Windows 11 is here, but do you really need to upgrade from Windows 10? What to know

Windows 11 update on a laptop

Need to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11? Here’s what you need to know.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Windows 11 began his rollout to qualified units on October 5th, which means Windows 10 is slowly coming out. Microsoft has announced this Windows 10 support ends in 2025, so you still have a few years before you stop getting security patches. And Microsoft’s gradual rollout of Windows 11 means you may not even be asked to switch to next year. But all of these details can make it hard to tell if you need to upgrade now or if it’s better to wait until later.

If you’re wondering how long to actually switch to Windows 11 and how long you can safely wait before updating, you have come to the right place. I will also explain how to download windows 11, how to tell whether your computer is compatible and who gets the update for free. Read on for everything you need to know about the end of Windows 10 support and preparation for Windows 11.

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

When will Microsoft support for Windows 10 stop, and why?

Support for Windows 10 will end on October 14, 2025. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide security patches or feature updates to 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 does not come as a surprise: Microsoft has a long-established Fixed Lifestyle Policy for many of its products. For each version of its operating system, the company offers a minimum of 10 years of support (at least five years of regular support such as security updates and free event support, followed by five years of extended support such as paid troubleshooting).

Windows 10 was released in July 2015, so its 10-year lifecycle will be completed by October 2025. Here is everything you need to know about the end of Windows 10 support.


The days of Windows 10 are numbered.

Josh Goldman / CNET

Should I switch to Windows 11? Will my Windows 10 computer stop working after Microsoft pulls support?

You will still be able to use your Windows 10 computer the same way you have been, just like many people still use Windows 7 or Windows 8, though Microsoft has pulled support for both in recent years. However, when support ends, you receive no security updates, which can make your computer vulnerable – many types of malware are targeted at Windows devices.

If you do not want to stop using your Windows 10 machine after support ends in 2025, there are some steps you can take to better secure it.

Will my computer be able to run Windows 11?

It depends on. If you have recently purchased a new PC, that computer must be able to run Windows 11. To see if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, go to the Microsoft Web site for a list of requirements.

The easiest way to find out is to download the PC Health Check app to check if your machine is compatible. Alternatively, you can use another open source app called WhyNotWin11 to see if your device is compatible. Plus, here’s how to do it check for some hardware compatibility with Windows 11 without any of the tools.

How do I upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11? How much will it cost me?

If you are already a Windows 10 user and have a compatible computer, Windows 11 will appear as one free upgrade to your machine when it becomes available to you. Microsoft’s new OS is gradually rolling out between now and mid-2022.

When Windows 11 becomes available to you, you will download it in the same way as you would with any new version of Windows. Most users will go to Settings> Update and security> Windows Update and click search for updates. If it’s available, you’ll see Feature update for Windows 11. click Download and install. (Here is more information about how to download windows 11. If you have not yet upgraded to Windows 10, you may still be able to do so also download Windows 10 for free – here’s how.)


Windows 11 includes a new interface and lots of new features.


What is the difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 anyway?

Windows 11 gets a new visual design and several new features designed to make navigating your computer easier, whether for personal use, work, or both. Here are some of the biggest changes in Windows 11:

  • A new, more Mac-like interface: Windows 11 has a clean design with rounded corners, pastel colors and a centered start menu and the taskbar.
  • Integrated Android apps: Android apps are coming to Windows 11 and can be installed from within the new Microsoft Store via Amazon Appstore. (There were a few ways to access Android apps on Windows 10, including if you had a Samsung Galaxy phone, but this will make it native.)
  • Microsoft Teams integration: The teams get a facelift and will be integrated directly into the Windows 11 taskbar, making it easier to access (and a little more like Apple’s FaceTime). You will be able to access Teams from Windows, Mac, Android or iOS.
  • Better virtual desktop support: Windows 11 will let you set up virtual desktops in a way more reminiscent of MacOS, switching between multiple desktops for personal use, work, school, or gaming.
  • Easier transition from screen to laptop and better multitasking: The new OS includes features called Snap groups and Snap layouts – collections of the apps you use at once, which sit in the taskbar and can come up or minimize at the same time for easier task switching. They also let you connect and disconnect a monitor more easily without losing where your open windows are located.
  • Widgets: While they have been around for a while (do you remember desktop gadgets on Windows Vista?), Including one latest Windows 10 update, you can now access widgets directly from the taskbar and customize what they show.
  • Xbox technology for better gaming: Windows 11 gets certain features found in Xbox consoles, such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage, to enhance gaming on your Windows PC.

We broke up all the major differences between Windows 10 and Windows 11 here. We also have a guide to it all the best new Windows 11 features and how you want to use them.

For more details, check it out every feature we wanted in Windows 11 but did not get and how to use android apps on windows 10 right now.

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