What does it mean if my version of Windows is no longer supported?
An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—new drivers for your hardware and more.
You should always install the latest service packs for Windows. You can download and install these through Windows Update.
Support end dates
Here are the dates when support will end for PCs running Windows XP and Windows Vista without the latest service packs:
Support for Windows XP is ending on April 8, 2014.
Support for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) ended on July 12, 2011. To continue support, make sure you've installed Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Support for Windows Vista without any service packs ended on April 13, 2010. To continue support, make sure you've installed Windows Vista SP2.
Support for Windows XP SP2 ended on July 13, 2010. To continue support, make sure you've installed Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3). For more information, see Learn how to install Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3).
There's no SP3 for the 64-bit version of Windows XP. If you're running the 64-bit version of Windows XP with SP2, you have the latest service pack and will continue to be eligible for support and receive updates until April 8, 2014. To find out what version you're running, see
Is my PC running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?
To make sure you're running the latest service pack, see the
Service Pack Center.
For more information, see Support is ending for Windows XP.
Windows will continue to run
Even if you have an unsupported version of Windows XP or Windows Vista without any service packs, Windows will continue to start and run as usual.
For full details about the support policy, see the
Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ.