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Windows 8.1 End of Life: Everything You Should Know


Key Takeaways
  • Windows 8.1 support has officially ended, but users can still use it with caution and awareness of potential risks.
  • End of Life means no more updates or security patches, leaving users exposed to vulnerabilities and compatibility issues.
  • Options after End of Life include ignoring it (not recommended), buying a new PC, or switching to Linux for better performance and security.

If you are a Windows user and precisely use Windows 8.1 for your everyday tasks, you might be wondering whether Windows 8.1 is reaching the end of its life or not. In that case, you are right. Microsoft has officially ended the support for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 devices. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot use it. You can use it, but there are nicks you should be aware of. With that being said, here’s everything you need to know about Windows 8.1, its end of life, and what it means for you.

Windows 8.1 End of Life: Everything You Should Know

Windows 8.1 Overview

Windows 8.1 was launched back in October 2013. The main purpose of launching Windows 8.1 was to overcome the issues users faced with Windows 8, especially with the tiled layout of Windows 8. Therefore, Windows 8.1 was a free upgrade for everyone. As usual, Windows 8.1 was looked forward by many users especially the ones who were using Windows 7.

Even today, Windows 7 is one of the most used Windows operating systems in the world. However, the users who are still stuck with Windows 7 are thinking whether they should switch to Windows 8.1 or not. If you are one of them, you must check out the Windows 8.1 end of life.

What Does End of Life Mean for Windows 8.1?

Windows 8.1 was released in 2013, and it brought a host of new features and a modernized interface to the Windows ecosystem. However, like all good things, its time has come to an end.

Microsoft officially declared the End of Life (EOL) for Windows 8.1, marking the end of support and updates. When an operating system reaches its End of Life, it means that Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, patches, or support.

Consequently, this could expose users to potential vulnerabilities, making it crucial to understand the implications and take appropriate action.

What Happens After Windows 8.1 Reaches End of Life?

When Windows 8.1 reaches the end of its life, the main problem is going to happen to its users. However, the main problem lies in two areas:

  • Security Concerns: With the end of life comes the end of updates. Windows 8.1 users may become susceptible to security threats and vulnerabilities. As new risks emerge, there won’t be patches or fixes from Microsoft to address them, making the system progressively less secure over time.
  • Compatibility Issues: This is another problem the users will have to face on Windows 8.1 until it reaches the end of life. As software and hardware continue to advance, Windows 8.1 may face compatibility challenges with newer applications and devices. Users might encounter issues running the latest software or connecting to modern equipment, such as new AR and VR devices.
  • Inability to Run Properly: The last nail in the coffin for Windows 8.1 users when it reaches the end of life is the inability to run new things properly. While peripherals and software are one thing, you won’t be able to use Google Chrome and other web browsers properly. As we have seen Flash becoming obsolete earlier, Windows 8.1 will also become obsolete.

These problems make using the operating system no less than a headache. Suppose newer flash drives get launched; users on Windows 8.1 might not be able to attach them on their PC.

What is the Windows 8.1 End Of Life?

Windows 8.1 end-of-life has already happened on 10th January 2023. Looking at the time and date right now, Windows 8.1 reached the end of its life 1 year ago.

What to do After Windows 8.1 End of Life?

When Windows 8.1 reaches the end of its life, you can uninstall Windows 8.1 and install Windows 10. However, not a lot of people are comfortable moving to a completely new operating system. The same case we have noticed with Windows 7 users. However, if you ar a Windows 8.1 user and worried about using it after its end of life, here are some things you can do:

Option 1: Ignore Windows 8.1 End of Life

The first thing you can do is ignore the notification that your Windows version has reached the end of its life. However, opting to do nothing and continuing to run an unsupported operating system is not advisable.

This approach leaves you vulnerable to potential security exploits, and I strongly discourage this strategy. If, for some reason, you are determined to take this route, you might want to explore installing the free 0patch agent.

This tool can address security issues not covered by Microsoft. It’s important to note that this option is free for personal use. However, a paid subscription for 0patch support is required for business or enterprise use, typically priced at a few dollars per month.

Option 2: Buy a New PC

If you are running Windows 8.1 due to hardware limitations, it is unlikely that your PC will be able to run Windows 10. We won’t be talking so much about Windows 10 because it is also reaching the end of its life in early 2025. As a result, we will be talking about upgrading to Windows 11 directly.

Now, if your hardware is also old and running Windows 8.1, it is very unlikely that it will run Windows 11. This is mainly because Windows 11 mandates TPM, a Trusted Platform Module. This module was installed in PCs that were manufactured later in 2018. If your PC is running Windows 8, it is probably a 2012-era PC. As a result, buying a new PC is your only option.

Option 3: Ditch Windows and Adopt Linux

The next option you have is to completely ditch Windows and its regular higher system requirement upgrade tactics by switching to Linux. Interestingly, system requirements for Linux are quite low when compared to Windows, and everything will work smoothly.

Moreover, Linux is miles ahead of Windows when it comes to security and privacy. You can read the privacy policy of Linux if you wish, but we can confirm that Linux is better than Windows.

If your hardware is not strong enough or you are using a potato PC, you can use lower variants of Linux, such as Linux Mint or Ubuntu, as they don’t even need 2 GB of RAM. With Linux, you can rest assured that your PC will keep working every day.

If you don’t know how to install Linux, here’s a famous distro and guide to installing Kali Linux on your PC.

Is Windows 10 Free to Upgrade

As you know, upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and then 8.1 was completely free. However, that isn’t the case with Windows 10. On the other hand, Upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is completely free.

If you are thinking of upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, it is not free, and you need to pay Microsoft the complete fee for Windows 10. But, for your convenience, here’s a completely registered copy of Windows 10 Full ISO. The link provides you with the Windows 10 ISO along with the instructions to install it on your PC.



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