Recently, many people have been targeted by phone calls from Microsoft representatives telling them their Windows 10 subscription will soon expire, so they need to renew it immediately if they want to avoid being locked out of the operating system. Do not fall victim to this scam! Your Windows 10 license will work just fine until 2023 and won’t expire until then, so there’s no reason to believe it will suddenly stop working any time soon. Don’t Be fooled by Windows 10 Expiration Scams!
#1: The Truth About Windows 10
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The truth is that Microsoft isn’t enforcing a deadline for upgrading to Windows 10. The company wants as many people using its latest operating system as possible and will continue to support it with updates and security patches. There are, however, some real issues at hand regarding new PC hardware launching from now until 2020, which we’ll get into below. But don’t worry: Your Windows 7 or 8.1 system is safe for now—and probably for years to come. Regardless of whether you upgrade or not, these systems have a lot of life left in them yet and shouldn’t be replaced anytime soon.
#2: Create a Recovery Drive
The best thing you can do to protect yourself from data loss is to have backups of your important files in at least two different places. In addition to backing up all your most important files and folders, it’s a good idea to make a recovery drive as well. This will ensure that if something happens to your computer, you’ll be able to reinstall Windows 10 or get back some files right away. Your PC came with a recovery partition on which you can store critical system files and data. If something happens and that partition gets lost or damaged, it could seriously cripple your ability to get up and running again.
#3: Download Your Digital License
Microsoft makes it pretty easy to see whether you have a digital license for Windows. After you’ve booted up your PC, head to Settings>System>About and scroll down until you see your License information (for example, Microsoft Windows 10 Pro). If you don’t have a digital license for it, try downloading one from here. Please note that OEM copies of Windows 8/8.1 do not qualify for free upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft has indicated that there will be ways to get an official update path for these users, but we don’t know any more specifics right now.
#4: Update Security Software
If you’re using Windows 10 and haven’t yet installed updates, it’s best to do so as soon as possible. Microsoft released new security updates for last month and older systems could be vulnerable to cyberattacks if they haven’t been updated in a while. Your computer may auto-update, but that isn’t always foolproof. If you suspect there’s an issue with your system, run a virus scan on your computer ASAP.
#5: Reinstall All of Your Apps
You may not think about it much, but your apps are a big part of what make your Windows 10 experience. And since we’re on topic of upgrading, let’s discuss all of that unnecessary bloatware, viruses and malware that infests some people’s laptops. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to clean up some of that mess. So before you uninstall any apps, first go to Settings > System > Apps & features and click on Go back to a previous version. That’ll take you right back to where you were in terms of those uninstalled applications (for most). You can then click on each app icon individually and decide whether or not you want it on your computer at all anymore.
#6: Add Important Files Back Onto Your PC
One of my former co-workers (Alex) got hit with a nasty virus that wiped out her computer. In order to get it back up and running, she had to reinstall all of her programs and files from scratch. The problem was she didn’t have any of those files backed up, so everything from her resume to old photos were gone forever. If you want to make sure your data is protected in case you get hacked or need to erase your hard drive for some reason, I recommend keeping two copies of your important files: one on an external drive and one on Google Drive or another cloud service.
#7 – File History (Windows 8.1 & 10) Section
In previous versions of Windows, you could back up your files using File History, a feature that allowed you to backup your data directly to an external drive. File History has been revamped in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, allowing you to pick and choose specific folders on your computer for backup (as opposed to using one universal backup). This allows you to backup a single folder if you only want one copy of it backed up. Also, Microsoft’s new OneDrive cloud storage system is used for storage backups—instead of having each computer backed up through a local drive like in previous versions of Windows, now every computer syncs with Microsoft’s cloud server.