Microsoft is shutting down OneDrive for Windows 7 and 8.1 next year
Today, Microsoft announced that beginning on January 1, it’s no longer going to provide updates for the personal OneDrive app for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. As of March 1, 2022, the app will stop syncing your files to the cloud, making it effectively useless.
It’s an interesting change, because Windows 8.1 is supported until January 10, 2023. A key feature of Windows 8.1 when it launched was OneDrive integration, so it seems bits of the OS might just stop working as it nears the end of support. Still, presumably, Microsoft knows how many people are using OneDrive in Windows 8.1, and it’s few enough that this change shouldn’t affect a lot of people.
Windows 7 and Windows 8 are a different story. Windows 8 support actually ended back in 2016, only a couple of years after Windows 8.1 launched. Windows 7 support ended in 2020, but businesses can pay for extended security updates through September 10, 2023. Still, this change should only affect personal accounts, which shouldn’t be supported on Windows 7 anyway.
If you’re unfamiliar with the OneDrive desktop app, it’s the sync client. You might not even realize it’s an app because it just works in the background. If you hit “Save as” and choose to save in OneDrive, you just used the OneDrive desktop app. Or if you open File Explorer and go to your OneDrive, it’s the same story. And when you save something to OneDrive, the app uploads it to the cloud.
If you’re affected by this change, there are a few solutions. You can use the OneDrive web app, which lets you manually upload and download files. Also, at this point, you might want to think about just installing Windows 10. If you’re running an older OS, you’re probably not supported for Windows 11, but Windows 10 is still good to go until October 2025. And while Microsoft doesn’t broadcast it anymore, it’s still a free upgrade.
The other solution, of course, is just to use a different cloud storage provider. But still, this is just a workaround to cling to old software that’s ready to be deprecated.