Editor's PickHow to Use Windows 7 Forever

How to Use Windows 7 Forever

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Windows 7 support ended on the 14th of January, 2020. However, most Windows users are still reluctant to upgrade their Windows 7 PCs to the supported versions, Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. This is because Windows 7 served them better, so they prefer to use it forever.

Windows 7 has twice as many users as Windows 10 and dominates the OS market, powering 55% of computers. For some reason, which may be due to the simplicity and speed of the system, Windows 7 has come to stay.

Using Windows 7 forever is not difficult, and getting secure on the computer without the effects of computer malware is the issue. Here are tips on how to continue using Windows 7 safely.

Related: How to Set Up a New Computer

Can I still use Windows 7?

Technically, you can still use Windows 7, but it's strongly discouraged. Microsoft ended support in January 2020, meaning the operating system no longer receives security updates. This makes your computer vulnerable to malware, viruses, and other cyberattacks.

Upgrading to a newer version of Windows, like Windows 10 or 11, is the safest option. These offer ongoing security updates, improved performance, and compatibility with the latest software and hardware.

How to Use Windows 7 Forever

1. Disable auto-update to Windows 10

The first step towards permanently being hooked to Windows 7 is ensuring the software is not upgrading. By default, Windows computers are set to upgrade to the latest version automatically without notifications.

While the update to the latest Windows might have been bypassed, it is essential to turn off auto-update for extra confidence.

The following steps must be followed to turn off the auto-update for Windows 7.

  • Navigate to The “Computer Configuration” option, which is on the computer, and select it.
  • In the next screen, click Policies, then Administrative Templates, and select “Windows Updates”.
  • Double-click on “Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update,” and you don't have to worry about automated upgrades anymore.

If the upgrade is already there, you can still reverse it.

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2. Keep it Safe

While withdrawing support for Windows 7 also means that many security software may discontinued. It is essential to find alternative security tools, as most of the ones that support Windows 7 before its end-of-life may not be sorted anymore after support for the operating system ends.

You should expect Microsoft Security Essentials to run for some time after support stops. However, soon enough, it will also discontinue. When it discontinues, a general recommendation is switching to an alternative security app for effectiveness.

It is best to use decent antivirus software to protect against malware adequately. Also, most third-party antivirus software should run for some time after Windows 7 End-of-Life. Getting an antivirus with a good reputation is imperative for security from malware.

Apart from general security services, internet security is also essential. For maximum protection, it is best you don't use Internet Explorer. This is because it will stop receiving security patches and upgrades since Windows 7 End-of-Life, as it is a part of the Windows package.

Using a private browser with a VPN is helpful when sticking to Windows 7. This is because computers are prone to security risks, and encryption ensures security, even if it is a breach.

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3. Backup

A full image backup of the computer system is necessary for every computer user but becomes an obligation when you use an unsupported OS.

As hackers have more chances to target the system, a full backup ensures no data is lost, even if the computer gets compromised.

There are many options for backup, but keeping multiple backups is highly recommended to ensure the absolute safety of the information.

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4. Use Windows 7 forever!

Once good security practices are in place and you safely back up the files, Windows 7 can be used continuously, albeit with its risks.

Using a Virtual Machine to Run Windows 7 Forever

While Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7, there's a safe and secure way to keep using it: Virtual Machines (VMs). Here's why VMs are a better option than sticking with an unsupported OS:

  • Security: VMs create a virtualized environment, isolating Windows 7 from your primary operating system. This means malware or vulnerabilities in Windows 7 won't affect your central system.
  • Updates: You can run your main OS with all its security updates while using Windows 7 within the VM for specific purposes.
  • Flexibility: You can easily create backups of your VM, allowing you to restore it to a clean state if needed.

Here's a basic overview of how to use a Virtual Machine to run Windows 7:

  1. Choose a Virtualization Software: Popular options include VirtualBox (free) and VMware Workstation Player (free for personal use).
  2. Install the Virtualization Software: Follow the installation instructions for your chosen software.
  3. Download a Windows 7 ISO: Obtain a legitimate Windows 7 ISO file (installation disc image).
  4. Create a New Virtual Machine: Use the virtualization software to create a new VM, allocating sufficient RAM and storage space.
  5. Install Windows 7 on the VM: Use the downloaded ISO to install Windows 7 within the virtual machine.
  6. Install Guest Additions (Optional): These drivers improve performance and functionality within the VM.

Important Considerations:

  • System Resources: Running a VM requires a portion of your computer's processing power and memory. Ensure your system has enough resources to handle both the VM and your main OS smoothly.
  • Activation: You'll need a valid Windows 7 license to activate the OS within the VM.
  • Security Software: Consider installing a lightweight antivirus within the VM for additional protection.

Using a virtual machine allows you to continue using Windows 7 for specific tasks in a secure and isolated environment, mitigating the security risks associated with running an unsupported operating system directly on your computer. However, remember that software compatibility within the VM might be limited.

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Important Security Warning: Using Windows 7 is No Longer Recommended

Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7 in January 2020. This means the operating system no longer receives security updates, making it vulnerable to malware, viruses, and other cyberattacks.

Potential Risks of Using Windows 7

  • Increased Security Risks: Without critical security patches, your computer becomes an easy target for hackers. Malware and viruses can steal your personal information, damage your data, or even take control of your system.
  • Software Compatibility Issues: Newer software applications and hardware drivers might not function correctly on Windows 7.
  • Limited Technical Support: With Microsoft halting support, finding technical assistance for Windows 7 issues becomes challenging.

Alternatives to Consider

Upgrading to a newer version of Windows, such as Windows 10 or 11, is strongly recommended.

These operating systems benefit from ongoing security updates, improved performance, and compatibility with the latest software and hardware.

If Upgrading Isn't Possible:

If upgrading your operating system is not an option, here are some precautions you can take to minimize risks (but still not a recommended approach):

  • Disable Automatic Updates: While not ideal, disabling automatic updates for Windows 7 can prevent an unwanted upgrade to Windows 10. However, remember this means you'll miss crucial security patches.
  • Use a Reputable Antivirus: A good antivirus program can help detect and block some malware threats. However, even the best Antivirus won't fully protect an unsupported operating system.
  • Use a Secure Browser: Avoid using Internet Explorer, which no longer receives security updates. Consider a secure browser like Chrome or Firefox, which may continue functioning on Windows 7 for some time, but updates might become limited.
  • Practice Safe Browsing Habits: Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files, especially from unfamiliar sources.
  • Regular Backups: Back up your important data regularly to an external drive in case your system gets compromised.

Remember: These precautions offer limited protection and cannot guarantee complete security on an unsupported operating system. Upgrading to a supported operating system remains the safest option.

READ ALSO: Do I need an antivirus app on my iPhone? [Here's The ANSWER]


For some reason, most people prefer sticking to the good old Windows 7 instead of upgrading.

Windows 7 is highly risky to use due to the absence of security patches, but if one desires it, the usage is possible, as explained in the article. If you still prefer to migrate from Windows 7 to 10, here is a good guide that will assist you in doing it right.


About the Author:

Owner at TechSegun LLC. | Website

Daniel Segun is the Founder and CEO of SecureBlitz Cybersecurity Media, with a background in Computer Science and Digital Marketing. When not writing, he's probably busy designing graphics or developing websites.

Editor at SecureBlitz | Website

Christian Schmitz is a professional journalist and editor at SecureBlitz.com. He has a keen eye for the ever-changing cybersecurity industry and is passionate about spreading awareness of the industry's latest trends. Before joining SecureBlitz, Christian worked as a journalist for a local community newspaper in Nuremberg. Through his years of experience, Christian has developed a sharp eye for detail, an acute understanding of the cybersecurity industry, and an unwavering commitment to delivering accurate and up-to-date information.


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