Windows 7 users: No more desktop OneDrive sync from March 2022

Upgrade to Windows 10 or 11, or use OneDrive on the web, Microsoft says.

If you use the desktop OneDrive app on a PC running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, your personal files will no longer sync to Microsoft's cloud after March 1, 2022.

Microsoft also says it will no longer deliver updates to the OneDrive app on those PCs from January 1, 2022, although the app will continue to sync until March 1.

Windows 7, of course, reached end of life in April 2020 and has become a greater security risk because Microsoft, as a rule, doesn't offer patches for the OS. However, it has deviated from that policy for drastic malware outbreaks such as WannCry.    

Microsoft notes that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are in extended support until January 10, 2023, whereas Windows 8 reached end of support on January 12, 2016. Business can pay for extended Windows 7 support.   

"If you are currently using one of these operating systems, we recommend upgrading your operating system to either Windows 10 or Windows 11 to avoid disruption," Microsoft says in a blogpost.

Windows 10, released in 2015, will reach end of life in October 2025, while Windows 11, which was released on October 5, is rolling out now to more Windows 10 PCs. However, Microsoft has established minimum hardware requirements that will slow the adoption of Windows 11.

Microsoft does have an option for Windows users on older hardware, but it is fiddly and involves manually uploading them to OneDrive on the web.

"For machines that do not meet system requirements for Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system upgrade, you can back up and protect your files by manually uploading them to OneDrive on the web, and continue to access, edit, and share your files on all your devices," Microsoft says.   

"If you are using the OneDrive desktop application for business, starting January 1, 2022, support for this application will be aligned with the Windows support lifecycle."