Beginning Tuesday, Microsoft will no longer provide free updates or tech support for its Windows XP operating system.
To help you through what some people are calling the “XP Apocalypse,” the Geek Squad at Best Buy has some advice.
To find out if you’re using Windows XP, click here.
When Tuesday rolls around, you won’t notice a major difference. You’ll still have all the computer programs you use and they’ll still work. But without those Microsoft updates, you’ll be vulnerable to new viruses and you won’t have “patches” to fix bugs or improve performance. You’ll also have little to no support from software makers.
Depending on how old your computer is and how capable its built-in hardware is, you might be able to just upgrade to a newer version of Windows and avoid all of those problems.
To find out if your computer can handle that, download and run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, which will scan your computer and tell you if upgrading is an option.
If you really, really want to keep running XP, be aware of the risks and take some steps to protect yourself. PC World has some great advice here.
---Samantha Maziarz Christmann