The Windows 7 Extended Security Update program is now available

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 2, 2019
Updated • Dec 2, 2019
Windows, Windows 7

Microsoft will end support for the company's Windows 7 operating system on January 14, 2020, the same day that security updates are made available for the last time for the operating system.

While there are not any official options for home users of Windows 7 to extend support, paid or unpaid, companies and organizations may pay Microsoft to extend support by up to three years. Security company 0Patch revealed plans to release (some) security updates for Windows 7 for free after Microsoft ends support.

Microsoft unveiled the program for Enterprise customers in 2018 and for non-Enterprise businesses in 2019.

Enterprise customers may pay Microsoft $50, $100, or $200 per year and user to extend Windows 7 Pro or Enterprise support. It is unclear at the time if Windows 7 Ultimate devices may also receive extended support or if support is reserved to Pro and Enterprise editions exclusively.

Small businesses may also pay Microsoft for extended support for Pro and Enterprise editions but these businesses pay per device and not user. The cost of extending support for Windows 7 Pro machines is the same that Enterprise customers pay per user whereas it is half of that for Enterprise machines.

Customers who have active subscription licenses for Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security, or Windows VDA E5 will receive the first year of Windows 7 ESU support as a benefit according to Microsoft (only available to volume licensing customers).

Enterprise customers could join the Extended Security Update program in April 2019 already while Small Business customers had to wait until December to join the program.

extended security updates windows 7

Microsoft released an update that verifies whether Windows 7 SP1 or Server 2008 R2 SP1 devices can get the Extended Security Updates. The update is a test package that is only available via the Microsoft Update Catalog website (or WSUS) at the time of writing.

The following prerequisites exist:

  1. 4474419 SHA-2 code signing support update for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008: September 23, 2019
  2. 4490628 Servicing stack update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: March 12, 2019
  3. 4516655 Servicing stack update for Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1: September 10, 2019
  4. 4519976 October 8, 2019—KB4519976 (Monthly Rollup)
  5. Install and activate the ESU key. See this article for instructions. Small businesses need to purchase ESUs from Cloud Solution Providers.

Transactions generate unique keys.

Each transaction for Windows 7 ESU licenses will generate a unique MAK key. If a customer purchases Windows 7 ESUs at multiple points in time, CSP partners will be able to see the full list of transactions in the Partner Center for that customer. The customer will also see the MAK keys and associated licenses in their Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

Closing Words

The information that Microsoft provides is scattered across multiple company websites and properties, and it is quite difficult to get a clear picture of requirements and instructions. Things like missing information about Windows 7 Ultimate make things even more complicated. Whether Microsoft manages to make things easier for customers remains to be seen.

Now You: Do you still run devices with Windows 7? What will you do after January 14, 2020? (via Born)

The Windows 7 Extended Security Update program is now available
Article Name
The Windows 7 Extended Security Update program is now available
Small Businesses may join the Extended Security Update program as of December 2, 2020 to receive up to three years of extended Windows 7 updates.
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  1. SoF said on December 16, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    For everyone asking about if Win7 Ultimate edition is included in ESU:

    I had been searching for this myself and found multiple contradictory results including from my licensing distribution. I called Microsoft VL Center and spoke to a rep that had to ask multiple colleagues as well, and the answer was that Ultimate was originally included but about 3-4 weeks ago, Ultimate was removed from the ESU program.

    This MS KB does reflect the correct info:

    >>Which editions of Windows 7 are eligible for ESU?
    >>ESU are available for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 16, 2019 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks for finding out and letting us know!

  2. Dianthus said on December 7, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Still on XP here people and yes have also W7 and Linux but not the time yet to get me totally over to W7 from Xp but I begin now of this year to see that it is time bc some web pages and some new online stuff does not work on this oldy but for the rest all is fine here. So W7 easy to 2025…

  3. FlipMcTwist said on December 4, 2019 at 12:48 am

    I just built a new PC and came to the realization that the motherboard only had usb 3.0 ports and Win7 doesn’t have support for usb 3.0 by default so after the bios would hand over to windows, my mouse and keyboard would stop working. So I went through the proccess of adding usb 3 drivers to a Windows 7 install which was a bit annoying. Now I’m getting a warning saying I have unsupported hardware. But at least it works. I really hate Windows 10. I’m really not sure what I’ll do when 7 is no longer an option.

    Obligatory XKCD:

  4. mike said on December 3, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    I do have a Win7 system, the one I’m writing with. It’s rock steady and boots in six seconds
    (SSD and I’ve only ever had security updates). Changing is going to be troublesome, I’ve heard about and seen Win10 go bad and I use old software (Office 2000 anybody?), but the learning curves, for Linux and Win10, will be different. This article and the one about the free upgrade still working have given me pause for thought. I thought Mint might be the way to go, but I can live with telemetry and proprietary invasions (or work to end them). I’d rather not have invasions from uninvited guests. Security from external attacks is a more weighty concern, layers or no layers of defence. The question now is a root and branch change, or carry on with Windows, 7 or 10?

    1. CharlesDarwin said on December 4, 2019 at 5:07 am

      I have XP and Win 10 boxes, and had a Win 7 box. I have found that all my older Windows 7 software that can’t be updated will run on either XP or Windows 10. As such I had no need for Windows 7 so I’m now running Linux Mint on that box.

  5. Hives said on December 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Win 7 till dead puter. I all so have 10 nothing but hangups.

  6. Nieko said on December 3, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I think that Windows7 is the only stable OS that Microsoft has ever developed. Windows10 is crap and unstable. 40 years ago when I started I should have decided on a different OS. They are going to lose a LOT of customers. I hope so

    1. EP said on December 5, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      XP was another OS from MS that was stable (at least after XP SP2), Nieko.

  7. Allwynd said on December 3, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    I probably still would’ve ran Windows 7 had I not bought a new PC that has Windows 10 and it’s widely known that new hardware doesn’t play well with Windows 7.

    1. CharlesDarwin said on December 4, 2019 at 5:01 am

      Yup, same here, except a few years I bought 2 used Dell office PCs that had Windows 10 Pro on them.

      I dropped a cheap Nvidia card in one so I could play Fallout 4 and it worked fine, although all the info i found said it wouldn’t work, ha.

      Also, after I tweaked Windows 10, it’s much like 7 now, and likely even better. But best of all, I’m going to keep getting updates for some time to come.

      I liked Windows 7, but i have no need for it now. I do still have an XP box though that i keep offline. It runs some great old software that I still use.

  8. Tjorven said on December 3, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    So Windows 7 is only good for 10 years, then after that you need to pay more?! That’s absurd! Everything should be free! Down with profit and capitalism!


    1. Anonymous said on December 4, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      Yes, pay more for a forced downgrade. Hail capitalism.

    2. Jody Thornton said on December 4, 2019 at 7:02 pm

      LOL …. Tjorven.

      I see your point. Also Windows users get this idea that they “own” their copy of Windows. They don’t. They have a license to use Windows as per the terms Microsoft lays out. Licenses, software, and product roles change.

  9. Lowry A Pierce said on December 3, 2019 at 11:39 am

    I will not accept or buy into Microsoft’s “shake down” of Windows 7 users. I will continue using my Windows 7 as is until my computer dies. Then I will buy a Chromebook or Mac. Screw Microsoft and Windows 10.

    1. Philip said on December 6, 2019 at 10:56 am

      Thumbs Up! Same here…

  10. bfoos said on December 3, 2019 at 6:52 am

    No Windows 7 devices here. I’m happily running Windows 10 1909 Enterprise and Education editions on my machines. No telemetry here, local accounts available or MSA’s. Haven’t had a single BSOD or any kind of instability. I use OpenShell to restore a sane start menu and everything just works.

    1. EP said on December 5, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      even better for me, bfoos – I’m running Win10 LTSB 2016 v1607 & LTSC 2019 v1809 on old PCs that used to have Win7 on them – have not looked back since.

  11. MartinFan said on December 3, 2019 at 2:48 am
  12. Barry H said on December 3, 2019 at 1:37 am

    Was anyone successful in purchasing and installing the Windows 7 Extended Security Update license today, Dec 2, 2019?

    I was not after reading out to a Microsoft Cloud Partner. They may have been swamped.

    1. Jan Ehrhardt said on December 11, 2019 at 8:21 am

      Good question. I would not even now where to buy a Windows 7 Extended Security Update license for a single device. I checked some sites of Microsoft Cloud Partners, but no one seems interested in just selling a single ESU license.

  13. Rick said on December 3, 2019 at 12:09 am

    I will be using 0patch to keep Windows 7 running longer. I do not want Windows 10 telemetry OS.

    1. Philip said on December 6, 2019 at 10:48 am

      I hope you have removed the Win7 updates you had installed that pertain to Telemetry. There are a bunch. I’ve done this a couple of different times and its amazing how many updates there were with telemetry involved. Just a thought to help out, perhaps. Wasn’t sure if you’ve done this. Googling with show the sites that have these MS update names as a list, and some even have a .bat file to automatically remove the specific updates, if installed. Works well.. :)

  14. coakl said on December 2, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    The real End of Life for Win 7 is how long Chrome and Firefox supports it.
    After Win XP’s EOL in April 2014, Chrome supported it for two more years; Firefox’s ESR version supported it four years afterwards (ESR 52.9, Sept. 2018).

    With the Extended updates for Win 7, both Google and Mozilla will likely support Win 7 for at least three more years…whether its on Win 7 Home that is EOL, or Win 7 in businesses getting ESU updates.

    1. CloudOS said on December 3, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      Edge Chromium with support on Win7 will launch on January 15th, one day after Win7 “supposedly” go EoL indicates that MS will keep supporting this browser till the end of the ESU updates (2023) and even if in the crazy scenario all these browsers suddenly stop updating for Win7 then we have [1]Pale Moon as our last resort since its main developer’s planning to continue supporting Win7


      1. Jody Thornton said on December 6, 2019 at 3:18 am

        Yet @CloudOS, they were so BIG on cutting off XP and Vista support. Shows that just because Moon-Matt use Windows 7, that makes it OK in their books.

  15. Yuliya said on December 2, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    My desktop is running 7 Ultimate just fine, I need a solid OS there, and Win7 is just that. I’ll rely on Simplix to provide the updates.
    Piracy comes to rescue again. Pirating security updates. Yeah.. pirating.. OS.. security.. updates..
    Ffs, M$!!

    1. Gary said on January 5, 2020 at 3:16 am

      Ima downloading it right now, and getting the latest updates at the same time, for a new install. So is Simplix trustworthy, or is it a gamble?

  16. stefann said on December 2, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    I will give Microsoft the middle finger and continue to use XP x64 (last update spring 2014) and 7 x64 (last update May 2017).

  17. VioletMoon said on December 2, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    “Do you still run devices with Windows 7? What will you do after January 14, 2020?”

    Nope! And I am super glad I am not running Windows 7. That’s like the dark ages–how many years ago?

    Anyway, all computers and laptops up-to-date with Windows 10 1909 with no regrets!

    1. stefann said on December 2, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      @VioletMoon – Good luck with Windows 10, it has so many bugs that it is more risky to use than XP !

      1. Jody Thornton said on December 4, 2019 at 6:59 pm


        I also dislike Windows 10 with a passion, but how is using Windows 10 more risky than Windows XP? Telemetry gathering (although I hate it too) is NOT a risk. That’s the agreement of one using Windows under license from Microsoft. Don’t like it – don’t use it.

        By the way – ALL software and sites use telemetry now. That’s how you make money as a tech company now. Traditional advertising and software licensing sales don’t work as profitable methods anymore. What are companies to do?

  18. Samm said on December 2, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    > Things like missing information about Windows 7 Ultimate make things even more complicated

    I don’t know, it seems pretty clear it only applies to Pro and Enterprise. Ultimate (like Home Basic and Home Premium) was only a customer SKU.

  19. Wizwill said on December 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Let me count the ways: constant surveillance with data being sent back to the mother ship (Win 10), No ability to view a header stream in emails (Office 365 Outlook), A ribbon interface designed by a team of master masochists (both Winj10 and Office 365) and the necessity to use a cloud-based account rather than your own domain-based email for access to Windows 10 Home and most other Microsoft sign in purposes.

    I really think we ( US citizens) should sue Microsoft for transgressing our constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

    1. nealis said on December 3, 2019 at 12:36 am

      Hear you buddy, it is absurd that your personal computer snoops you and it doesn’t have the option to turn it completely off. I blame the Nadella, even since he became CEO, Microsoft has turn increasingly into the typical silicon valley data pirate.

      With that said, if you still want to use Win 10 without the telemetry. You can will just have to pay for the privilege of no telemetry Windows 10 via the enterprise edition. You can buy a license on the reddit microsoftsoftwareswap page from longtime verified sellers for around 50 bucks, or you can just use the various kms tools at the mydigitallife forum.

  20. John Fenderson said on December 2, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    “Do you still run devices with Windows 7? What will you do after January 14, 2020?”

    I don’t — none of my machines run Windows at all. But I know a handful of people who are running Win 7. They are not worried about the EOL date at all, and are intending to continue to use Win 7 for the foreseeable future. I don’t know what they’ll do if and when that becomes unsustainable, but I’m guessing some will move to a Unix variety and some will go to Win 10.

  21. Mothy said on December 2, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    “Do you still run devices with Windows 7? What will you do after January 14, 2020?”

    Just one yet, a ten year old laptop that still runs great especially after replacing the hard drive with a SSD. Plan to continue using it until the hardware gives out, no concerns with the lack of security updates after January as they are but ONE layer of security and IMHO not even the most important. To be honest, if it were not for the current need of better HDMI support (for the NVIDIA graphics card on the system for high definition media output) I’d still be running Windows XP on it (which I used in the past without incident for two years after its support ended).

  22. Tom Hawack said on December 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Do I still run devices with Windows 7? Sir, yes Sir!

    What will I do after January 14, 2020? I’ll keep on living. I presume the question relates to Windows 7, correct? Same answer. I’ve abandoned Windows 7 Updates ever since October 2016 so the OSs end of life won’t change anything here. I’ll switch to a new OS together with a new PC and that’ll be with the computer on its last legs or too outdated to carry on with latest software, applications and the Web itself. And that’ll likely be with Linux because Windows 10 inspires me a run for my life perception.

    Again, no Win10 bashing, I hate bashing. I have only in mind what is related on the OSs never ending problems. Should stability be at the rendez-vous (yes, but when?) I could change my mind, which is why I write that i’ll ‘likely’ adopt Linux.

    1. no said on December 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      Hey, no bashing on bashing please!

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