OneDrive's desktop app won't be supported anymore on Windows 7 and 8.1 in early 2022
Microsoft announced plans this week to end support for OneDrive desktop applications on the company's operating systems Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Customers who use these operating systems may still access their files via OneDrive for the Web or supported devices such as Windows 10 or Windows 11.
OneDrive Desktop Application Termination Schedule
Microsoft plans to stop updates for the OneDrive desktop application for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 on January 1, 2022.
Starting March 1, 2022, OneDrive clients installed on devices powered by these operating systems will stop syncing data.
The change applies to personal or home use versions of OneDrive and Windows only.
Support for the OneDrive desktop application for business will be aligned with the Windows support lifecycle starting January 1, 2022.
In other words: OneDrive's desktop program for business continues to be supported until January 10, 2023, as this is the date when Windows 7 ESU and Windows 8.1 will run out of extended support.
Why is Microsoft making the change?
Microsoft provides the following statement
In order to focus resources on new technologies and operating systems, and to provide users with the most up-to-date and secure experience [..]
The company recommends that customers upgrade their PCs to Windows 10 or Windows 11, if they want to continue using OneDrive's desktop application. The upgrade from Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10 is still free, and if the system is compatible with Windows 11, it can also be upgraded to Windows 11 for free.
The Home editions of Windows 7 are no longer supported, and support for programs on unsupported operating systems has to end sometimes. What is hard to understand is Microsoft's decision to stop support for OneDrive on Windows 8.1 early. All editions of Windows 8.1 are supported until January 2023. Terminating support early for OneDrive, arguably a crucial service for many Windows customers, may be seen as disrespectful. Would it have been that difficult or expensive to end support for all versions on January 10, 2023?
OneDrive users who are affected by the change need to make sure that files are synced with OneDrive before the applications are terminated. It may be a good idea to start looking for OneDrive alternatives. Google Drive, Dropbox, and many others continue to support Windows 7 and 8.1 for the time being.
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