Support for Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system ended on January 14, 2020 officially. Home users cannot extend support for the operating system while business and Enterprise customers may extend support by up to three years; this is done by joining the ESU program which is available per machine (business) or per user (Enterprise).
A bypass to use ESU-only patches on Home machines — basically any machine that has not joined the program officially — was discovered and published in December 2019. The bypass worked with the test ESU patch that Microsoft released but it was not clear back then if it would also work with “real” patches.
Now that the first post-Windows 7 support patch has been released, confirmations are coming in that the bypass is indeed working.
Note: we suggest that backups are created of important data, better the entire system, before the bypass or any of the updates that Microsoft released for Windows 7 are installed. If something goes wrong, it is then possible to go back to the previous version without losing any data.
The process of using the bypass with the Windows 7 patches released in February would look like this (note that you should not install the latest SSU KB4537829 as the bypass does not seem to work anymore if it is installed).
- Install the bypass. You can grab the latest version from the MDL forum (account needed), or download it from Gitlab. The password is 2020.
- Download and install the ESU Test update KB4528069. It should install fine.
- Restart the System.
- Install the following updates: KB4538483, KB4537820, KB4537767, and KB4537813.
- Restart the system.
Our colleagues over at Deskmodder found another option that supports the installation of the latest SSU:
- Install the bypass.
- Install the ESU Test update.
- Remove the bypass.
- Install the SSU KB4537829.
- Install the KB4537820 update.
It remains to be seen if the bypass will continue to work in the coming months or years.For now, it may be an option in some situations provided that backups are created.