As of the 12th January 2016, Microsoft have ended support for Windows 8, and Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10. Windows Update will no longer run software updates on any of these browsers or systems.
What does this actually mean?
This means that Microsoft will no longer fix bugs, offer security upgrades or install software on your machine - so no more automatic updates. This is important, because after Microsoft stops updating your system against spyware and viruses it makes your machine much less secure when using the internet. In addition, hackers can target Windows 8 and old versions of Internet Explorer more effectively, as they know that it is unprotected and out of date. It doesn't mean that Windows 8, and Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 will no longer work - your system and browser will continue running.
If you are still running Windows 8, you should consider updating to Windows 8.1 to improve performance, security and maintain the most up to date patches and fixes for their operating system.
How do I know what version I'm using?
To find out what version of Windows you are using, you can visit this page on the Microsoft website. It should automatically detect which version of Windows you are using.
To find out which version of Internet Explorer you are using, visit this page of the Microsoft website using Internet Explorer as your browser. It will detect which version you are using automatically. If you don't use Internet Explorer and use Chrome or Firefox instead, there is no need to update.
So can I just upgrade or update my systems?
Before you do it's really important that you speak to your IT team or specialist. You need to make sure that all of the applications, programs and anything else you use will work on Windows 10, and any plugins you use work with Internet Explorer 11. If they won't work you need to look for new applications to replace your current ones, or find out whether it is possible to upgrade your existing applications.
You should then do a full backup of all your systems. This way you can always revert your systems back to how they were before updating, just in case anything goes wrong or programs and applications stop working. Your IT specialist should be able to talk you through this or do this for you. Once you have updated your systems there is the option to go back within the next thirty days, but this doesn't work as well as a backup.
I have done a backup, how can I update/upgrade?
If you're using Windows 8, you can update to Windows 10 for free - just follow this link to the Microsoft store. There should be a box selected which reads, 'Free upgrade for Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.' Below this there should be a big green 'Upgrade' button - as long as you've done that backup, click that and follow the instructions.
For Internet Explorer, follow the same link that you did to check which version of the browser you were using. A link in blue should read, 'Get the latest version of Internet Explorer' - click that, and follow the instructions.
If you need any help updating or upgrading your systems or browser, or are still confused about Microsoft support, don't hesitate to give us a call on 0191 482 0444