Windows 7 End of Life and SOLIDWORKS

15th January 2020
Windows 7 End of Life. Man walking into the light through a doorway

Let us explain the consequences of the cessation of support on Windows 7

Windows 7 has now entered its end of life cycle meaning that Microsoft will no longer be offering updates and security patches. While many people upgraded to Windows 10 many years ago, Windows 7 is still a very popular operating system, with a 32.74% global share and there still exist many users you still use windows 8.1. This blog will delve into what the Windows 7 end of life means for SOLIDWORKS and the comparability of different operating system requirements for different SOLIDWORKS versions.

What is the Windows 7 end of life?

In January 13, 2015, Windows ended its main support for Windows 7 meaning that from then on, new features were no longer added and warranty claims were made invalid, then entering its extended support phase were only necessary patches and fixes were added, this ended on January 14, 2020, meaning that after this, anyone using Windows 7 will effectively be using a dead operating system. This means that software developers will start to stop supporting Windows 7 and users will be more vulnerable to security breaches. More information on this can be found here.

What does this mean for SOLIDWORKS?

Like other software developers, SOLIDWORKS will be ending its support for Windows 7, but worry not SOLIDWORKS will not instantly cut of Windows 7 users, though we do still strongly recommend upgrading to Windows 10 as fast as possible. SOLIDWORKS 2018 will still be supported on Windows 7 as normal as it has reached its end of life, SOLIDWORKS 2019 and 2020 are different as they’re end of life is after the end of Windows 7 support. SOLIDWORKS 2019 will support Windows 7 throughout the end of its life cycle, however, SOLIDWORKS fixes to the software dependent on Windows 7 can no longer be provided to SOLIDWORKS 2019 after the end of the Windows 7 life cycle. SOLIDWORKS 2020 is similar to SOLIDWORKS 2019, in that it will be compatible with Windows 7 (albeit without Windows 7 based fixes after the Windows 7 end of life cycle) until SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP5, which will no longer be Windows 7 compatible and will effectively be the last and most updated version of SOLIDWORKS to run with Windows 7 as SOLIDWORKS 2021 and all of its SP’s will not be Windows 7 compatible.

Below are the SOLIDWORKS dates for Windows 7 going forward:

SOLIDWORKS versionSOLIDWORKS life cycle end Windows 7 extended support during SOLIDWORKS life cycleSOLIDWORKS windows 7 support
2018December 2019Yes: October 2017 – December 2019yes
2019December 2020Yes: October 2018 – January 2020
No: January 2020 – December 2020
yes*
2020December 2021Yes: October 2019 – January 2019
No: January 2020 – December 2021
yes*
2021December 2022Nono/blocked

*SOLIDWORKS fixes that are dependent on Windows 7 cannot be provided during these dates.

What about Windows 8.1?

Similar to Windows 7, Windows 8.1’s mainstream support ended on January 9, 2018, though its extended support will run until January 10, 2023. despite this SOLIDWORKS no longer supports Windows 8.1, with the last Windows 8.1 compatible version of SOLIDWORKS being SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP5.

What should you do?

Even though users should still be able to use SOLIDWORKS 2020 for a while longer on Windows 7, users should upgrade to Windows 10 for security reasons and in the mean time avoid using computers with Windows 7 to access their sensitive information. We recommend Windows 8.1 users upgrade to Windows 10 in order to start using newer versions of SOLIDWORKS and take advantage of user based improvements to the software.

Companies who are not ready for the move can pay Microsoft for extended security updates until January 2023, however, this is sold on a per-device basis, with prices set to increase to encourage updates. A better option is to take advantage of our affordable financing solution and upgrade your office with windows 10 here, or better yet you can use this as a reason to upgrade your machinery with some new specialised SOLIDWORKS hardware here.

SolidPlans By HardSoft

Below is a summary of the SOLIDWORKS cut off dates:

Microsoft productStart of life End of life
Windows 10, 64 bit2015 SP5Active
Windows 8.1, 64 bit 2014 SP12018 SP5
Windows 7, 64 bit2010 SP12020 SP5

You can speak to our SOLIDWORKS team for more information on upgrading to Windows 10 or SOLIDPLANS by HardSoft on 020 7111 1643, or email sales@hardsoft.co.uk. Alternatively, you can use the web chat function on our website.