With Windows 11 here and Windows 10 support ending in 2025, you might be wondering what will happen to your PC if you don’t upgrade. We explore the possibilities.
Do I need to upgrade to Windows 11?
Although Windows 11 was released in fall 2021, says microsoft You don’t need to upgrade your Windows 10 installation to Windows 11. As with previous major Windows 10 “feature updates,” you can decline or defer any offer from Microsoft to upgrade your system by not starting the upgrade process in Windows Update.
Until October 14, 2025, you won’t have any trouble sticking with Windows 10. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 through that date, and you can continue to use it safely on your current PC while counting on critical security updates when needed.
But after October 14, 2025, running Windows 10 will be much more risky. This is because Microsoft will no longer release new security updates for Windows 10 on this date. After that date, if someone discovers a new exploit or vulnerability in Windows 10, Microsoft will not release a Windows 10 update to fix it.
Does Windows 10 stop working when Windows 11 starts?
Windows 11 was released in Fall 2021, and you can continue to use Windows 10 as you did before it was released. It will not stop working automatically.
Whenever Windows 11 launches, Microsoft Windows 10 users will likely offer the option to upgrade to Windows 11 for free in Windows Update in Settings. If you decline the update, you may still see pop-up reminders asking you to update to Windows 11 unless your PC doesn’t support it.
After Windows 10 support ends in 2025, Windows 10 will still work. You’re just at greater security risk.
What if I can’t upgrade to Windows 11?
You may have already checked your PC and found that it cannot be upgraded to Windows 11. If that’s the case, you have a few options. The safest option will be to buy a newer PC some time before that 2025 deadline. This way you are running the latest and most secure Windows operating system. The other option is to continue using Windows 10, which comes with significant security risks.
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What happens if I keep using Windows 10?
Whenever a Windows upgrade comes around, there are always some people who prefer to stick with an older version of Windows even if it’s no longer supported. Even today, some holdouts still use Windows 7, Windows 8, or even earlier versions like Windows XP on a daily basis. But these people are taking dramatically greater security risks.
What could go wrong? Many things. If you’re running an unsupported version of Windows 10, you’re more vulnerable to malware that spies on you or corrupts your data, ransomware that takes your data hostage, RAT software that compromises your webcam, and more.
After a few years, some applications may drop support for Windows 10, leaving you vulnerable to other types of security vulnerabilities if you can’t update them to the latest versions.
What’s the safest way to keep Windows 10 running?
First off, we recommend not running Windows 10 beyond October 14, 2025. It’s just not worth the risk, and basic PCs (even used PCs) that can run Windows 11 should be cheap at this point. But we know that reality doesn’t always match the ideal, so here are a few tips.
There is no doubt that despite the risks, people who practice good security hygiene will have a better chance of running Windows 10 without major problems after the 2025 deadline. Here are a few sensible things everyone can do themselves now to stay safe online:
- Always keep your web browser up to date.
- Keep your applications up to date.
- Do not visit suspicious or fraudulent websites on the Internet.
- Maintain updated anti-malware software on your PC.
- Use a strong password and do not reuse passwords.
- If possible, use two-factor authentication.
- Keep frequent backups, including rotated offline backups.
- Do not open email attachments.
- Do not run programs that you download from the Internet unless they are from a verified, trustworthy source.
But let’s be honest, how many people brush their teeth twice a day and floss after each meal like dentists recommend? Some people do, but not all. Therefore, the best thing for the average Windows PC owner to do is update to the latest version of Windows and stick with it – while also practicing all of the above – to reduce your chances of being protected from malware, ransomware, or any other security exploit to be hit.
In the end, it’s best to upgrade
When Windows 11 starts, Windows 10 starts fading into the sunset – like it or not. You may feel pressured to make an upgrade decision right away, but it doesn’t have to be. As of this writing, you have over four years to plan ahead before Windows 10 support ends, which is a long time in the tech world.
However, take the time to plan ahead so you can make a smooth transition to Windows 11 when the time comes. (Or there’s always another option: install Linux on your PC when Windows 10 support ends.) Good luck and stay safe out there!
TIED TOGETHER: Don’t panic: you can continue to use Windows 10 until 2025
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