 Corporate VP Jared Spataro, it was announced that from January 14, 2020 a monthly fee, that doubles each year, will be implemented for Windows 7 users in order to keep their computers safe. Unfortunately, this offering is only available to Windows 7 Professional customers in Volume licensing. So the everyday user running Windows 7 Home will not be applicable.

A pricing plan ​obtained by ZDNet for Windows 7 Support is as followed:

• Year 1 (January 2020 - January 2021): $50 per device, with Windows 10 Enterprise add-on rate of $25.

• Year 2 (January 2021 - January 2022): $100 per device, with Windows 10 Enterprise add-on rate of $50.

• Year 3 (January 2022 - January 2023): $200 per device, with Windows 10 Enterprise add-on rate of $100.

While this increasing payment model was created to incentivize Windows 7 users to upgrade, the option to hold on to your preferred platform remains if you’re willing to pay for it. Whatever you choose to do, we hope these tips help!

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  • Maddie Davie

    Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. She lives by running marathons and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.

  • Randy says:

    I use Firefox with my Windows 7 Home Premium and run the Microsoft Security Essentials for protection. Will I still be fairly safe. I’m one of them older folks that would prefer not to upgrade to Windows 10.

    • Nathan House Nathan House says:

      With Windows 7 – Keep your Internet-facing software up to date. i.e. browsers, email clients etc. Don’t click on anything you shouldn’t. Run anything suspicious in a virtual machine or sandbox.

  • ThaCrip says:

    I have been on Linux Mint for the last year now and I don’t regret the change. anyone who just wants a secure machine for some online use and the like, can’t go wrong with dumping Windows and switching to Linux and since just about all shady software targets Windows machines, short of Phishing scams and the like, one should be pretty safe online with Linux as even those novice users will be pretty safe since Linux will help protect them against themselves since they can’t just install random software like they might do if they were on Windows.

  • David G. says:

    I have win 8.1 I.E.11. I have been informed by You Tube they will stop supporting my browser soon. Which browser could I download that’s close to 8.1 win 11 so I can keep my tiles and proceed as close to normal as I do now. Thanks for any input. Dave

  • René Kokmeyer says:

    As long as I can use my Microsoft Office 2001 series, I will continue to us Windows 7. I have stopped the “rollups” monthly updates years ago at almost half a gig, every month and they never uninstall the old ones, do they?

  • Meet@Win7User says:

    Stupid Microsoft Why did they Kill Windows 7 And Make Windows 10

    I am Still using Windows 7 And I am Never Gonna Upgrade

  • Meet@Win7User says:

    Stupid Windows 10

  • Alishia says:

    You might have noticed that the majority of the users are dependent on outdated Windows 7 is because of their inability to run the newest version of OS or Some users have economic reasons behind the using Windows 7 OS whereas some are just too lazy to upgrade but at the same time, the users don’t understand that to have their devices secured from any security threat they need to migrate to supported versions on their devices and make sure that all security tools are upgraded before the transition!

  • Aadam says:

    As well yes you are right, but you need a usb from 2019 or on in the 2020.

  • Vlad123 says:

    You Must Download Windows 7 In 2021 NOT IN 2020!!!

  • Nathan House says:

    Windows 10 Is Better

  • Streety says:

    I’m still using a standard Windows 7 Pro edition on one of my older PCs, daily, and it’s still downloading MSE antivirus updates very frequently, and the MS malicious software removal tool still downloads monthly too, as of early 2021. I use the machine mainly because I play a lot of older games, but I also use it for some light browsing using Firefox (though I keep it locked down pretty tight). Never any viruses – so far.

    In fact I only belatedly updated that same PC from XP to the all new fancy Windows 7 in early 2019 – and I never had any viruses on it back then either. Again, I always kept it locked down pretty tight (though nothing exceptional) and went on-line with it daily.

    I’ll prob take it off-line once Firefox stop supporting Win7. I guess that’s a year or two away as they haven’t announced anything yet.

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