Windows 10 End of Life: What Your Business Needs to Know

As Microsoft prepares to end support for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025, many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may find themselves wondering what this means for their business. The good news is that with a little planning, you can turn this transition into an opportunity to enhance your business’s security and efficiency. Here’s what you need to know and do to navigate this change smoothly.

What Does Windows 10 End of Life Mean?

Microsoft will stop providing updates and security patches for Windows 10, which means any new vulnerabilities discovered will not be fixed. This leaves systems running Windows 10 more vulnerable to cyberattacks. It’s crucial to upgrade to a supported operating system to maintain security.

4 Steps to Windows 10 Transition

1. Evaluate Your Current Setup

Start by identifying all the devices running Windows 10 in your business. To check whether the device is running press the Windows logo key key + R, type winver in the Open box, and then select OK. Check with your IT supplier if they meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11 or if you need to invest in new equipment. It is worth considering that Windows 11 has specific system requirements, and not all older devices will be compatible.

2. Plan Your Upgrade

Choosing the right upgrade path is essential. For most businesses, moving to Windows 11 is the best option as it offers improved features and security enhancements. Ensure your software applications are compatible with Windows 11. If needed, consult with your software providers for guidance.

3. Backup Your Data

Before making any changes, back up all critical data. This can be done using cloud services or external hard drives. Data backup is a crucial step to avoid loss during the upgrade process. (N.B. you should have a robust backup strategy in place for all data at all times, something that your IT support should already be all over!)

4. Schedule the Upgrade

Plan the upgrade for a time when your business activity is low to minimise disruptions. Inform your team about the upcoming changes and provide necessary training. It may be helpful to test the upgrade on a few machines before a full rollout.

5. Update Security Measures

Review and update your security measures with the new operating system. In step 2 you should have already ensured your antivirus software is compatible with Windows 11, so now’s the time to enforce strong password policies. Using a password manager can help your team maintain secure practices. The National Cyber Security Centre provides useful guidance on password management.

There are wealth of benefits to adopting newer operating systems like Windows 11. This update comes with advanced security features, offering better protection against malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. Staying up-to-date with security patches is vital to protecting your business from cyber threats.

Windows 11 is designed for better speed and efficiency, which can help your team work more effectively. Faster systems reduce downtime caused by slow or unresponsive devices, improving overall productivity.

New operating systems support the latest applications and technologies, allowing your business to leverage modern tools for productivity and collaboration. This can lead to more innovative solutions and improved workflows.

Transitioning from Windows 10 doesn’t have to be a hassle. With proper planning and execution, your business can remain secure and efficient. Evaluate your current setup, plan your upgrade path, back up your data, and update your security measures to ensure a smooth transition.

For more detailed advice and support tailored to your business in the transition away from Windows 10, Clearsky is ready to support.

You might also find this helpful: Upgrading to Windows 11: what you need to know

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