- Windows 7's end of life was extended to 2023 already, but now the EOL is truly upon us.
- Here comes the big question: can I still use Windows 7 in 2023?
- You can! We will show you how to stay on Windows 7 forever and continue using it as safely as possible for as long as possible.
Windows 7 is somewhat the preferred OS choice of many computer users across the globe.
It is durable enough to run low-end operations while also optimized to execute high-end functions with near-perfection.
Its flexibility makes it ideal for all classes of computers, and many people see it as the best Windows version, with little regard for the newer versions (Windows 11 included).
However, Microsoft has phased out Windows 7 as of January 14, 2020. So, why are we still talking about it? There are still many loyal fans who would like to stay on Windows 7 forever.
Due to significant pushback from users worldwide, Microsoft made yet another concession; hence the Windows 7 end of life extended to 2023.
Fast forward to January 2023, the extension comes to an end. So what now: can you still use Windows 7, does Windows 7 still work? We shall try to answer all your questions, as follows.
Can I still use Windows 7?
Windows 7′ EOL is upon us, meaning there is no more official support (from Microsoft) for Windows 7 PCs.
With this, security patches and system updates are stopped, leaving Windows 7 PCs vulnerable and outdated.
What happens if you still use Windows 7?
Users are left with no choice but to upgrade their OS to a newer version. Failure to upgrade would expose their Windows PCs to malware attacks, bugs, system lags, and other security issues.
But is there really no choice to be made? We don’t think so.
If you still want to keep running Win7 on your PC for as long as possible, without official support, you can, and we will show you how to do it. But first, we have a few things to clear out.
📌 Does Windows 7 still work? Yes, and you will be able to stay on Windows 7 forever or until it is no longer available, which leads us straight to the next big question.
How we test, review and rate?
We have worked for the past 6 months on building a new review system on how we produce content. Using it, we have subsequently redone most of our articles to provide actual hands-on expertise on the guides we made.
For more details you can read how we test, review, and rate at WindowsReport.
📌 Can I still install Windows 7? As long as you have a product key, you can install it on a compliant PC.
📌 Is Windows 7 still good? There is no right answer here. Technically, it is outdated, and there are better options to pick from. However, those who decided to remain loyal to this now-historical version of Windows still appreciate its stability and ease of use. To test out the iteration, use an online Windows 7 simulator.
📌 Can you still use Windows 7 safely? This is also debatable, you can go the extra mile and add a robust antivirus that works with Windows 7 as well as a lightweight VPN for privacy. However, the best way to keep out of trouble is to stay offline as much as possible.
In this guide, we are going to be showing you what you can do to stay on and use Windows 7 forever, without installing Windows 10.
How can I continue using Windows 7?
1. Disable Windows 10 Upgrade
- Navigate to the Computer Configuration option on your PC, and click on it.
2. On the displayed window, select Policies.
3. Under Policies, click on the Administrative Templates option.
4. Select Windows Updates.
5. On the displayed window, double-tap on the Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update option.
6. Finish the configuration by tapping on Enable.
This is the first and most conventional process if you want to hang on to Win7 on your PC. Most Windows 7 PCs by default auto-update to the latest version.
Hence, if this function is not disabled, your Windows 7 computer would automatically be updated to Windows 10.
To disable the Windows 10 upgrade option, there is a Group Policy setting that is designed to facilitate such configurations. And this would ensure your PC blocks any form of version upgrade on your PC.
However, the most convenient way of disabling upgrades is via the system configuration method. To disable and block Windows 10 upgrade using this method, follow the step-by-step guide provided above.
With this action, your Windows PC would maintain its original version for as long as possible.
However, when Microsoft pulls support, your device might become vulnerable to malware attacks, unauthorized access, and system malfunctions.
2. Continue using your Windows 7 after Windows 7 EOL (End of Life)
When Microsoft pulls out support for Windows 7, you can continue using the version, albeit at your own risk. To ensure you are not affected by the vulnerability that follows, do the following:
- Download and install a durable antivirus on your PC. Since you are officially unprotected by Microsoft, ensure you go for reliable (tested and trusted) AV software.
- Download and install GWX Control Panel, to further reinforce your system against unsolicited upgrades/updates.
- Back up your PC regularly; you can back it up once or thrice a month. This is to facilitate recovery if and when required.
- Stay informed about any new update/upgrade, and always custom-install any update you need.
By adhering strictly to the above-stated points, you can continue using Windows 7 for as long as you want. However, you have to be extra careful while surfing the internet, as your unprotected system is now vulnerable to hacks.
3. Use a Virtual Machine
Virtual machines allow you to imitate an OS on another operating system. Hence, you can easily use this trick to bypass the impending Windows 7 EOL come January 2020.
There are numerous virtual machine programs out there; however, only a handful of them are durable. So, ensure you download and install a reliable one on your computer.
To continue enjoying Windows 7 after the EOL, follow the steps below:
- Install a virtual machine program on your computer
- Download and install GWX to prevent unsolicited upgrades
- Install a new upgrade or a completely different OS
- Install Windows 7 on the virtual machine software.
- Run the imitated OS (Win7) on your PC via the VM software. The VM software interfaces between the installed Win7 and your PC
No one can say exactly what Microsoft is cooking up; if they are planning to end Windows 7 for good, they’d eventually phase it out with time.
For now, however, you can hang on to your Windows 7 or simply upgrade to the latest Windows 10 version.
Windows 7, according to official estimates from Microsoft, constitutes about 30% of all Windows PCs across the globe. This means that for every five Windows PCs, at least one is running Windows 7.
With this, it is one of the most reliable Windows versions out there, and users are especially impressed with its ease of usage and durability. That’s why we believe Windows 7 is the next Windows XP.
By this time, Windows 7 users would be expected to upgrade to a newer version or risk having their system’s security and patch support withdrawn.
So, if you still want to keep running your PC on Win7 after the impending apocalypse, the guides herein would assist you. In this article, we have succinctly described how to stay on Windows 7 forever.
Hope you find this helpful.