For those of you still using Windows 8 computers, you’ll soon meet with legitimate popup messages, as shown below:
This is not a scam, and Microsoft is telling you the truth. Windows 8 reaches the end of its lifecycle on 1/10/2023. But Don’t Panic! Here are more details to help you navigate what’s next.
You May Keep Using Windows 8
You don’t have to do anything. Your Win8 PC will keep working fine, even past 1/10/2023. But after that date, there is an unknown amount of security risk. I’m not too worried about it, but I also cannot tell you there is no risk. If you stick with Windows 8 after 1/10/2023, you must check your antivirus to make sure it is still running and updating!
Still, after that deadline, other issues may develop. Other programs, like Google Chrome, may also stop updating. And over time, with many things getting so deprecated, that could lead to unexpected security problems. You might see security errors as you load your email. You might one day be blocked from logging into your bank accounts. Zoom or Quicken or other apps may fail to load.
So while you can probably Windows 8 past its deadline, you’ll want to take action at some point before a software malfunction crops up to frustrate you. You’ve got two ways to proceed:
Option #1: Buy a New Computer
Microsoft would love for you to buy a new computer. If it’s in your budget to do so, you’ll be moving to a system with Windows 11 on it, and its lifecycle has no declared end date as of this writing. Reach out to me if you need a recommendation on what to buy from Costco or some other store you prefer.
Option #2: Upgrade Your PC to Windows 10
PCs running Windows 7 or 8 can still receive a free upgrade to Windows 10. Yes, I promise you it is a free download, it never stopped being free, despite rumors and erroneous news reports. If you want to try this:
- Go to this Microsoft download site.
- Under “Create Windows 10 Installation Media”, click the Download Now button.
- Save and then Open/Run the MediaCreationTool.exe file.
- Agree to the Licensing Agreements and choose the option to Keep Your Apps and Files, when prompted.
Please know that this undertaking could take hours to complete, especially if you are still on a slow DSL connection. The download involved are several gigabytes in size! But with enough patience, your computer will adopt Windows 10, which has a lifecycle lasting until October 14, 2025.