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6 Things You Should Know for the End of Windows 7

June 13, 2019

As you may have noticed, thanks to the update windows that may be popping up on your screen (Apple/Mac users need not continue), Windows 7 is going to be entering its End of Life Phase on January 14, 2020[i]. So here are some things we thought you should know about it:


1.    What is End of Life Phase?

The End of Life Phase is the final phase for Windows 7, and the official date for when Microsoft will no longer support the operating system.

2.    Why is it happening?

In the past Microsoft releases their Windows operating systems with an already pre-determined date for the End of Life phase. It’s like buying pants. You expect them to last a while, but not forever; you go into the store and purchase the pants knowing that at some point in the future you will have to buy a new pair of pants.

So, when you first get them and they’re new, you hang them up, take care of them, try not to get spots on them, etc. This was the Mainstream Support Phase for Windows 7 and occurred in the first 5 years after its release in October 2009[ii].

Then comes the eventual first spot-that-will-not-be-removed, and at this point they officially become your old-pants. The ones you use for house projects, painting, and other messy activities. This was Windows 7 Extended Support Phase, which is the following 5 years until the end of life phase.

The End of Life Phase for your proverbial pants is when it has been patched so much, that it is more patch than pants. Financially, it simply is not worth it to Microsoft to continue to support Windows 7 when they can just prioritize their focus on improving Windows 10[iii].

3.    Can I still use Windows 7?

Yes, but at your own risk.[iv] Among the graphic and compatibility updates that will no longer be available, Windows 7 will no longer be receiving Security Updates and Patches. This puts your computers, and potentially your personal information, at risk. Additionally, if you choose to keep using Windows 7, be aware that Internet Explorer will no longer be compatible, and you will need to switch to a new internet browser[v].

4.    What are my options if I want to replace Windows 7?

There are a few options available at this point to replace your operating system, including the successive generations of Windows. The general advice is to switch to Windows 10[vi], as switching to any of the previous generations will see you going through this process again in a few years. Additionally, Windows 10 is intended to be the last generations of Windows operating systems.

Windows 10 is available for free to Office 365 Business users[vii], otherwise you will have to pay for a license. Be aware though that the newer version of Windows is not compatible on some of the older PCs. If this is the case, you will need to purchase a new computer, or if you’re tech savvy enough purchase upgraded parts.  

Another option is to take this opportunity to step out of your comfort zone with an entirely different operating system. Linuxoffers some Windows friendly operating systems and applications with similar functionality[viii]. Or you can make the switch to Mac products[ix]. This will of course mean an entirely new device, and the purchase will be more than what you can expect to pay for most non-Mac devices.

5.    What should I do to prepare for the switch?

  • Start Early:You do not want to be caught in the End of Life Phase of Windows 7 with no replacement implemented. Or if you just made the deadline, then no idea how to use that replacement, especially if it’s for business purposes.

  • Do Your Research: Think about how you use your devices and how tech-savvy you are. If you’re going to struggle to learn a new operating system, upgrading to Windows 10 might be your best option. Also depending on what you use your device for, one operating system may be a smarter choice over another.

  • Ask Questions: If you know someone who is in the technology industry ask them. If not, walk into an Apple or Microsoft store, or check out the Linux website. Very likely either of the former two will have devices out on display for you to try that will have their latest operating system on them. As for Linux, they offer many tutorials and since many of the distributions are free you have the option to try it out, and if you have questions reach out in the forum.

  • Back Up EVERYTHING:Before you even think about beginning the process of transitioning, regardless of what you’re transitioning to, back up all your files. Sometimes the processes of downloading and installing the software can cause you to lose files, especially if they are not compatible to your new operating system. If you plan on getting a new device, you’ll definitely need to do this, so you can move everything over to your new device.

6.    What are my options for backing up my files?

If you haven’t done this yet, backing up your files is something that should actually be done on a semi-regular basis. Unfortunately, it can be a bit time consuming, but once you know how to do it, it is fairly easy.


In order to back up your files, you will need something to back it up on to. Popular options include an external hard drive which you simply plug into your device, or any one of the various Cloud-based storage services currently available.


With Cloud storage its fairly easy to move things from device to cloud and back again, and some have the option of automatically syncing (synchronizing) so that you don’t have to actively back-up your device once you set this up.


A word of warning regarding syncing your device and cloud storage: if you accidentally delete something off your device it also automatically deletes off the Cloud, and vice versa. So, if you’ve done this before, you may want to just make the effort of taking a day on a semi-annual to annual basis to just back it up manually.


Hopefully this helps you begin the process of moving on from the end of another Windows Era. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to one of our team members.


Remember we are here to help.


Registered associates of Family Wealth Decisions Group are registered representatives of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Family Wealth Decisions Group is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.  6900 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 101E, Syosset, NY 11791







[iv] ibid

[v] -14-2020

[vi] ibid



[ix] ibid