Windows 7 switch off deadline looms

Microsoft is to end technical support for Windows 7 from January 14, leaving charities still using the system at risk of security breaches.

Joe Lepper | 13th Jan 20
image of microsoft windows, representing the looming support switch-off which could cause security risks if not upgraded

Charities still running Windows 7 have less than 24-hours to take action to make sure their computer systems are not a security and compliance risk.

Microsoft is to end its support for the operating system on January 14, ending its 10-year product support commitment that began when it was released on October 22, 2009.

From tomorrow there will be no technical assistance or software updates for Windows 7.

This means that Microsoft will no longer be able to supply security patches or downloadable updates from its servers to help keep systems secure.

Charities also risk being non-compliant with data protection legislation such as General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) if their system is not secure.

Microsoft is urging users to move to a new device with Windows 10 to ensure they can continue being supported.

Whilst the operating system can still be installed after January 14, “it will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses due to the lack of security updates”, according to Microsoft.

“After January 14, 2020, Microsoft strongly recommends that you use Windows 10 instead of Windows 7.”

Fresh installation

When moving existing programs to a new Windows 10 PC, Microsoft recommends carrying out a fresh installation of these, as well as for any apps.

“We recommend going to that company’s official website and downloading the Windows 10 version from there,” adds Microsoft’s guidance.

However, it warns:  “In limited circumstances, some older software may not have an updated version that’s compatible with Windows 10.”