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Windows XP Dies Today: What To Do If It’s Still On Your Computer



Today marks the official death of Windows XP, the operating system that Microsoft rode to success early last decade (and that caused a million headaches for users). Computers with XP on them won’t suddenly stop working today. Owners of Windows XP machines will still be able to check their email and download new programs. However Microsoft won’t be updating PCs equipped with Windows XP anymore, outside of just maintaining its Security Essentials antivirus system.

Naturally, users have a tough choice ahead. Here’s what to do if you still have a PC running Windows XP.

Continue using Windows XP


While Microsoft is still trying to convince users to switch to newer operating systems if they can, the company will give Windows XP users the protection they need before making the switch eventually. Security and virus updates won’t cease for Windows XP until July 2015. Microsoft won’t fix any vulnerabilities or things that can get your PC hacked after this week.

Put simply, users will be able to remove virus and get updates for Microsoft’s own virus removal tools, Microsoft just won’t fix how users get virus in the first place.  If you’re planning on hanging on to your Windows XP machine, definitely be careful, as you’re more likely to get a virus the longer you’re running it past today.

Upgrade to a Newer Version of Windows


Depending on how powerful your Windows XP machine is, it’s possible that you could opt to update to Windows 7, the latest version of Windows to not include the new Start Screen or features included in Windows 8. Downloading Windows 7 is going to get you as close to the Windows XP interface and modern updates as you can. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come cheap; Windows 7 Home Premium will cost you $99 at Amazon.

To be clear, not all Windows XP machines are going to be upgradable. Your system will need to have a 1GHz or faster processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of space and a DirectX 9 graphics card to make the leap. If you don’t know what that means, it’s best for you to head to a local Best Buy or PC repair shop for more information. Having Best Buy’s GeekSquad upgrade your Windows XP machine will cost $129.99 plus the price of Windows. They can also upgrade your PC at your home for $199.99 plus the price of Windows.

Operating system upgrades will allow you to keep your pictures and documents. In most cases your apps will need to be reinstalled. Make sure you have the discs for any software you want put back on your machine before consenting to any upgrade. For example, if you’ve purchased Microsoft Office, find the disc for it. Backing up your machine by copying your files to a hard drive wouldn’t hurt either.

Upgrade to a Newer Machine


Users also have the option to simply upgrade to a new PC that doesn’t run Windows XP. It’s this option that I think is going to be ideal for most users. That being said, there’s still plenty to worry about.

GeekSquad and online services like the one Microsoft is bundling with Windows 8 machines for Windows XP upgraders will allow you to transfer your pictures, music, movies and documents. Individual programs might not be compatible with Windows 8 or Windows 7 PCs you purchase. Data transfers, like the ones GeekSquad offers users, only transfer files. Be mindful of that.

Read: Microsoft Cuts PCs by $100 for Users Abandoning Windows XP

The biggest risk for users upgrading to a newer Windows machine is going to be the learning curve. For users who find a Windows 7 PC, everything will mostly work the same as it did before.

Windows 8 without any settings changes is a drastic upgrade from Windows XP. It’s also made to be easier for users. It has built-in virus protection, starts up faster than Windows XP ever did and is much-less prone to viruses and infections. I suspect the learning curve will be steep at first, but it’ll become very easy over time. Windows 8 devices also come in more form factors, so you could find that a Windows 8 tablet with touch is far easier to use than your old Windows XP machine.

Whatever you choose, it’s important that you make a decision about your plans now. Ways for hackers to infiltrate Windows XP machines are bound to multiply after tomorrow. Failure to address this issue could leave your data vulnerable and your files at the mercy of someone else. Consider your options and have a plan.



  1. Kirk Desilva

    04/07/2014 at 7:02 pm

    You’re an idiot. Microsoft stopped support. .. uhh oh…. I guess you’ll need anti – virus software now…. daaaaammmmmmmb……

  2. Peter Collard

    04/07/2014 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks Microsoft for bending me over a barrel. I might as well stop using a computer now..because everything you put out after XP is crap. I hate having a gun held to my head.

  3. Sandra

    04/08/2014 at 4:03 am

    I’ve just purchased a new lap top with windows 8 and I’m lost , about to throw it through the window.

    • Travis Pope

      04/08/2014 at 4:46 am

      Hi Sandra. What are your issues? Maybe I can help.

  4. Doris

    04/08/2014 at 11:35 am

    How long before the same thing happens with windows 7? Shouldn’t Microsoft be allowing XP users to get 7 for free, since it is likely to become obsolete in 3 years or less? It would at least ease the transition time before we all have to out and SHOP

    • Big V

      04/10/2014 at 3:56 am

      “Shouldn’t Microsoft be allowing XP users to get 7 for free”

      You are kidding right? How would they stay in business? They are not a non-profit organization. XP has been around for 12 years. let it go. You can still purchase Vista(yuck), Windows 7 or Windows 8 from many sources. Windows 7 has been around since 2009! Are you trolling because you can’t be serious.

  5. fuku

    09/20/2015 at 1:55 am

    Xp is updated until 2019 here in uk, so haha apple, you blocked all uk xp user’s (most of us) cause we aint updatin, hahahaha

  6. tizz440

    12/06/2016 at 4:47 pm

    Updates for what ?My machine and windows xp work great,Maybe stopping support
    is why it works so good ,with no problems or headaches and i quess you can say im fully
    upgraded,No problems wow kind of peacefull,and calm,and a sence of well being,why
    would i want something else?you would have to pay me,…to be hearded like cattle,and what do i do with all the windows 95 crap that i waisted thousands on ,toss it out give it to museam
    allot is new hardwhere that never got used paid lots of money,is it worth anything?what do i do with it,and then the machine im on,,bad investment i guess ,expensive frustrating headaches,how much for the new updated frustrating set of frustrating headaches time waisters ?well cant afford it ,so i guess im stuck with peacefull relaxing,and enjoyment,and happiness,flawless operating system winxp,what good is that,?im left out how depressing,
    everyone else is all frustrated angry cunfussed and time is taken up by it,im left out,
    Kinda of scary,but wow without all the bs and trying to figure out and deal with computer problems i actually get to use the damn thing ,i havent had any problems for a long time computers do what there programed to do….confusion brings profit!!! time and money
    from the consumers …
    So im stuborn didnt want to fallow the heard ,so i invested in a ps3 instead without all
    bs time and money well spent,no money to waist,whats the hurry relax think,get there faster,open your eyes and youll see clearer,be patient wait till good things come your way
    then youll be glad you did,……

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