Windows 8.1 is expected to reach end of life on January 10, 2023, and the company is starting to speed up the transition of users to its latest operating system, Windows 11.
Now, when logging into the operating system, Windows 8.1 will display a full-screen alert to inform users that security updates will stop early next year.
The notification reads: “January 10, 2023 is the last day that Microsoft will provide security updates and technical support for Windows 8.1 PCs. We are reaching out to you now to thank you for your loyalty and to help you prepare for the sequel."
Windows 8.1 End of Service
A "More Info" link directs users to Microsoft's website, but users can delay notification for 35 days by clicking "Remind Me Later," or until January 2023 with the "Remind Me Later" button.
The update was introduced on July 12, 2022 as part of cumulative update KB5015874. The popup is run by a new EOSnotify.exe program that appears at every login and a child program EOSnotify2 configured to notify users once a day.
Business users running Pro and Enterprise devices will not receive the notification.
All Windows 8.1 users can also stop the popup by setting a DiscontinueEOS value, but the warnings are designed to be obtrusive by default because running an outdated operating system without security updates can be risky.
The news follows the company's confirmation that it will remove security patches for Microsoft 365 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, and block any new installation of Office apps on older systems. Windows 8 was released in late 2012, followed by the major 8.1 update a year later, which meant the OS would have been around for a decade or so before being phased out completely.