Using Windows 7 beyond 2023...

We all know that Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7 two years ago but, the ESU Bypass had come to save the day which has given it another lease of life but now, only a year of that left and the OS shall be "dead" for good.

However, as absurd as this sounds, I'm beginning to think about using the OS after the end of the ESU Bypass because quite frankly, I'm very reluctant on upgrading or even have this laptop of ten years run on Linux instead (even when in recent years, I've lost interest in it and don't want to feel alienated by it either). This is probably like people wishing to cling on to XP after the end of the POSReady hack (and even before that ended, XP already felt obsolete).

Of course, support for this OS would definitely leave my system more vulnerable but would I be naive to say that Firefox (and even uBlock Origin) could still "protect" me? The same for the Windows Defender updates if they'll still be dished out, which I think would come to an end also.

Just want everyone's opinion of this, and tell me if it's ideal or not...


  • Given how much vendors abuse updates to change things around, an OS that never changes seems like a dream come true.

    How "vulnerable" it is totally depends on how you use the machine. I use lots of older OSes, but I don't go around installing crap from porn sites or malware filled free games, or browsing untrustworthy sites. (Also, sandboxing adobe products in VMs)

    The key is knowing exactly what is on the machine, and not changing things without careful testing first. It always important to keep backups, backups, backups. Also a good idea to occasionally scan backups offline using another machine. Make sure you have local copies of ALL software and updates you need. If anything goes to the internet for anything, eventually that resource will not be there any more. And lots of stupid programs like to do that these days.

    Also, don't forget a proper hardware internet firewall. I wouldn't even trust Windows one trillion with out one.

    The biggest issue you will have with running an "unsupported" OS these days are application vendors dropping support for that OS. If you need a new feature from an updated piece of software, you may not be able to get it. (Of course, on the flip side, so much software only runs on older OSes).

    That instantly becomes a headache with web browsers, as the drooling IDIOTS that make web sites these days insist on making sure sites break badly even if you are a single version behind.

    At any rate, it can be done, you just have to know what you are doing.
  • @SomeGuy
    That instantly becomes a headache with web browsers, as the drooling IDIOTS that make web sites these days insist on making sure sites break badly even if you are a single version behind.
    I still use Firefox 78 ESR and that's not happened to me... although I had one site where too much of its animated crap had bogged it down a bit.

    And yes, I actually wonder when Firefox will drop support for 7. They dropped XP three years after Microsoft pulled the plug on it. When that happens, there's always Pale Moon but that'll be dropped also 🤷‍♂️

    Also, my router has a built-in firewall so I should be fine on that aspect...
  • Well, on XP we are stuck with NewMoon 28 and Serpent 52, and increasingly lots of sites break in various ways.

    Heck, the other day I happened to visit a really badly designed site that checked the user agent and totally forbid access at all, as if it was 1998 "We only support Internet Explorer 4" all over again.

    Development support for a client OS like Windows 7 depends on if Microsoft's development tools still support that OS, and if any compatible server, POS, embedded, or other variants are still supported.
  • SomeGuy makes a lot of good points here, especially about knowing exactly what's on the machine and testing things out somewhere safe before trying them on your main machine. Plus, backups.

    As many here already know, I mained Windows 2000 until last March. That was 10 years out of support. Never had a virus in all that time. Now I use Windows 7 and linux.

    There is another browser that works on XP and Vista called 360 Chrome, but by default it's basically Chinese spyware. You have to get the russian repack which cleans that up, then edit the preferences file so it displays things in English. It's annoying but it's based on a modern Chromium, and extensions and even screen sharing/streaming on Discord works too.
  • Just when I thought everything would end for the OS in a few months, apparently the POSReady edition of it would get updates until October 2024. I would not be surprised that there's a bypass for that as well or a Windows XP-style registry hack. If so, more people than ever would not want to part with what's said to be the last-good OS from Microsoft...

    ...although I may jump ship to macOS as I had been browsing some renewed and used iMacs on Amazon lately.
  • Unfortunately, mainstream browsers are already planning on dropping Windows 7 (and 8.x) support. Google has confirmed that the end of the line for Chrome support for those Windows versions is on February 7th, 2023 with the release of Chrome 110 only being compatible with Windows 10+.

    As for Firefox, they are considering supporting those Windows versions until sometime in the summer of that year. If anything, we can expect support to be dropped on the main branch sooner than the ESR branch (similar to what we saw happen with 2000, XP, and Vista support).

    As someone who has tried Windows 10 numerous times in the past and went back to 7 (and 8.1 on another computer) every single time due to unsolvable problems ruining it for me, the future of the last usable Windows version being at stake is already giving me bad vibes.

    As someone who does content creation (photo and video editing in particular), Linux is not an option, so my next computer will have to be a Mac. Say what you want about Apple, but I found macOS to be a lot less painful to use than modern Windows in my experience. Is it a perfect substitute? No. Will I stop using Windows entirely at that point? Also no, since my existing Windows computers will be kept for offline legacy software use at that point.

    Maybe I'll give 10 LTSC a try if it's part of my dad's MSDN subscription. Otherwise, I'm keeping my Windows computers as-is the way they currently are. Maybe install Linux on my laptop since I don't use it often (and all I ever use it for is internet browsing and streaming video onto my TV).
  • I ended up buying a Mac Studio as my main workstation since my desktop was getting old, and it's honestly pretty nice. MacOS is stable and is compatible with most of the graphics software I use, plus various *nix tools. And the M1 chip is fast.

    I still need Windows for certain things, like a few servers, but the Mac is very good for most things.
  • edited November 2022
    As for Firefox, they are considering supporting those Windows versions until sometime in the summer of that year. If anything, we can expect support to be dropped on the main branch sooner than the ESR branch (similar to what we saw happen with 2000, XP, and Vista support).

    Well as you may or may not know, I've not updated my Firefox since last year, because newer versions of it don't agree with me so therefore 78 ESR is staying with me. However, I have Pale Moon as a back-up...

    And as for macOS, I'm now thinking that it'd personally be a waste of time for me as my circumstances have changed (plus experience with it just wouldn't be the same, considering that I've had this laptop for a long 11 years now). Could one day just use computers in libraries and other public networks from now on... but that's just me.
  • Supposedly the Windows 7 Embedded POSReady version will be supported until October 2024 but it will probably be less easy to get updates that way than via ESU.

    Ironically, because Microsoft thought adding Server 2008 R1 support to Azure was a good idea, it is very easy to get Windows Vista updates until 2024. Although few applications are still updated because vendors artifically dropped support after Vista offically EOL'd. (Just ignore everything they did to keep XP/Server 2003 support in applications going :tongue: )

    Another (although expensive) option is Server 2022 as it still uses the Windows 10 UI and Microsoft can't (yet) get away with putting on their advertising crap on Server editions. Plus it will be supported through 2032 and Microsoft doesn't do the moronic update every six months year shit on Server either. (And supposedly they want to get rid of it on client versions too. Maybe they're realizing customers like stability.)
  • @robobox
    Supposedly the Windows 7 Embedded POSReady version will be supported until October 2024 but it will probably be less easy to get updates that way than via ESU.
    I believe you may be right here... I've actually done a Google search on that and didn't see anything about it 🤷‍♂️
  • edited December 2022
    Just a month to go until support for the OS ends for good... but I will still hang on. What about for anybody else here?
  • Damnit. I still have an unopened copy of Windows 7 I was saving for when I found the "right" hardware to use it on. I don't know if it could still be used for upgrade to Windows 10 or 11.
  • As far as I'm aware, 7 and 8 keys still work on 10 and 11.
  • edited January 2023
    Just when everything was to end for 7 tomorrow, apparently there's now a glimmer of hope.

    It turns out that the July monthly rollup (KB5015861) contains something that allows the ESU programme to be extended for another three years (until January 2026). I just found that out from a bit of research and came across this thread. Although, Microsoft's official information about the rollup had not mentioned that anywhere...

    Still though, good news to some of us (even me).
  • Well, it turns out that the supposed extension to the ESU programme is a lie, as the February 2023 rollup was not offered (although there is one for Windows 7 Embedded), but this may require yet another bypass).

    To be honest, I'm not going to bother with it as I've had the fun with Windows 7 given more love over the last three years. I will still use the OS but these days I don't use my laptop as much (especially when I'm now more busier with the real life).

    I'll still use Windows 7 until one day the laptop's fan spins out from inside it or something.
  • edited March 2023
    Windows 7 is slowing dying out, worse than XP did too as you can't even install it on a new Machine anymore cause even if you do you can not install Microsoft Security Essentials or Internet Explorer 11 anymore on a New Machine cause Microsoft disabled them from working.. Besides from the fact that they have Killed Internet Explorer as you can't use any old version of it at all cause even if you have the full offline installer or even IEAK versions that you downloaded and packaged yourself when you go to install it it'll have a pop up saying that it can not install unless it is Updated. Even though you have the Fully Updated Version. Microsoft has become some real pricks. I wish Apple would join with Google and become one company that could out power Microsofts Windows Of Gloom Empire.

    Now days I use Windows 3.1 on my Mac there are far better 16bit programs than anything they make for Windows 10 plus, I am not going back to newer Windows til they make Windows 98. They Have Windows 7, 10, 11, 12, 19 they have to get back there eventually. lol

    Also don't get me started on the IE Mode that you can not setup for Microsoft Edge unless you are a Microsoft IT Professional.

    At least you can install the Chrome Add-on to Edge called IE Ability that works for some sites but you have to login to the cloud for it to work.

    The Only way to use Internet Explorer anymore is if it is already preinstalled and even then IE 11 will redirect it's self to EDGE saying that it can not be used anymore. Also Internet Explorer was one the few Web Browsers that could open an FTP Site Natively inside the Browser. Firefox, Chrome, and Edge don't have that Ability. Although it seems that Edge recently has came up with a solution for newer FTP sites where it will open them as a HTTPS Site but It still doesn't work like Internet Explorer did when opening an FTP site.

    Also I forgot to mention that even Edge on Windows 7 will keep nagging you saying that it can't be upgraded anymore unless you update your Windows and knowing Microsoft you probably can't install EDGE on Windows 7 anymore either if you do a Fresh Install.

    Then I haven't installed the updates on my Windows 7 PC since way back in 2015 besides for the Security Essential Definitions, I stopped using Windows Update wayback then because at one time Microsoft wouldn't let me update my Windows 7 anyway.. It's so far is still running with out any trouble and has everything I need installed. Luckily my brother has a AVG Internet Security License that I can use when Security Essentials stops working for Windows 7.

    Plus I can't even update Disk Drill Pro that I have Licensed on Windows 7 cause the latest version requires Windows 10, but I have tried Windows 10 and I don't want it.
  • I just updated an early Windows 7 restored from a factory restore partition. The trick is to first install Service Pack 1, and then throw an archive of the last WSUS offline updates at it. And don't forget to check the box to create a temporary updater account otherwise you will have to manually reboot a thousand times.
  • I am currently running W7 SP1 Ultimate on an old HP Intel i3. Same install from 2012 or so. Not getting any complaints from OS. Using Brave web browser, installed about 2018 I think.

    Laptop had been stored, but pulled it out to get at a TB of oldies stored on the secondary HD.

    Am shopping for a 2nd hand HP Elitebook 15, with Kaby Lake era i5 processor. Will put W7 on that for my every day machine.

    I would point out that there are frequent postings of W7 with SP1 and all available updates, plus IE 11, plus USB 3.0/3.1and NVME drivers already slipstreamed on torrent sites and archive dot org.

  • Installed Windows Posready 7 x64 (because someone uploaded a Virtualbox image to archive dot org.

    Darn, is it fast.
  • As we're approaching the end of 2023, I wonder if anybody here may still be using Windows 7 in 2024... I may, but it really depends if the OS would still receive updates for Windows Defender and the Malicious Software Removal Tool. I think that when the OS no longer receives them, that'll be the time I'll finally jump ship.

    I don't know if anyone has any information about when these updates will come to an end (all I know is that XP stopped getting MSRT updates in 2016).
  • i wasn't really keen with 7, i mean i used it but i am probably one of a handful that will openly admit to liking vista. i mained vista till the end and beyond.

    so far i've been sticking to 2012R2 since it can be beaten into a very great OS, much more so than 10 or ... 11. have i mentioned how poorly 10 and 11 run over RDP with a near direct lan connection?
  • I have one OEM machine here with Windows 7 on it. Mainly because that is what came on it and the system restore partition. Was thinking of using the machine for a specific non-networked task, but haven't gotten around to it. The machine is fast enough it should run Windows 10 ok.

    Also still have an unopened retail Windows 7 box I bought back when I didn't want to get stuck with Windows 8. Guess that won't be much use now.

    It all depends on what one wants to "do" with it. I still use Windows 95 and Windows XP for lots of things, but for web browsing I increasingly have to bump over to a crappy Windows 10 computer.

    This last year, eBay has broken much of its functionality in the browsers for windows XP. And I've discovered I can't just log in to much web stuff from a different computer any more, almost everything wants to "text" me a damn code before I can re-log in, and that isn't going to work on my proper desk telephone ("landline"). It's insane. And stupid.

    RDP? I've been meaning to take a look at that Windows 10 box to see if there is any way to RDP to it, but I'm guessing the 5.1 and 6.1 clients won't work, which is what I need. I remember connecting to a Windows 2003 server over dial-up, accidentally setting the speed to 9600, and it was actually just usable for running a boring white-and-grey data entry application. I RDP to several XP boxes on my LAN all the time and they even work OK-ish for playing videos. Not surprised this has gotten borked in 10/11.
  • @yourepicfailure
    i wasn't really keen with 7, i mean i used it but i am probably one of a handful that will openly admit to liking vista. i mained vista till the end and beyond.
    7 was practically the same as Vista, is it not? Only with many of the bugs fixed from its predecessor. I will say that I wasn't keen on it when I first got this laptop 12 years ago but that was mostly because of Aero. I never liked it and saw it as a useless gimmick, so I turned it off with a few clicks.
  • edited December 2023
    7 added a few nuiances and "webbiness" among other things.
    7's not really much of a bug-fixed vista, Vista SP1 is a bugfixed Vista. Instead in my eyes 7 tried to go over the top and fix things that weren't broke in Vista.

    Nonetheless being an 8.1 user I'm practically in the same boat as the 7 users. One banking site already denies me access because of, yes outdated operating system.

    As for the RDP thing, the CredSSP mitigation is what makes things funny. A host updated with the credssp mitigation patch will reject clients that didn't have the update installed, by default. Simillarily, a client with the update will reject a host that wasn't updated.
    However, in the case of a host having the update you can apply a group policy to allow clients without the patch to connect.
  • As someone that RDP's to 10 and 11 systems regularly, I can say RDP works as well as it has always worked, which is pretty damn well. Honestly, RDP is one of the killer apps for Windows. If Linux had something that worked as well and wasn't jenk, I'd almost consider switching.
  • Well I suppose if you're RDPing into 10 or 11 from 10 or 11 it works
    But from 7 or Win8.x things like the start menu takes a decent 10 seconds to open and get responsive.
    Meanwhile if I just vnc into it the start menu opens instantly there. Host is a 7700T with 16GB of ram running 2016, client is a 9700k with 2080TI and 48gb of ram running 2012R2.
  • The old becomes niche and a niche community forms, like WinXP.
    Someone builds a list of software that still supports win7 and a list of the last versions of softwares. With keys/cracks etc.
    This is what I mean:
  • You know what's funny is recently Windows 11 was announced to have heavy AI and a dedicated AI button.

    It wasn't literally everything else that's wrong with 11 that drove away many users, it was the AI.
    Lol. I've been telling people Windows 11 is not your friend. And now 3 years late they realize.
  • W10, and even more so W11, is spamware and spyware. End of story.
  • wasn't denying that.

    also, notepad will now get clippy

    those with 8.1 and earlier hold on tight.
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