You probably haven’t thought about it a lot, but Windows 10 is almost about to reach end-of-life. The OS’ support period is set to end on October 4th, 2025, at which point it won’t get updates or security patches. What if you can’t use Windows 11 just yet, though? Microsoft will provide extended updates, for a price.

Microsoft is officially opening up “Extended Security Updates,” or ESUs, for customers’ Windows 10 PCs. Individuals and businesses that aren’t prepared to transition to Windows 11 can buy themselves more time and continue receiving software support for Windows 10. Microsoft makes it very clear that this is not meant to be a long-term solution, but rather, a stopgap measure—users should still upgrade to Windows 11 at some point. After all, the ESUs are expensive, and they won’t last forever.

This is the first time that Microsoft has offered ESUs to regular consumers. This program is usually limited to business and education users.

The first year of extended Windows 10 support will cost $61 per PC. But ESU licenses are cumulative, meaning that if you join on Year 2, you also need to pay for Year 1. These fees are waived for Windows 365 customers running Windows 11 on Windows 10 PCs, and businesses that use a Microsoft cloud-based update management solution (such as Intune or Autopatch) receive a 25% discount on their Year 1 ESU. Education customers pay just $1 for ESU licenses.

It’s not clear how long this program will last. But ESUs for Windows 7 ended on January 2023, three years after Windows 7 reached EOL in 2020. If that’s a good pointer, then we should expect Windows 10 ESUs to last all the way up to late 2028, 13 years after the OS was first released. It’s definitely no Windows XP—Microsoft managed to support some flavors of XP up to 2019, a whopping 18 years after the product’s launch—but it’s still a very decent run.

Of course, most people won’t take advantage of Microsoft’s offer. If you’re reading this on a Windows 10 PC, you should consider upgrading before the October 2025 deadline. That way, you can continue receiving free software and security updates with Windows 11.

Source: Microsoft