What you need to know
- Microsoft will soon start warning Windows 8.1 users that support is ending
- The warnings will consist of popups that the user can dismiss.
- Windows 8.1 support ends in January 2023.
Windows 8.1's life support cycle (opens in new tab) is coming to an end very soon. Starting shortly, Microsoft will begin warning users who are still running Windows 8.1 that the OS they're using will be out of support in less than six months. Additionally, Microsoft has already pulled support for many apps on Windows 8.1, including the entire Microsoft 365 suite of applications.
Microsoft recommends users who are still running Windows 8.1 to go out and buy a new PC with Windows 11 pre-installed. The company notes that most (if not all) PCs that shipped with Windows 8.x won't officially support Windows 11 due to its CPU requirements being so strict.
Alternatively, Microsoft says that users could pay for an upgrade to Windows 10 that will tide them over until 2025, which is when support for Windows 10 is set to expire. We should note that the upgrade to Windows 10 is technically still free, and will automatically activate if you apply the upgrade to a Windows 8.1 device.
Once Windows 8.1 support comes to an end, PCs with Windows 8.1 installed won't just stop working. Users will be able to continue using the OS, but Microsoft will no longer service the product with security updates or bug fixes, and users won't be able to call Microsoft for technical support if required.
Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.
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