Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 and 8.1. So it’s time to upgrade those systems to Windows 10. Here’s how.
In the first days of 2023, Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Windows 7 has been around since October 2009, with the popular operating system receiving updates for more than 10 years. Although 8.1 is a lot younger, it still loses out first.
In concrete terms, the end of that support means that you will no longer receive security updates. You should not expect new features in Windows 7 anyway, since that operating system has only received security updates for two years. Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8.1 is not part of Microsoft’s “Extended Security Update” program. When support ended on January 10, that was the end of the road for Windows 8.1.
Upgrade your computer to Windows 10
Windows security updates ensure that your PC is protected against intruders. If you no longer receive security updates, you run the risk of being hacked. To avoid that, it’s a good idea to upgrade your PC.
Before you start the upgrade, it is a good idea to back up your data. This will prevent you from losing all files and photos stored on the system. You can use a cloud service such as OneDrive for this. However, you can also purchase a hard drive and move all your precious data to it. That way you can simply restore them after installing a new Windows version.
Install Windows 10
In addition, it is a good idea to check whether your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 10. You can find those system requirements here. You will have to purchase a Windows license to upgrade your computer. Until July 2016, Microsoft still offered free licenses for Windows 10, but now you have to pay for them. So first make sure that the operating system is compatible with your device.
Install via USB
Once you have obtained a license for Windows 10, you can install the new operating system. First and foremost, you need to get a USB stick with more than 8GB of storage memory. You need this to create an installation medium, from which you can install the new Windows.
The USB stick you use does not have to be large. 8GB storage memory is sufficient. | Image: iStock
You can create an installation USB with the ‘Media Creation Tool’ of Windows itself. This tool is free to download, directly from Microsoft itself. Once you have downloaded the tool, open the program. You follow the steps that the program presents to you.
If all is well, you now have a USB stick with which you can install Windows 10 on your PC. For this you have to restart the PC from the USB stick. This can be done by pressing one of the following buttons during the reboot, depending on the system manufacturer: Escape, F10 or F12. After this, a menu appears in which the different boot devices are listed. If you select the USB stick you just created, the installation process will start automatically.
Install via CD
Some Windows licenses come bundled with an installation CD. You can also use this to upgrade your PC, but you will need a CD reader. Do you have that? Then installing Windows 10 is a matter of inserting the CD into the reader and restarting your PC. During startup, open the boot menu with the Escape, F10, or F12 key and boot the computer from the Windows disc.
Upgrade to Windows 11
Would you rather upgrade to Windows 11? This is possible from Windows 10 and is still completely free for the time being. The system requirements for Windows 11 are stricter than those for Windows 10, so be sure to check whether your PC is compatible with Windows 11. You can also purchase a license for Windows 11 directly.