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Microsoft stops updating some Windows 7/8.1 PCs

Microsoft's new hardware policy is in effect, and some PCs with new processors are no longer getting updates for Windows 7 or 8.1.

Starting with the March 2017 Patch Tuesday, users with new hardware running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will not be able to install further updates. This is not an issue with the update or some misconfiguration from your part, it’s just Microsoft enforcing its new hardware support policy.

Under the new hardware policy, Microsoft no longer offers support for previous version of the OS on new processors. Starting with Intel’s 6th-generation Skylake and later processors will require Windows 10 to keep getting updates. However, select Skylake-based devices will continue to receive updates running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, but only until July 17, 2018.

Older processors (prior to Skylake) running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will continue to get updates until January 14, 2020, and January 10, 2023, respectively.

However, with the new policy in effect, now we’re starting to see affected users. ZDNet reports that many users are receiving an error message trying to install the latest updates.

Unsupported Hardware

Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows and you won’t receive updates.

This error message is now appearing on devices using Intel’s 7th-generation “Kady Lake” and AMD Ryzen “Bristol Ridge” processors.

While this may come as a surprise to many customers, Microsoft has announced these changes back in January 2016.

Here’s the official Microsoft statement:

Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support… Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming “Kaby Lake” silicon, Qualcomm’s upcoming “8996” silicon, and AMD’s upcoming “Bristol Ridge” silicon.

Although Microsoft seems to be giving up on older versions of the OS, it’s absolutely evident that the company wants you to use Windows 10.

If you’ve been affected by this new hardware policy change, it’s recommended to upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible, as an outdated system can quickly become vulnerable and software may stop working correctly.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].