The Windows 10 logo with a question mark in front of it

Now that Windows 11 is on the horizon, you might be wondering how long you can keep using Windows 10 safely with continued security updates from Microsoft. We have the answer.

Desktop Windows 10 Support Ends October 2025

According to Microsoft’s lifecycle website, the company will officially support Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education editions until October 14, 2025. At that point, all regular desktop editions of Windows 10 will reach end-of-life status, which means that they’ll no longer receive security updates from Microsoft.

(Support for the less commonly used Long Term Support Channel releases Windows 10 2019 LTSC and Windows 10 IoT 2019 LTSC will end on January 9, 2029.)

After Windows 10 support ends, you’ll need to upgrade to Windows 11 to keep receiving security updates. In our richly connected world, those updates are essential for maintaining your personal privacy and data security. And don’t worry, you can get around Microsoft’s restrictions even if Windows 11 doesn’t support your PC.

RELATED: Windows 11: What's New In Microsoft's New OS

When Will Windows 10 Stop Getting Security Updates?

As mentioned above, Windows 10 Home, Pro, Education, Enterprise, and IoT Enterprise will no longer receive security updates after October 14, 2025.

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Windows LTSC, a specialized version of Windows for businesses that need long-term support, will continue to receive updates for a few more years after that. Windows 10 2019 LTSC and Windows 10 IoT 2019 LTSC will stop receiving security updates on January 9, 2029.

Windows 11 is inevitable, whether we like it or not.
Windows 11 is inevitable, whether we like it or not. Microsoft

Once security updates stop, you’re on your own. Any new vulnerabilities found in Windows 10 after those dates might not be patched by Microsoft (although rare exceptions to this rule have happened). Still, you definitely can’t rely on it, so it’s best to upgrade to Windows 11 by October 2025. On the bright side, it looks like Windows 11 includes many useful new features, so it shouldn’t be a painful upgrade.

RELATED: Windows 11: What's New In Microsoft's New OS

How Long Can I Keep Using Windows 10?

Windows 10 won’t magically stop working in October of 2025 even if Microsoft stops providing security updates. That means that you can technically keep using it (as some loyal holdouts have done with older versions of Windows in the past), even though it’s generally not a good idea.

With sophisticated phishing attacks, remote exploits, and ransomware being common these days, the stakes are simply too high for most people to risk their personal data by using an unsupported operating system.

So update when you’re ready—you have until 2025 to do it safely—but know that technology constantly changes and time marches on. Someday, we’ll all look back at Windows 10 running in a museum and recall the good ol’ days. Stay safe out there!

RELATED: Want to Survive Ransomware? Here's How to Protect Your PC

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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