Windows 11: Do I have to upgrade from Windows 10? What to know

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Windows 11 update on a laptop

Do you have to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11? Here’s what to know.


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Windows 10’s days are numbered. With the arrival of Windows 11 this fall, Microsoft has announced it’ll stop supporting Windows 10 in 2025. While you still have time before Microsoft pulls the plug on those important security and feature updates, it’s important to make sure you understand what the switch to Windows 11 will involve, if your computer will be compatible and if you even have to upgrade at all. 

If you’re wondering how long you actually have to make the switch to Windows 11 and how long you can safely wait before updating, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll also explain how to download Windows 11 and who gets it for free. Read on for everything you need to know about the end of Windows 10 support and prepping for Windows 11. 

Read more: Windows 11: What to know about the beta download, new features, device compatibility, price and more

When is Microsoft ending support for Windows 10, and why?

Support for Windows 10 will end on Oct. 14, 2025. That means Microsoft will no longer provide security patches or feature updates for the Home, Pro, Enterprise, Pro Education and Pro for Workstations editions at this time — affecting virtually all Windows 10 users. (The only people who have until 2029 are the few Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Support Channel users.) 

This doesn’t come as a surprise: Microsoft has a long-established Fixed Lifestyle Policy for many of its products. For each version of its OS, the company offers a minimum of 10 years of support (at least five years of mainstream support like security updates and no-charge incident support,…

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