It’s time to stop using Windows 7

It’s time to remove Windows 7 operating system (OS) software from any computer you use, especially at UC Davis.

On Jan. 14, 2020, Microsoft will stop supplying updates and security patches for the 10-year-old software, which will render Windows 7 too risky to use. Unsupported software is a prime target for hackers. By policy, unsupported OS and apps must not be used on computers or other devices that connect to the UC Davis network.

Best option? Upgrade

If you’re still using Windows 7 at UC Davis, you have these options, as described on the campus Windows 7 webpage:

  • Switch to current OS software. This is by far the best option. No-cost upgrades to Windows 10 for students are available. If your computer is owned by UC Davis or managed by your department, talk with your department’s IT staff about upgrading the software.
  • Faculty and staff who want an upgrade for machines they use at home should talk with their department’s IT support.
  • Obtain Extended Security Updates support for Windows 7 for one year, to give yourself time to switch to current software. Talk with your department’s IT staff; Software Licensing can help units buy extended licenses.
  • Obtain an exception from campus security policy to address the risk posed by unsupported use of Windows 7. You will need an extraordinary reason why Extended Security Updates cannot be purchased, and the Unit Head and Unit Information Security Lead for your unit or department will need to sign off on the risk.

If you have questions about Windows 7 in your workplace, contact your department or unit’s tech support. If you’re not sure who to ask or how to proceed, contact the IT Express Service Desk.

It’s not clear how many machines at UC Davis still use Windows 7. As of November 2019, about 22 percent of personal computers worldwide used the OS. At UC Davis, use among students could be under 4 percent.