Microsoft hounds PC owners with fullscreen warning over critical Windows 10 deadline

a microsoft surface pc is pictured running windows 11 with the new warning notification appearing for windows 10 users in the background

Microsoft has started the countdown to the end of Windows 10 ...but despite its best efforts millions of PC owners are still relying on the operating system, first released back in 2015

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 17/04/2024

- 09:34

Updated: 17/04/2024

- 09:34

"A new journey with Windows," the latest fullscreen intrusion reads

  • Microsoft has started to display fullscreen pop-ups on Windows 10
  • It warns about the impending end of support for the popular software
  • Even those who can't upgrade will be shown the advert for Windows 11
  • Twice as many PCs run Windows 10 compared to its successor
  • Microsoft will charge users for critical software updates from next year

Microsoft is doing its best to ensure any holdouts still using Windows 10 know about the critical support deadline. By some estimates, Windows 10 is used by twice as many people as its successor, Windows 11. That's a problem for Microsoft, which is hoping to cut off vital security updates and bug fixes for millions of PCs running Windows 10 at the end of next year.

Frustrated Windows 10 users have reported being confronted by a fullscreen pop-up that warns about the impending deadline. But in a baffling move, Microsoft will still surface the fullscreen intrusion even if your PC isn't compatible with Windows 11. There's no hope of upgrading to Windows 11 to avoid the support deadline looming over Windows 10 for these users, so the whole thing seems a little pointless.

I just got this FULL SCREEN popup while in the middle of working. Nah
byu/Woopinah9 inwindows

There's no way to dismiss the notification either. Microsoft only offers PC users a choice between "Learn More" and "Remind Me Later," suggesting the fullscreen advert for Windows 11 will be making more appearances in the future.

"A new journey with Windows," the pop-up reads. "We want to thank you for your loyalty as a Windows 10 customer. As End of Support for Windows 10 approaches, we're here to support you on your PC journey.

"Your PC is not eligible to upgrade to Windows 11, but it will continue to receive Windows 10 fixes and security updates until support ends on October 14, 2025. Learn more about how you can prepare for the transition to Windows 11."

When Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 10 support, PC owners will be faced with a tough decision — upgrade to Windows 11, pay a small fortune for an extra three years of critical software updates, switch to a free alternative operating system from Google, to buy a new machine and create a large amount of electronic waste in the process. And that's assuming you can upgrade to Windows 11.

As the screenshot of the new fullscreen pop-up posted on Reddit shows, there are plenty of Windows 10 users who don't even have the option to switch to the newest operating system from Microsoft.

"Microsoft is a disgrace to mankind," one angry user posted on X, formerly Twitter, about the new campaign.

With the arrival of Windows 11, Microsoft introduced a number of strict minimum system requirements that left many PC owners unable to install the new software. The requirements were so strict that of the 25 Surface devices released by Microsoft’s in-house hardware team by the time Windows 11 was announced, only 13 were eligible for the upgrade.

Windows 11 only officially supports Intel’s 8th Generation (known as Coffee Lake) or Zen 2 CPUs and newer, leaving millions of devices sold with Windows 10 preinstalled unable to upgrade.


Following a public backlash, Microsoft did add a number of exceptions to its list of supported chipsets, including the 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7820HQ – a processor that was used in the Surface Studio 2, an all-in-one desktop machine that cost £3,549 at launch back in 2018.

Nevertheless, this marks the first time that Microsoft has enforced such specific processor requirements with its operating system upgrade.

In comparison, Windows 8 and Windows 10 only stipulated a 1GHz processor, at least 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of available storage. Windows 11 requires an Intel processor first launched in October 2017 as well as 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

According to Microsoft, the stricter silicon requirements enable a better experience for those running Windows 11, with a 60% reduction in malware thanks to the requirements that “enable protections like Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) and Secure Boot.”

It also claims a “99.8% crash free experience” on machines with components from its list of supported hardware.

The latest fullscreen pop-up from Microsoft follows reports of a similar intrusion that surfaced in February. The advert appeared after your PC had finished installing the latest Windows 10 update, with three pages extolling the benefits of moving over to Windows 11.

a screenshot from the fullscreen adverts for windows 11 that appears in the beta for the next windows 10 update

Microsoft takes over your screen with three separate pages about the benefits of upgrading to its follow-up to Windows, known as Windows 11


“Moving to Windows 11 is seamless — it will download after you reach your desktop, so you can keep using your PC without interruptions,” the advert decares.

The pop-up continues:

  • A familiar feel: Windows 11 has a new design that still feels familiar
  • What you need — when and where you need it: Your files will come with you when you move to Windows 11
  • Try without worry: If Windows 11 isn’t for you, you can go back to Windows 10 within the first 10 days of making the move

The pop-up highlights the “Download while using my PC”, while downgrading the “Decline upgrade” to a subtle text-only prompt that’s downplayed in the design.

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