The Windows 10 “end of life” date has been set for 14 October 2025 and yes, it is as dramatic as it sounds. Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 support will end in 2025, which means that devices still running on Windows 10 will no longer receive any system and security updates. This isn’t something that the company just came up with, as the policy had been set in place much earlier, and the release of Windows 11 in 2021 had come with discussions around the 4-year lease left on the Windows 10 lifeline. By October 2025 security updates for Windows 10 will cease to arrive and while you could potentially still use the device, it would be at a great risk to your data.

Windows 10 End of Life Signals the End of Support for Windows 10

Image – Microsoft

Windows 10 End of Life Announced For 14 October 2025

We are still quite a way away from the end of support for Windows 10 but considering that a PC is an expensive investment and you might need to buy a new one before the end date arrives, it is essential to be aware of the changes Windows is making. With Windows 11 now the main focus of Microsoft, PCs that still run on Windows 10 require extra resources and investments from the company to keep the updates rolling in and keep user content with their existing systems instead of upgrading to a new one. 

With the latest version of Windows 11 available on most new laptops, it is a much more lucrative option for Microsoft to push users into buying a new device that can support Windows 11. Considering we are expecting Windows 12 to be released sometime in 2024, it becomes even more essential for Microsoft to dedicate its resources to updates in that regard. The Windows 10 end of Life will mean that the Windows 10 software cycle that began in 2015, will finish and retire in 2025, with the current version 22H2 being the last upgrade the edition will see.

What Happens When Windows 10 Support Ends?

Once we arrive at the Windows 10 End of Life period in 2025, the operating system will no longer receive any more updates. Devices that are still running on Windows 10 will continue to function without any interruption but over time, it will become increasingly outdated and incapable of supporting newer software and services as the OS will not be updated to keep up. The more serious aspect to consider when Windows 10 support ends is that security updates for Windows 10 will no longer be up-to-date either. With new threats coming out every day, the static OS will not be able to protect your device and data from any external dangers. At this point, using the device might not be worth the risk.

In order to prepare for the Windows 10 support ending next year, customers will have to consider upgrading to Windows 11 or purchasing a new device with the upgraded operating system built in. While the first solution sounds simple enough, it isn’t quite so accessible to everyone. Microsoft has significantly increased the system requirements that are essential for moving to Windows 11. Incompatible devices may be able to force an upgrade but this could lead to the system malfunctioning so the risk is for the user to consider carefully. 

Windows users can use the PC Health Check app to assess their system compatibility to gauge whether their device meets the Windows 11 requirements and if it does, upgrading to Windows 11 should be an easy choice to avoid any further hassles associated with the Windows 10 end-of-life proceedings. If your system does not meet the basic requirements for Windows 11, you might have to decide whether you want to continue to use the device and see what challenges come up once the security updates for Windows 10 cease. Microsoft has stated that it might provide security updates for Windows 10 until 2028 for a fee, but the price hasn’t been disclosed yet. Paying for security upgrades for 3 years does not sound worth the hassle but it might be more appealing to some so we will have to wait until the company announces the fee structure for the service overall.

Windows 10 End-of-Life Impacting More than PC Sales

While Windows users are an obvious group affected by the Windows 10 support ending in 2025, there are other consequences to the update. Reuters reported that the end of support for Windows 10 could lead to around 240 million PCs being disposed of, all of it likely adding to landfill waste once no one sees the need to invest in or maintain those devices. This could lead to over 480 million kilograms of electronic waste. 

If the numbers sound excessive, consider that there could potentially be a huge stock of unused devices from PC lines before 2018 that were capable of running on Windows 10 only. Even if unused there won’t be any takers for outdated technology. The bulk of the waste will likely come from users who will now have to sell their old devices and upgrade to new tech to keep up with the times. Still functioning devices might be turned to junk making it a big threat to the environment if there are no alternate solutions found to the e-waste that Microsoft is about to unleash globally. 

For now, your first option is to wait out the change to see what happens when Windows 10 support ends and how much the lack of updates actually affects your system. The paid security updates for Windows 10 should be available for you by then in case you do not want to part from your existing device. If that does not seem ideal, you’ll have to choose between forcing an upgrade on your device and buying a new PC entirely. We’d recommend saving up for a PC and making the purchase once the Windows 12 Operating System is available to see what your purchase options are but the final decision is up to you.