The end is near. The end of Windows 7 support, that is.
Whether you like it or not, if any of your devices are running Windows 7, it’s time to make the move to Windows 10. Why? Because, come January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support the decade-old operating system. And this means no more security patches – any computer running on Windows 7 will be a hot target for cybercriminals and malicious hackers.
Migrating to a whole new operating system certainly does sound like a daunting process, especially if you have the added complexity of business data, apps, and software to grapple with. The good news is, architectural changes made by Microsoft should, in theory, make the migration process a little less painful.
Take a look at our guide to successfully migrating to Windows 10 from Windows 7.
Step 1: Sign in with Microsoft
You already know it by now – cloud computing is revolutionizing the way we use internet-connected devices.
“Close to 60% of North American enterprises use public cloud platforms, a percentage that has grown fivefold in the last five years.” – Forbes
When migrating to a new operating system, you can take full advantage of the cloud-based apps offered by Microsoft. To do this, sign in to your Microsoft account. (If you don’t have a Microsoft account, take this opportunity to create one.)
Once you’ve signed in, you’ll have access to any files and data stored on OneDrive. OneDrive is included in all Microsoft 365 plans – businesses can opt for Microsoft’s enterprise software packages to secure unlimited cloud storage.
Step 2: Back up your files and favorites
Hopefully, you already have a robust backup strategy in place. If not, it’s time to implement one. We suggest utilizing at least two forms of backup; one cloud-based (such as OneDrive and other cloud storage services) and one physical backup system (such as an external hard drive or NAS device).
Once you have backed-up all of your files and favorites, test your backup. Sometimes, records are not copied correctly, hard drives break, or something else goes wrong along the way. It’s critical to double-check before deleting the original.
Step 3: Install Windows 10
Now, install Windows 10. If you already have a Windows 7 key, you can use that to get Windows 10 for free. Otherwise, you will have to buy it. Windows 10 Pro – which is suitable for business use – will set you back $199.99.
Once Windows 10 is installed on your device, you can restore your files from your backup. This can be done using OneDrive or backup and restoration software. The process might take a while, especially if you have a significant amount of data.
Step 4: Get to know Windows 10
There’s no doubt about it – Windows 10 is a much more powerful operating system than its outdated predecessors. You’ll find a ton of new features, as well as plenty of brand-new and re-imagined applications designed to boost productivity, streamline both your business and personal processes, and ultimately make your life easier.
What happens if I don’t migrate to Windows 10?
After January 14, 2020, computers running Windows 7 won’t spontaneously combust! In fact, they will appear to work as normal. The issue is, Microsoft will no longer be monitoring new security threats targeting the operating system, making Windows 7 extremely vulnerable to data breaches, malware, and more.
Don’t risk your IT. Upgrade to Windows 10 and rest easy knowing that one of the world’s largest companies has your back.