Support for Windows 7 is coming to an end. D-day is January 14th 2020. From that date, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support.
There’s nothing to stop you from continuing to use Windows 7 after this date. However, once support ends, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks. It’s also worth noting that support for Internet Explorer on Windows 7 will also be discontinued at the same time.
Now would be a good time to start thinking about moving across to Windows 10.
Can I upgrade my existing PC to Windows 10?
Yes. Upgrading compatible PCs is possible. However, they must fulfil the following requirements:
- 1GHz processor or faster
- 1GB RAM for 32-bit; 2GB for 64-bit
- 800×600 screen resolution or higher. DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver
- Internet access
- Microsoft account required for some features
Can I get a free upgrade to Windows 10?
Microsoft 365 Business comes with a free upgrade for users with a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 Pro license on their device. By buying Microsoft 365 Business, your users can upgrade all of their old Windows Pro licensed devices at no additional cost.
What alternatives are there?
If you use Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise, you can buy Extended Security Updates through January 2023. For an in-depth FAQ about these Extended Security Updates, please download the Microsoft End of Support FAQ
MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and surrounding villages.
HomeGroup is a rather nifty feature of Windows 7 that allows you to easily share documents, photos and music across your home network.
If you want to learn how to set it up, we found a very useful guide on PCPro by David Fearon. It assumes you have 2 Windows 7 machines on a local network at home. Every machine you want to include in your HomeGroup will have to run on Windows 7.
How to set up a Windows 7 HomeGroup
Step 01 — Select network type
The first thing to is make sure your network type is set to ‘home’ rather than ‘work’ or ‘public’. Start up the Network and Sharing Center, click your network under the Active Networks heading and then select Home.
Step 02 — Start HomeGroup
Now type ‘homegroup’ in the Windows 7 start box and hit Enter. You’ll get a dialog telling you there’s no homegroup on the network. Click ‘Create a homegroup’ and choose which types of files you want to share and hit Okay.
Step 03 — Copy the password
After a short pause, a window will appear, in which a password will fade elegantly into view. You’ll notice the password is long and random. You can write it down or, preferably, copy and paste it into a new text document.
Step 04 — Change settings
Hit Finish and you’ll get the option to change the settings of the homegroup you’ve just created. There’s also the option to stream all your media in the old way via Media Player-style sharing – this isn’t actually part of the HomeGroup system though.
Step 05 — Join your HomeGroup
With the homegroup set up, you can join it from any other Windows 7 PC on the network by clicking the HomeGroup entry in the left-hand pane of Explorer windows. The Join HomeGroup dialog will automatically open.
Step 06 — Enter password
Enter the password you wrote down when you created the group, select which of the documents you want to share on this computer and that’s all there is to it. You can leave the group at any time from HomeGroup settings window.
There you go, that’s all there is to it.