Microsoft: Install Windows 7 SP1 Or Lose Support

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has rolled out Service Pack 1 (SP1) for its Windows 7 operating system (OS) as an automatic update. The firm is also encouraging those with automatic updates turned off to manually download SP1 as soon as possible.

A 'Service Pack' is a collection of important security and functionality updates for a particular operating system.

Microsoft first rolled out Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 just over two years ago, in February 2011.

SP1 Automatically Downloaded and Installed

However, since that time Microsoft has only made SP1 available via manual installation, meaning Windows 7 users were forced to visit the Microsoft website or use Windows Update.

Now, for users who have automatic updates turned on, SP1 will be automatically downloaded and installed, starting March 19.

Microsoft says Windows 7 Service Pack 1 varies in size depending on the version of the OS (32-bit versus 64-bit). Hard drive space required for the SP1 installation ranges from 750MB to 1GB.

Microsoft says the download should take about thirty minutes to complete. "If the service pack installation is interrupted, it will reattempt to install automatically after the next restart," Microsoft noted on its website. (Source:

Supporting Ending for Non-SP1 Systems

The company is warning people who have disabled automatic updates that failing to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 before April 9, 2013, will leave your system without support.

That's because Microsoft has announced that, after April 9, it will no longer provide non-SP1 systems with security and performance updates.

Therefore, it's important for Windows 7 users who have disabled automatic updates to head on over to Microsoft's Download Center, where they can acquire SP1.

Microsoft says that it will support Windows 7 SP1 systems with free, "mainstream support" until January 2015. Beyond that time, users will require "extended support," which involves paying Microsoft for technical assistance. (Source:

Windows 7 users can access Microsoft's Download Center by clicking here.

Industry research firm Net Applications estimates that roughly 44 per cent of all PCs are currently running Windows 7.

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