Your guide to a better future
You still have some time to decide if you want to upgrade to Windows 11.
Alison DeNisco Rayome
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a managing editor at CNET, now covering home topics after writing about services and software. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
began its , meaning that Windows 10 is slowly on the way out. But, that doesn’t mean Microsoft’s older operating system is obsolete yet. In fact, . And, “at least one version of” , said John Cable, vice president of program management at Microsoft, in a November blog post.
If you’re wondering how long you actually have to make the switch to Windows 11 and before updating, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll also explain , how to tell and . Read on for everything you need to know about the end of Windows 10 support and prepping for Windows 11.
will end on Oct. 14, 2025. That means Microsoft will no longer provide security patches or feature updates for the Home, Pro, Enterprise, Pro Education and Pro for Workstations editions at this time — affecting virtually all Windows 10 users. (The only people who have until 2029 are the few Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Support Channel users.)
This doesn’t come as a surprise: Microsoft has a long-established Fixed Lifestyle Policy for many of its products. For each version of its OS, the company offers a minimum of 10 years of support (at least five years of mainstream support like security updates and no-charge incident support, followed by five years of extended support like paid troubleshooting).
Windows 10 was released in July 2015, so its 10-year life cycle will have come to a close by October 2025. Here’s .
Windows 10’s days are numbered.
You’ll still be able to use your Windows 10 computer the same way you have been, just like a lot of people are still using or Windows 8, though Microsoft pulled support for both of those in recent years. However, once support ends, you won’t get any security updates, which could leave your computer vulnerable — many forms of malware target Windows devices.
If you don’t want to stop using your Windows 10 machine after support ends in 2025, there are certain .
It depends. If you , that computer should be able to run Windows 11. To see if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, go to Microsoft’s website for a list of requirements.
The easiest way to find out is to download the PC Health Check app to check if your machine is compatible. Alternatively, you can use another open-source app called to see if your device is compatible. Plus, here’s how to without either tool.
If you’re already a Windows 10 user and have a compatible computer, Windows 11 will appear as a once it becomes available for you. Microsoft’s new OS is gradually rolling out between now and mid-2022.
Once Windows 11 becomes available for you, you’ll download it the same way you would any new version of Windows. Most users will go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click Check for Updates. If available, you’ll see Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install. (Here’s more information on . If you haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10, you may still be able to .)
Windows 11 includes a new interface and lots of new features.
Windows 11 gets a new visual design and several new features that aim to make navigating your computer easier, whether for personal use, work or both. Here are some of the biggest changes in Windows 11:
We broke down here. We’ve also got a guide to all of and how you’ll use them.
For more details, check out and .
Your guide to a better future