As of April 11, 2017, Microsoft no longer supports Windows Vista. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for the Windows Vista operating system.
If you continue to use Windows Vista after support has ended, your computer will still work, but it will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses because you will no longer receive software updates.
Microsoft recommends that you upgrade to a newer version of Windows, such as Windows 7 or Windows 10. If you do not have a license to install a newer version of Windows, you can buy one from the Microsoft Store.
What You Need to Know Before You Upgrade
Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Vista on April 10, 2012, and extended support will end on April 11, 2017. That means if you’re running Vista, you should start planning your upgrade to Windows 7 (or Windows 8.1, or Windows 10) now.
Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7
If you’re currently running Windows Vista, you can upgrade to Windows 7. The process is pretty straightforward and there are only a few things you need to know before diving in. Here’s what you need to know and what you need to do to make the upgrading process as smooth as possible.
First, a bit of housekeeping: make sure all of your important data is backed up before beginning the upgrade process. Once you start upgrading, there’s no turning back, so it’s important that you have everything you need saved in a safe place.
Next, check your hardware. Windows 7 has some pretty beefy system requirements, so if your computer is more than a few years old, it’s possible that it won’t be able to run the new operating system. You can check the requirements on Microsoft’s website; if your computer doesn’t meet them, then upgrading isn’t an option.
Finally, if you’re still using an older version of Windows (XP or below), you’ll need to do a clean install of Windows 7 rather than an upgrade. That means that all of your data will be wiped from your computer; again, make sure that everything is backed up before starting the process.
Once you’ve taken care of all that, upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 is pretty simple: just insert the installation disc into your computer and follow the prompts. The whole process should only take a few minutes (though it may take longer if you’re doing a clean install).
After You Upgrade
If you’re upgrading from Windows Vista, you will need to reinstall your apps and programs, as well as reinstall any device drivers. You also might need to reactivate your apps, although this should happen automatically. Be sure to back up your files before you upgrade!