Windows 10 End of Life: How to Prepare for It?

You will learn the Windows 10 end of life date and how to go about preparing for it. This includes understanding some of the upgrade essentials as well as backing up your system!


By Miya Updated on July 19, 2023

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When will Windows 10 end of life?

Windows 10 will reach its end of life on October 14, 2025. This means Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, patches, or technical support for this version after this date. In addition, Microsoft confirmed that version 22H2 will be the final version of Windows 10. Consequently, we strongly advise updating all Windows installations in your organization to ensure continued security.

Windows 10 End of Life

Windows 10 versions lifecycle

  • Windows 10 Version 21H1

Windows 10 version 21H1 will be reaching its end-of-support on December 13, 2022, across all editions (Enterprise, Education, IoT Enterprise, Home, and Pro). It's essential to update all Windows 10 devices to version 21H2 or above. However, the Enterprise, Education, and IoT Enterprise editions still have support for version 20H2. On the other hand, Home and Pro editions have already reached end-of-life for this version.

  • Windows 10 Version 20H2

Windows 10 Enterprise, Education, and IoT Enterprise editions of version 20H2 will reach their end-of-life on May 9, 2023. The Home and Pro edition already reached its end-of-life in May of the previous year. As a result, version 20H2 is now completely out of support. To remain supported, it's crucial to update all installations to version 21H2 or 22H2, which are the only versions currently in support.

  • Windows 10 Home and Pro Version 21H2

Windows 10 version 21H2 will reach end-of-life on June 13, 2023, leaving version 22H2 as the only supported version for Home and Pro users. It's essential to update all Windows machines running older versions. However, for Enterprise, Education, and IoT Enterprise users, version 21H2 will remain in support until June 11, 2024.

What to do before Windows 10 end of life?

After knowing the Windows 10 lifecycle, in this section, we will tell you what to do before Windows 10 ends its life. That is, the system requirements of upgrading to Windows 11 and how to perform Windows 10 to Windows 11 free upgrade.

System requirements for Windows 10 to 11 free upgrade

For Windows 11 installation or upgrade, devices must fulfill the following minimum hardware requirements:

✎ Processor/CPU: 1 GHz or faster with two or more cores.
 RAM: At least 4 GB.
 Storage: At least 64 GB of available storage.
✎ Security: TPM 2.0 enabled, UEFI firmware, and Secure Boot capable on your PC.
✎ Graphics card: DirectX 12 compatible with WDDM 2.0 driver or later.
✎ Internet Connectivity and Microsoft Accounts: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft Account for device setup on first use.
✎ Windows Version for Upgrade: Your device must be running Windows 10, version 2004 or later, to upgrade through Windows Update. Free updates are available through Windows Update in Settings > Update and Security.

You can use the PC Health Check app to verify if your current Windows 10 PC meets the requirements for the free upgrade to Windows 11. If your device is compatible and meets the minimum requirements, you can perform a free upgrade to Windows 11 with the following steps.

How to perform Windows 10 to 11 free upgrade

Microsoft's free upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is now available. You have the option of downloading the Windows 11 upgrade file from the official website and installing it from the ISO file on your system. However, for a more straightforward approach, performing a free upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10, the steps are outlined below:

Step 1. Click on the Start menu and select Settings.


Step 2. Next, navigate to the Updates & Security option within the Settings page.

Update and Security

Step 3. Access the Windows Update page and click on the Check for updates button. This will initiate an automatic check for new updates. Once the detected updates have been displayed, select the Windows 11 upgrade option from the list if it's available, and click on Download and Install.

Check for Updates

If you want to be completely and safely prepared for the end of life of Windows 10, read on!

How to keep data safe while upgrading to Windows 11

With the arrival of Windows 10 EOL, many users tend to be concerned about how to ensure data security if they continue to use Windows 10 system or upgrade to Windows 11. In fact, whether you continue to use Windows 10 or upgrade to Windows 11, there are potential problems that may result in data loss or even startup failure.

  • For Windows 10 users, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates, and security updates for your business. This means no more bug fixes, security patches, or new features that would make any individual user or business more vulnerable to malware attacks.
  • For Windows 11 users, any mishandling during the process of updating the system may cause the system to run down or even be unbootable.

Therefore, it's crucial to create a backup of your important files or a system image backup or disk backup for Windows. System backups can be used to restore your computer to a previous state if you encounter unexpected errors while using Windows 10 or upgrading to Windows 11. AOMEI Backupper Standard is a recommended free backup software with exceptional features, including:

✔ Offer four backup methods, including System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, and File Backup, allowing you to easily restore from system failure or recover lost files.
✔ Provide incremental and differential backup to save backup time and storage space by only backing up changed or new files. (differential backup available in the Pro version).
✔ Ability to create backups to different storage options such as cloud, NAS, local disk, external hard drive, USB/DVD/CD, etc.
✔ Support for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, and 2022.

I will now demonstrate how to backup Windows 10 to an external hard drive using this software. To begin, download the free backup software by following the link below.

Download FreewareWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper once it's installed. Then, click on Backup followed by System Backup.

Warm tips:
► Disk Backup: Create a disk image of a specified hard disk, including the operating system, installed programs, personal data, and more (the free standard edition only supports cloning a data disk).
► File Backup: Quickly back up important files to different storage options, without taking up too much disk space.

Select System Backup

Step 2. The software will automatically select the Windows 10 system partition and other relevant partitions required to start Windows by default. Click on the box under the arrow and choose an external hard drive as the backup destination.

Select Backup Destination

Tip: Under the Schedule Backup tab, you can set up a backup schedule, such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, or USB plug in.

Schedule Backup

Step 3. Once you have selected the backup destination and made any necessary adjustments, confirm the operation and click Start Backup to initiate the Windows 10 backup process to protect from any problem of Windows 10 end of life.

Start System Backup

If any issues arise during or after the Windows 10 to Windows 11 free upgrade, you can easily restore your PC from the system backup created with AOMEI Backupper.

To do so, launch this software and navigate to Restore. Then, choose Select Task or Select Image File to choose the system backup you created earlier.

Select Task


With the coming of Windows 10 end of life, you should ensure a safe usage of Windows 10 or a successful upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10. It's recommended that you create a system backup beforehand. This way, if the upgrade fails due to any reason, you can still restore your computer to its previous state and continue using it.

Apart from backup, this software is equipped with a variety of other useful functions, such as cloning, syncing, restoring like performing Windows 11 system restore from boot, and other powerful tools. 

Miya · Editor
Miya has an excellent insight and receives professional and systematic technical training since joining AOMEI. She has a comprehensive understanding of computer issues, aiming at helping users troubleshoot all kinds of problems. A lot of computer users around the world have found her articles very helpful!