Anyone still using a computer running the operating system Windows 7, is advised to upgrade to Windows 10 or buy a new computer already running Windows 10. FILE PHOTO

3 months until Windows 7 support ends

The Jan. 14, 2020 deadline is getting closer! After that date Microsoft will no longer support the Windows 7 operating system, besides for select business customers. If your computer still has Windows 7, it will no longer get updates from Microsoft. This includes patches for security holes, and other software vendors may start ending support for their programs on Windows 7 as well.

If you’re still using Windows 7, it’s advised by pretty much everyone to either upgrade to Windows 10 or buy a new computer running Windows 10 already. Although Windows 7 won’t stop working in January, you will be more vulnerable to viruses and hacking. A computer tech can help you decide what route you should go. I suggest doing this soon, as computer retailers and shops will likely be very busy the closer it gets to the January deadline.

The Warning Pop-Up

Recently, Microsoft started sending a warning about the end of support to Windows 7 users on their computer screen. It says: “After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing the end.”

Check Your Current Windows Version

If you receive that support alert, then you indeed have Windows 7, but don’t rely just on seeing that alert as it they not appear on all the computers.

If you aren’t sure of your Windows version, you can quickly check on your computer: click the Start Button in the lower-left corner to bring up the Start Menu, look for “Computer” or “My Computer,” right-click whichever one you have, and then select “Properties.” If you don’t see “Computer” or “My Computer” on the Start Menu, you may have Windows 8, 8.1, or 10. In those versions, you’d right-click the Start Button itself in lower-left corner and select “System.”

Once you see the System window pop-up, you’ll find your Windows version and edition near the top of that window if using Windows 7 (or older) or near the bottom if using Windows 8, 8.1, or 10.

If you still have Windows XP or Vista, it’s strongly recommended to buy a new computer right away as support for those Windows versions ended years ago.

Upgrading or Buying New

If you do have Windows 7 still, then you can either upgrade your current computer or buy a new computer (brand new or refurbished). Upgrading depends upon the age of the computer, the specs (processor and memory), and the health of the hard drive. A computer pro can give you great feedback on these, and advice on whether you should invest a little money in upgrading to the newer and much faster solid state drive (SSD) instead of reusing the older and slower mechanical hard drives.

When considering buying a new computer you might find them as low as $200, but keep in mind that you tend to get what you pay for. The cheaper the computer, generally means the slower the computer will be. Cheaper computers also usually offer less ports and are less likely to be upgradable in the future. A cheap computer may also be slower than your current computer, even though it’s new.

I usually suggest budgeting for at least $500 to $600 dollars for a new computer and about $150 additional if you need a new monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If this is out of your price range, I suggest buying a good refurbished computer from a trusted source for $250 or more.

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