It's the end of an era: Microsoft will cease to support Windows 7 from 14 January 2020. Meaning that if you're still running the decade-old operating system you won't be getting any more updates, bug fixes and so forth. Here's what the plug-pull of the older operating system means.
Will my Windows 7 PC stop working?
No, not at all. You just won't receive any more security updates. Otherwise it's business as usual - as outdated as said business is.
Should I upgrade to Windows 10?
Well, there was a period at the beginning of Windows 10's life - note, there's no Windows 9 to worry about here, it never existed - when it was offered as a free upgrade (until 16 July 2016, so quite a while back!).
If you didn't take that offer up, or perhaps weren't able to due to a work security lockdown then, well, now you have to pay for the upgrade. It ranges from £119 to £339, depending on use-case.
Will my current PC work with a Windows 10 upgrade?
The million dollar question. Most likely it will, yes, but as Windows 10 is designed for more modern laptops - although it's less heavyweight an operating system on the front end, which is likely to be a positive - it may not run as well as it could. So it may be time to consider a new PC or laptop purchase after all.
Can I transfer files to a new computer?
You can in a variety of ways, it depends what you're working with. An external hard drive is one way, using the Backup & Restore feature, which will pull your new files into the new operating system environment during install.
Microsoft suggests using OneDrive, its cloud storage solution, to back everything up online and then simply sync that with your new setup, which is another way of going it. It won't be free if you have lots of files though - up to 1TB is £5.99 a month, but you could cancel if you wished.
I don't want to upgrade, I'm happy with Windows 10
Whatever floats your boat. Nobody is going to force you, but when it comes to updating apps and such like in the future you may lack support, while any security flaws that arise in the future won't be protected against.
What's the best laptop to buy?
If you do want to take the plunge and buy something sweet and new then there's a lot of choice out there. We've got a feature, link below, to round up all the greatest laptops, portables, 2-in-1s and Ultrabooks.