Some versions of the Windows 10 Operating System will soon become unsupported by Microsoft.
Changes to Windows 10 updates
All software needs regular security updates (‘patches’) to stay protected from threats. If software is not receiving these updates, it becomes ‘unsupported’ and is vulnerable to threats. It will also fall out of compliance with Cyber Essentials.
When software gets to a certain age, the manufacturer ceases to create and send out patches or security updates. At this point, the software is classed as ‘legacy’ or ‘end of life’ as it is no longer supported and therefore no longer secure to use.
Not only are software vulnerabilities left un-patched, but they become common knowledge for hackers who create programs and services to make them easy to exploit, even for criminals with low levels of technical expertise.
In this blog, we are talking about Microsoft Windows 10 which is the most widely used Windows Operating System (OS).
There are four editions of Microsoft 10 – Home, Professional, Enterprise and Education.
Microsoft has announced that from next month (June 2023), Windows 10 machines running the Home and Professional editions will only receive security updates if they are running the latest version of the OS (known as 22H2), this will potentially leave some machines unsupported and non-compliant for Cyber Essentials.
Microsoft have also published dates for the Enterprise and Education editions in 2024 from which only the latest version 22H2 will receive security updates.
We have created the table below to illustrate the dates that affect the different versions. The timetable shows the dates that are relevant for Cyber Essentials.
Windows 10 Support Table
Microsoft have announced that all support for Windows 10 will finish on 14th October 2025. After this date only Windows 11 will continue to receive security updates.
How do I know which version of Windows 10 my machine is running?
Many installations of Windows 10 will automatically update.
To check which version of Windows 10 your machine is running, type ‘updates’ into the search bar and click on “OS Build and System info” at the right. You’ll be able to see the version details in the list.
If the version is 21H2, updates will stop from 13th June 2023 and you are advised to update to 22H2 (or Windows 11) as soon as possible.
If the version is 22H2, you will continue to receive updates until 14th October 2025.
How to update Windows 10 to version 22H2
Type ‘update’ into the search bar. The Windows update dialog will appear.
Click ‘Check for updates’.
Many machines will automatically download and install the update. It may be necessary to re-start the machine to complete the installation.
How to update to Windows 11
Select the start button, then click on Settings.
Click on Update and Security
Select Check for Updates to see if your PC can run Windows 11, or if the upgrade is ready for your PC.
How do I know if my computer can run Windows 11?
Windows 11 System requirements:
Minimum 1GHz, 64-bit processor
At least 4GB RAM
At least 64 GB of storage space
For full details refer to the ‘System requirements’ tab at the above page or go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/windows-11-specifications
Microsoft have given an unusually short notice period for this end of support notification, with the information coming from one blog : https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/windows-it-pro-blog/windows-client-roadmap-update/ba-p/3805227
The impending update of the Windows OS from 10 to 11 will impact numerous customers as many computers do not have the hardware capability to run Win11. Organisations wishing to remain compliant for Cyber Essentials may have to update their machines in order to run Windows 11.
Update pages for Home/Pro and Enterprise/Education respectively: