Windows XP No Longer Supported


As of March 26, 2014, Windows XP computers will no longer be able to function on Western's computer network. Information Technology staff around campus are aware of this date, and are working to upgrade or replace Windows XP computers with Windows 7 before this deadline.


If you are a staff or faculty member with a university-provided Windows XP computer (laptop or desktop) make sure it is scheduled to be replaced or upgraded. Contact your IT staff or the Help Desk at x3333 or if you have questions.

Students can install Windows 7 or Windows 8 for free as long as the computer hardware can run the newer operating systems. Students should visit Microsoft's website to download the Windows Upgrade Assistant to find out of their computer can run newer versions of Windows.

To check your version of Windows:

  1. Click the START button. Is there a RUN option on the Start menu? If so, click that and go to Step 2. If there is no RUN option, type the following from Step 2 in the field that says "Search programs and files"
  2. Type winver and press Enter.
  3. A window will appear that displays your version of Windows.


Western is taking this action because Microsoft will no longer provide technical assistance or security updates for Windows XP after April 8, 2014. Microsoft has provided support and security updates for XP for the past 12 years. Without security updates, Windows XP computers will become increasingly vulnerable to hackers and malware. A compromised computer can corrupt, delete, or compromise the security of files on the computer and on network drives. Compromised computers can also expose your login information for Western, as well as your login information for online services that you use. Many antivirus and anti-malware applications will also eventually stop supporting Windows XP, and the operating system may not be able to run the latest versions of Web browsers and other software.

If you have a personally-owned Windows XP computer, we strongly recommend that you replace the computer as soon as possible. Given the age of Windows XP computers, you will probably be better off replacing it rather than upgrading. Even a budget desktop computer costing a few hundred dollars will provide you with more computing power than an old XP machine. Your Windows XP computer may not suddenly become more vulnerable on April 9th, but it will only be a matter of time before a new vulnerability is discovered and exploited on a large scale. Those new vulnerabilities will not be patched by Microsoft, as they have been in the past.

Microsoft's XP End-of-Support page for business customers
Microsoft's XP End-of-Support page for home users