You may continue to use this version of the operating system, but Microsoft will no longer offer support after the end of the support date, meaning that devices running Windows 8.1 will be more exposed to security risks and compatibility problems. When Windows 7 reached the end of support, Microsoft provided additional support for business customers only through the Extended Security Update (ESU) program for a fee. However, this will not be the case for Windows 8.1. After January 10, 2023, the operating system will no longer receive updates. (Sometimes, the company may offer a few additional updates during a grace period if a critical vulnerability is found, but that’s about it.) If you have a computer still using Windows 8.1, it’s now a good idea to upgrade to the most recent version of Windows 10. In the case that the hardware meets the minimum requirements, you should upgrade to Windows 11. Officially, Microsoft doesn’t support a free upgrade path, but the Windows 8.1 product key will likely work to activate Windows 11 or 10. If the device doesn’t meet the requirements, it’s recommended to replace the computer and then transfer your files from the old to the new device. All content on this site is provided with no warranties, express or implied. Use any information at your own risk. Always backup of your device and files before making any changes. Privacy policy info.