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About Windows 7
Windows 7 is an operating system released by Microsoft in 2009. Active development ended in January 2015, so there will be no further service packs, but Windows 7 security updates will continue to roll out until January 2020. Windows 10 is Microsoft's current OS, and the most recent version is the August 2016 Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
For any Windows product on Download.com, go to the product page and scroll down to Full Specifications. Click or tap the + button at right to expand the section, and look for Operating Systems. If your OS is listed here, the download should be compatible with your PC.
Microsoft Windows has been around since 1985 and remains the most widely used operating system in the world. It has always been a complex product -- here are answers to common Windows questions.
What is a Windows 7 recovery disk?
Major laptop and desktop manufacturers like HP, Dell, Gateway, or Lenovo often bundle a recovery disk that can restore your version of Windows to its original condition. If you have that recovery disk, it's your best option. Otherwise, you can make your own recovery disk with a blank optical disk or USB thumb drive. To do so, press the Windows key, type "Create a Windows repair disc" without the quotes, and click Create a System Repair Disc. Then follow the on-screen instructions.
Can you download Windows for free?
It's no longer free to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8. For $120, you can download Windows 10 from Microsoft and its online retail partners, or you can buy the boxed version. The boxed version contains a USB thumb drive instead of an optical disc, since an increasing number of PCs do not come with optical drives.
Is your PC compatible with the latest version of Windows?
Windows' hardware requirements have been largely unchanged since version 7.0. For Windows 10, you need:
How long will Microsoft keep patching Windows?
Check Microsoft's Windows lifecycle to see the levels of support for several versions of Windows. For Windows 10, Microsoft plans to update and add to the OS until October 2020, and security patches will continue until October 2025.