Windows Vista was one of Microsoft’s least favoured operating systems and the proof is in the numbers.

According to NetMarketShare’s August 2017 data, only 0.46% of machines are still running Vista – far fewer than its much-loved predecessor Windows XP, which still runs on 6.07% of PCs even though Microsoft stopped supporting it in 2014.

All support for Vista ended on Tuesday April 11th 2017, so if you’re one of the few still using it you might want to consider your options.

When does support for Windows Vista end?

Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Vista on April 10, 2012, while extended support ended on April 11, 2017.

Windows lifecycle sheet

Is Service Pack 2 the last version of Windows Vista?

Yes.

How long do I have until Windows Vista support ends?

Support has already ended for Windows Vista. It expired on April 11, 2017.

Is it still safe to use Windows Vista?

Once an operating system enters extended support, it's still safe to use. It means that Microsoft will continue to patch any security threats but won't add any new features (as it would do during the 'mainstream support' phase).

However once extended support is over, Microsoft won't provide security updates, which means your machine is more vulnerable to cyber threats. 

To find out more about the differences between mainstream and extended support, click here.

As Windows Vista has left both mainstream and extended support, it is no longer safe to use. 

Why do I need to update from Windows Vista?

Windows Vista was released over 10 years ago, so Microsoft has turned its attentions to newer products including Windows 7 and Windows 10. As such, Windows Vista is no longer safe.

What happens if I keep using Windows Vista?

Your machine will continue to work, but it won't be safe. 

According to Microsoft: "It might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 9 is no longer supported, so if your Windows Vista PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 9 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats.

Software and hardware might not work, as manufactures develop for newer versions of Windows. Software makers such as Google Chrome and Firefox are already dropping support for Vista.

"Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows Vista. If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you'll continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time. However, please note that Microsoft Security Essentials (or any other antivirus software) will have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates. This means that PCs running Windows Vista will not be secure and will still be at risk for virus and malware." 

Can I download and upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 10?

Yes, you can upgrade your PC to the latest version of Windows, Windows 10, however be sure to check that your PC is able to handle it.

If your machine came with Vista we're guessing that means it's an old PC. Rather than buying Windows 10, it might be better and cheaper to get a new computer altogether.

For more on upgrading to Windows 10, click here.

Watch – Find out about the safest browsers to use on XP and Vista in our video below: