Did you know that Windows 7‘s official support ends this year?
I bet you didn’t! If your system is still running Windows 7, you might have to upgrade to a newer version to continue enjoying exclusive supports from Microsoft.
However, you can still continue enjoying the Windows 7 OS by using certain tips and tricks. In this guide, we are going to be showing you what you can do to use Windows 7 forever and never install Windows 10.
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 (Win 8/8.1/10).
However, by January 14, 2020, Microsoft will have phased out Windows 7. This means there will be no more official support (from Microsoft) for Windows 7 PCs.
Therefore, to ensure you are not affected by this development, we have come up with a solution on how to use Windows 7 forever.
What January 2020 Means to Windows 7 Users
Starting January 14, 2020, Microsoft will be removing all exclusive supports currently offered to Windows 7 users.
With this, security patches and system updates would be stopped, leaving Windows 7 PCs vulnerable and outdated.
This action from Microsoft was initially billed for 2015 before it was eventually extended for five more years. The action has been attributed, in some quarters, to the reluctance of most Win7 users to upgrade to Windows 10.
And by January 14, 2020, upon implementation of the EOL, Windows 7 users would be left with no choice but to upgrade their OS to a newer version.
Failure to upgrade would leave their Windows PCs exposed to malware attacks, bugs, system lags and other forms of security issues.
However, if you still want to keep running Win7 on your PC, for as long as possible, follow through this article.
In the next section, we’ll be showing you how to use Windows 7 forever, without the official support, which ends on 14th January 2020.
Solutions to use Windows 7 Forever
Microsoft recently announced an extension of the January 2020 “end of life” date. With this development, Win7 EOL (end of life) will now fully take effect in January 2023, which is three years from the initial date and four years from now.
This extension, however, is only supported on Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Professional (for business users); it is not applicable to home users. The extension is offered under Windows 7 ESUs – Extended Security Updates – service, and it is a paid service.
Nevertheless, if your PC is not covered by this extension, this guide will help you out. With this guide, you don’t have to worry about getting locked out of your favorite Win7 OS, when the “end of life” takes effect one year from now.
Disable Windows 10 Upgrade
This is the first and 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 conventional 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 below:
- Navigate to the “Computer Configuration” option on your PC, and click on it.
- On the displayed window, select “Policies”.
- Under “Policies”, click on the “Administrative Templates” option.
- Select “Windows Updates”.
- On the displayed window, double-tap on the “Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update” option.
- Finish the configuration by tapping on “Enable”.
With this action, your Windows PC would maintain its original version for as long as possible.
However, by January 14, 2020, when Microsoft pulls support, your device might become vulnerable to malware attacks, unauthorized access and system malfunctions.
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 a 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 in a week or three times in 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.
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 software 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 software 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.
Note: This method might become less effective after January 14, 2020, when Windows 7 reaches its official “end of life”.
No one can say exactly what Microsoft is cooking up; if they are planning to end Windows 7 for good, they’ld 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 obviously 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 described, succinctly, how to use Windows 7 forever.
Hope you find this helpful.
RELATED POSTS YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT:
- Microsoft reveals the cost for Windows 7 extended security updates
- 4 best Windows 7 ISO mounting software to use
Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on January 7, 2020.