Millions of Windows users warned of date they'll have to change operating systems

Windows 10's death has been announced, here's when you'll have to swap to Windows 11 to keep receiving security updates

Woman using laptop and PC on Windows
(Image credit: MoMo Productions / Getty Images)

Windows 10 is the most popular operating system in the world, but Microsoft has announced that as of now it will no longer be receiving new features. To make matters worse, there is now a ticking clock for when security updates will cease and users will be left to fend for themselves.

In an updated client roadmap, Microsoft Product Manager, Jason Leznek, promised that while “all editions will remain in support with monthly security update releases” until October 14th 2025, that “We [Microsoft] highly encourage you to transition to Windows 11 now.” But it’s not necessarily as easy as downloading the new OS.

Many older machines don’t meet the system requirements to run Windows 11 (perhaps you should check out the best cheap laptops if you need to make a speedy upgrade) and it still doesn’t have all the features of Windows 10, such as the ability to move the taskbar from the bottom of the screen. 

This has left millions with a decision to make: keep using Windows 10 even once the security updates finish, putting themselves at risk, or upgrade to a new machine, not always within everyone's budget, especially during these uncertain times. Leaving the majority of its customers on soon-to-be defunct operating system is certainly an interesting choice from Microsoft. 

Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you are currently using Windows 10 and don’t plan on switching immediately, make sure to update to the most recent (and now final) version, 22H2, to stay eligible for the remaining three years of security updates.

To run Windows 11, Microsoft states you will need a machine with at least 4GB of RAM (8GB for some features), a trusted platform module (not compatible with all machines) as well as a graphics card capable of running DirectX 12 and a processor over 1GHz. Given the ubiquity of Windows 10, there are a lot of machines that will fall short of this mark.

It is possible if you are really determined to bypass the system requirements and install Windows 11 on an incompatible machine, but there are no assurances that it will work or be secure if you do so. All you can be certain of is that Windows 10, once promised to be the last ever version of Windows, will be defunct in just a couple of years.

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.