Security Windows

Your Best Options for a Windows XP Upgrade to Windows 7

Tina Sieber 08-06-2015

Extended support for Windows XP expired in April 2014 Windows XP: What's Happening To It Now? Windows XP may be dead, but it's not yet gone. Over 27% of computers connected to the Internet still run Windows XP. Here's exactly what "end of support" means for Windows XP systems. Read More . Yet Microsoft’s longest running operating system Windows XP Lasted Longer Than World Wars I & II Combined Think Microsoft is letting Windows XP die too soon? You're not alone. Many think this is a cash grab. What if I told you Windows XP is the longest supported version of Windows ever? Read More still hogs roughly 16% of the global operating system market share. Many users apparently enjoy the eXPerience How to Get a Windows XP Download Free From Microsoft, Legally Microsoft gives away Windows XP downloads for free, provided you use a virtual machine. Here's how to do it! Read More and don’t see a need to upgrade their operating system Upgrade From Windows XP to a Modern OS in 7 Simple Steps It's time to say goodbye! Microsoft is ending official support for Windows XP on April 8 2014. Are you at risk? If you are still running this ancient operating system, it's time to upgrade. Read More while the hardware is still running.


If you’re reading this on a Windows XP computer, you probably realize that it’s no longer safe to run Windows XP. While you can still get security updates through a hack (see below), support for most Windows XP applications, including anti-malware tools and browsers will expire this year. It’s time to switch. Really!

landscape similar to windows xp bliss wallpaper

Many of you want to avoid Windows 8. Windows 10, which will be released this summer When Does Windows 10 Come Out, How Can You Get It & What Happens to the Technical Preview? Windows 10 is coming soon. Still confused about how the upgrade will work and wondering about the timeline? We have some answers, although more questions remain. Read More , may be too daring for a while. Thus upgrading to Windows 7 is a good intermediate solution, especially since the upgrade to Windows 10 How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update Windows 10 is offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. When you're ready to upgrade, you can use Windows Update and keep all your installed programs and settings intact. Read More will be free for the first year after its official release for anyone with a valid Windows 7 license. An upgrade to Windows 7 not only increases security, it also buys you time to consider Windows 10.

Is Your Hardware Compatible?

A cheap Windows 7 license may be tempting, but before you snatch an offer, be sure your old Windows XP system can actually run Windows 7.

Minimum Winodws 7 hardware requirements:

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

The easy way to find out whether or not your hardware meets those criteria and also whether you’ll be able to run your software under Windows 7, is to run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor (our Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor guide How To Use Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor To Check PC Compatibility Read More ). Note that some tools to check for software compatibility, such as the Windows 7 Compatibility Center, may no longer be available since they have been updated for Windows 8.1.


Obtain a Cheap Windows 7 License

As of January this year, Windows 7 is on extended support, which will last until January 2020. Meanwhile, Microsoft is phasing out license sales for Windows 7 Microsoft Retires Windows 7: This Is How You Can Still Get A Copy Windows 7 Home and Ultimate editions have been retired. If you want to get a computer without Windows 8.1, your options are limited. We have compiled them for you. Read More . At this point, OEMs may only distribute Windows 7 Professional licenses and they may not sell them to end users. This is making it much harder to get your hands on a legal Windows 7 license 4 Cheap Ways To Obtain A Legal Copy Of Windows 7 It seems like Microsoft is hitting the nail with Windows only every other version. Windows 7 was one of them. Thing is, Microsoft doesn't sell Windows 7 anymore. Here are your options. Read More .



You may, however, find second hand Windows 7 licenses Windows 7 Editions Explained In Simple Terms Read More for as little as 30 Dollars. We recommend being extra careful before making a purchase because you don’t want to end up with a copy that isn’t genuine How To Make Your Windows 7 PC Genuine Again After a Hardware Upgrade "Your activation period has expired. You must activate Windows." Triggered by a hardware upgrade or following a fresh installation, this is Microsoft's way of ensuring you use Windows according to its licensing terms. Read More . Here are some of the more trustworthy resources for buying Windows license keys How to Get a Cheap Windows 7 or 8 License Now to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free Worried about the future of your old or pirated Windows copy? Now is the time to snatch a cheap Windows 7 or 8 license to secure yourself that free upgrade to Windows 10. We show... Read More , as well as a list of what to avoid.

Upgrade to Windows 7

Once you have a license, you are ready to upgrade to Windows 7 Upgrade To Windows 7: Requirements & Installation Tips Read More . Unfortunately, you will have to start from scratch, i.e. format your hard drive and install Windows 7 using installation media How to Make a Bootable CD/DVD/USB to Install Windows Need installation media to reinstall Windows? Our tips show you how to create a bootable CD, USB, or DVD with an ISO from scratch. Read More .

Before you proceed with the installation, back up your data The Windows Backup and Restore Guide Disasters happen. Unless you're willing to lose your data, you need a good Windows backup routine. We'll show you how to prepare backups and restore them. Read More to an external drive or a separate partition on your hard drive. When you’re ready, insert your Windows 7 installation media, make sure your BIOS is set to boot from CD or USB How to Change the Boot Order on Your PC (So You Can Boot From USB) Learn how to change the boot order of your computer. It's important for troubleshooting issues and tweaking settings, and it's a lot easier than you think. Read More  (how to enter the BIOS How to Enter the BIOS on Windows 10 (And Older Versions) To get into the BIOS, you usually press a specific key at the right time. Here's how to enter the BIOS on Windows 10. Read More ), and follow the on-screen instructions. Here is the 5-step Windows upgrade process recommended by Microsoft.

Buy a Cheap Windows 7 Laptop

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft is retiring Windows 7, but OEMs are still selling laptops with Windows 7 pre-installed. If your hardware isn’t compatible with Windows 7, this may be the next-cheapest option to upgrade to Windows 7. And we have compiled a list of Windows 7 laptop models Windows 7 Professional Laptops You Can Still Get Now Windows 8 has been around since 2012, Windows 10 will be released this summer, and in 2014 Microsoft stopped distributing Windows 7 Home licenses. Now may be your last chance to get a Windows 7... Read More for your to consider.


hp laptops

Adjust to Windows 7

Windows 7 isn’t hugely different from Windows XP, but some things have certainly changed. To get settled in, consult our Windows 7 guide for ex-Windows XP users The 2014 Guide To Windows 7 For Ex Windows XP Users Have you finally decided to upgrade from Windows XP? You will get used to Windows 7 in no time. Let us help you settle in and get up to speed. Follow me. Read More . If you miss the look of your old operating system, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can make Windows 7 look like Windows XP How To Make Windows 7 Look Like Windows XP Some people have a hard time letting go of Windows XP. If you know someone like that, follow this tutorial and they won't even know you upgraded them to Windows 7. Read More .


If some of your apps aren’t compatible with Windows 7, run them in Windows XP Mode How To Configure & Use Windows 7's XP Mode Read More and all will be good. Finally, discover little known Windows 7 features 5 Windows 7 Features You Didn't Know Existed Windows 7 contains many little-known features. Here we highlight the more impressive ones that could boost your productivity and deepen your love for Windows 7. Read More .


For those of you who upgraded to Windows 7 via the new hardware route, know that your old Windows XP hardware has an afterlife 8 Ways You Can Still Use Your Old Windows XP Hardware Microsoft is killing support for Windows XP this April. If you have a computer that runs Windows XP, you should seriously consider upgrading the operating system, or finding new uses for the computer's hardware. Read More .

Switch to Linux for Free

If you are not upgrading because newer Windows versions aren’t compatible with your hardware or because you can neither afford to buy a new computer, nor a cheap license, why don’t you try Linux Why Windows XP Users Should Switch To Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" If you're still trying to dump Windows XP but haven't found an alternative yet, Ubuntu 14.04 is a great choice. Read More ? It’s free, much safer, and many Linux flavors run exceptionally well on older hardware. We have even compiled the best Linux distributions for Windows XP users The Best Linux Distributions For Windows XP Refugees Read More . A non-invasive way of trying out Linux Curious About Linux? 5 Easy & No Risk Ways To Try Linux On Your Windows PC Want to check out Linux, but fear you might wreck your existing Windows installation? Don't. There are plenty of risk-free ways to try Linux, from live CDs to USB keys to virtual machines. Whether you're... Read More , is by using a LiveCD Windows Users: Here Is Why You Need A Linux Live CD Read More or LiveUSB Running Linux From a USB Drive: Are You Doing It Right? Did you know that can do a full install of Linux on a USB drive? Here's how to create a Linux USB PC in your pocket! Read More .


In our guide on migrating data 5 Tools To Migrate Your Data From Windows XP Are you looking for easy ways to migrate your personal data from Windows XP to a modern operating system? It's long past time to upgrade from Windows XP and we have got you covered. Read More you will also find tools that are compatible with Windows XP. In case you have a spare hard drive or sufficient space on your current one, you could try to install a Linux dual boot How to Set Up a Dual Boot Windows & Linux System with Wubi Read More , then move your data from one drive or partition to the other, ideally from within Linux.

Still Not Ready to Upgrade?

For those of you committed to Windows XP 5 Reasons Why You Love Windows XP & What You Sacrifice Nearly 30% of computers are still running Windows XP. It was a stable and reliable system for years, but all good things come to an end. Almost no good reasons to keep using Windows XP... Read More , do make sure that your system is bulletproof 4 Ways To Bulletproof Windows XP Forever Windows XP is slated to be exterminated for good by Microsoft in April of 2014. It is the last stage of a multi-year effort to kill off the operating system. Windows XP is one of... Read More , use a secure browser Which Browser Is Most Secure on Your Old Windows XP System? What is the most secure browser for Windows XP? We look at Firefox, Chrome, Opera and more to see if they are the best browsr for Windows XP. Read More , install the Unofficial Service Pack 4 Windows XP Update: More Tools To Keep You Safe Windows XP Unofficial Service Pack 4 provides a quick way to apply updates released since SP1. RollBack XP offers an easy system restore feature and you can even deep freeze your installation via scheduled tasks. Read More , and (at your own risk) apply the registry hack that will make Windows XP receive free security updates until 2019. Be advised though that despite all this, Windows XP isn’t secure.

What makes you appreciate Windows XP so much or why are you reluctant to upgrade? And if you are preparing to ugprade now or have recently made the switch, what convinced you and how did you do it?

Related topics: Windows 7, Windows Upgrade, Windows XP.

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  1. Tom
    December 28, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Ghostery??? Really, read last year's news! Ghostery is a (sick) joke, and you've lost all of your credit for recommending such garbage!

    • Tina Sieber
      December 28, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Tom, in your agony you must have scrolled too far and left your comment under the wrong article. I'm not sure where you meant to post it, maybe here, but know that we also published this in 2012: AdBlock, NoScript & Ghostery – The Trifecta Of Evil

      Feel free to repost your comment under the right article.

  2. Anonymous
    June 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I didn't think anyone still CAPPED the first letter of every word anymore, I suppose some people are just gonna be stuck in the past for a very long time. Just sayin'.

    • Anonymous
      June 10, 2015 at 5:12 am

      I didn't know people still made grammatical mistakes like ending sentences with redundant words like "anymore" since they already used the word "still". Using commas where someone should use a period also seems easy to make fun of.

      In other words, if you have nothing better to do than be a douchebag about someone's post, then yours shouldn't look like a 4th grader wrote it. Unless you're in the 4th grade. Then I apologize.

      Nice article btw.

      • Anonymous
        June 10, 2015 at 5:24 am

        This was in reply to the commenter, not at all about the article, if that's what you were assuming. Also, I wasn't being mean, or nasty at all; simply stating my opinion without name calling like you just did.

        Lastly, I think you need to read my comment again, I didn't end a sentence with "anymore", there is a nice little comma there.

        PS: Agreed, nice article as usual by MakeUseOf.

    • Anonymous
      June 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Just Settle Down, Boys And Girls.

      It Is Just The Output Of A CHROME Extension.


      You Have Not Chosen The Correct Link To Reply To Me, And, So, I Did Not Receive Any Notification.

      I Read Your Post, Because I Accidentally Came Here, Again.

      Can You See The Post Position Difference Between My Reply To You, And Your Reply To Me ?

      Anyway, For What Is Worth, ENGLISH Is Not My Native Language, So, Just Give Me Some Slack.

      Cheers, All.


      • Anonymous
        June 10, 2015 at 6:46 pm

        Yes, I'm not sure why it didn't directly reply, very strange. I meant no disrespect to you or anyone, I just haven't seen anyone type like that in quite some time. Anyways, all is good, cheers.

    • Anonymous
      June 11, 2015 at 2:06 am

      Well, We Can Exchange Information.

      Either You Reply To Anyone Or You Create A New Post.

      A - To Reply To Anyone You Must Use The *Reply* Link Inside The Comment Box You Are Replying To - The First Time You Did Not Do That,

      B - You Can Create A New Post In 2 Ways:

      B1 - Use The *Write A Comment* Link On The Top Of The Comments Section - Maybe You Did That, But I Doubt It,

      B2 - You Start Typing In The Free Box On The Bottom - I Bet You Did Just That.


      My Turn:

      You Implied That, In The Old Days, People Used To Write This Way.

      Can You Give Me Some Details ?

      Thank You.


      • Anonymous
        June 11, 2015 at 6:47 am

        Ok, well, I wouldn't say "Old days" exactly. It's not even that big of a deal really, I was just being humorous for the most part and it just fit right considering you were staying with Windows XP(Hence being stuck in the past). But quite a few years ago, people would CAP the first letter of every word and their main reason for doing so was because "it looked better"(at least the ones I knew) and although everyone knew it was technically incorrect, there was no changing their minds.

        See, nothing special about it, you continue to write any way you wish to and ignore people like myself. I tend to be overly critical anyways.

        • Anonymous
          June 11, 2015 at 4:23 pm

          Well, I Do Not Use Heavy Graphic Applications And XP Does Everything I Need.
          I Am A MidFrame IBM Systems Commercial Applications Programmer And, In Case Of PCs, I Consider Myself A Power User.
          Going Back To The SUMMER Of 2009, The First Blatant Attempt From M$ To Kill XP, I UnInstalled All The M$ Updates I Could Live Without, And Never Installed Newer Ones Since, Ever.
          Have I Had Problems With Malware ?
          Of Course, But That Stupid M$ SUMMER Of 2009 Gave Me More Problems Than All The Malware From The Last 20+ Years Put Together.
          My Problems With Malware Were Always Puny, Anyway.
          In The Last 10+ Years I Have Collected Invaluable XP Compatible Hardware, Drivers, Software And Expertise.
          I Can Buy The Most Recent Custom Hardware And Continue To Use XP With It.
          So, You See, I Can Explain All The Reasons I Have For Being *Stuck In The Past*.
          If Anyone Expects Me To Be Fleeced By M$ Again In The Next, Next, Next Few Years, They Better Not Hold Their Breath.
          Thank You For Responding.


  3. Anonymous
    June 9, 2015 at 6:52 am

    WHOOO - Hold All Your Crazy Horses.

    I Am Not A Gamer ( I Really Pity Those Who Use A PC Almost Exclusively For Gaming, But That Is Just Me ), So I Do Not Need The *Latest And Greatest*.

    I Recently Installed XPPRO32 In A Dual Core Machine With 4GB Of Ram.

    The Speed Is So Great, Now, That My Resolution, Of Not Abandoning XP For Many Many Many Years To Come, Just Got A New Incentive.