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Windows 10 End of Life in 2025 – How to Receive Extended Support

Windows 10, one of the most popular Windows operating systems, will end support on October 14, 2025. As this date approaches, users should start thinking about saying goodbye to this well-loved version.

This shift can be particularly challenging for businesses since upgrading to the latest operating system often comes with a hefty price tag. If you find the migration process daunting, Microsoft has a solution: their paid Extended Support Update (ESU) service. This service gives you more time to plan your transition, making moving to the newest operating system less stressful.

Windows 10 End of Life Support

What does Windows 10 End of Life mean for users?

End-of-life (EOL) or end-of-support (EOS) is when a software company stops providing updates, including more security fixes, bug patches, or new features. Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be the EOL on October 14, 2025. This means that users, especially businesses, should start planning their move to Windows 11 now. That being said, Windows 10 computers will still work after October 14, 2025.

Without these updates, your computer will be more at risk for viruses and cyber-attacks, mainly because systems running Windows 10 will become prime targets for attackers who exploit known vulnerabilities. Therefore, starting your migration plan is crucial to maintaining security and efficiency in your operations.

Note that the Extended Security Update program is available through Volume Licensing 12 month before the end-of-support (EOS) date. Therefore, it must be in place by October 14, 2024.

Migrating to Windows 11 brings several benefits, such as enhanced security features, improved performance, and a more modern user interface. Additionally, Windows 11 offers better support for the latest hardware, which can lead to increased productivity and efficiency.

It’s important to start the migration process early to ensure a smooth transition. Before upgrading to Windows 11, follow these few key steps. 

  • Start by checking if your current hardware and software are compatible with Windows 11, as some older devices might not meet the requirements. Then, train your employees on the new features and interface of Windows 11 to help them get used to it. 
  • Also, back up all important data to avoid losing anything during the upgrade. Test the new operating system thoroughly in your environment to catch and fix any potential problems. Lastly, plan a gradual rollout of Windows 11 to minimize disruptions to your operations. 

Cost of Windows 10 ESU Program

In a recent announcement, Microsoft outlined three options for Windows 10 enthusiasts: the traditional 5-by-5 activation key, activation included with your Windows 365 subscription, and a cloud-based activation method.

Here are the Windows 10 ESU program costs.

Traditional 5-by-5 activation

The base plan is $61 USD per device for Year 1, and you’ll download an activation key and apply it to individual Windows 10 devices. 

Windows 365

 If your Windows 10 PC has access to Windows 365, you don’t have to pay for the ESU program, and it will receive the necessary security updates.

Cloud-based way 

Microsoft offers a 25% discount for the ESU program for companies and organizations using its cloud-based update management solutions, such as Microsoft Intune and Windows Autopatch. With the discount, Year 1 will cost $45 USD per user for up to five devices. The process is straightforward: assign a cloud activation license to enable Windows 10 devices to receive the Year One ESU updates.

Microsoft offers special pricing for educational institutions, starting at $1 per license for the first year, $2 for the second year, and $4 for the third year. If you’re an organization, it’s important to plan for the migration to Windows 11 and consider purchasing the extended service update (ESU). 

Remember that you can’t skip the first year and rejoin the program in the second year, so proper planning is essential. The ESU program is only available for 12 months; no shorter plans like 6-month- or 3-month options exist.

Other Options for Windows 10 users

Some users may choose not to buy Microsoft’s extended support update for Windows 10. This could be because their app only works with Windows 10, or they don’t have the budget for the ESU. If this sounds like you, keep reading.

Third-Party Security Solutions

Some companies offer security solutions, like anti-virus and malware protection, to safeguard your Windows 10 computer against threats before you migrate to Windows 11. These tools can help maintain security by detecting and preventing various cyber threats. However, this isn’t a long-term solution, as they can’t fully replace the comprehensive updates and patches provided by Microsoft. Over time, relying only on third-party solutions might leave your system vulnerable to new and evolving threats that Microsoft’s updates would usually address.


Virtualization could be a good solution if you have an app that is only compatible with Windows 10 and you’re considering upgrading to Windows 11 rather than buying the ESU. You can block direct internet access on your Windows 10 setup to minimize risks.

Implement a Dual-Boot System

Another option for users who need Windows 10 for their app is setting up a dual-boot system. This means you can have both operating systems on your computer and switch between them whenever you want. However, it’s important to work with your computer carefully and make regular backups when using this approach.

Continue Using Windows 10 Without Support

Microsoft will end support for Windows 10 after October 14, 2025, but users can still use the operating system. We don’t recommend this since your computer will be at risk, but this is the only option for some users. If you fall into this user category, install reliable antivirus and firewalls and avoid sketchy websites, emails, and files to minimize risks.

Explore Alternative Operating Systems

Users experienced with other operating systems, such as Linux, might consider switching away from Windows. This choice works best for people who have older hardware and technical skills. However, for many companies, this isn’t a practical option because of issues like compatibility, the need for specific software, and the time it would take for employees to learn how to use it.

Buy a new PC

If you can afford it, we recommend investing in a PC that supports Windows 11 instead of opting for ESU. While $64 a year might seem reasonable for some users compared to buying a brand-new PC, in the long term, getting a new PC is the smarter decision. A new PC ensures compatibility with Windows 11 and provides better performance, improved security features, and support for the latest software and hardware. This investment can boost productivity and offer a smoother user experience, making it a more reliable and future-proof solution.

What to do when Windows 10 Ends it Support

New software and hardware might also not work well with Windows 10, leading to performance issues and potential data breaches. To keep your devices secure and running smoothly, it’s important to switch to Windows 11.