Windows 10, which was launched almost a decade ago in 2015, still remains the most popular operating system for PCs today. However, with the launch of its successor, Windows 11, in 2021, Microsoft announced it would be ending support for Windows 10 in October 2025.

This means the nine-year-old OS will stop getting security updates from that date. There is a caveat to that. Since Windows 10 remains more popular than Windows 11, Microsoft will allow users to continue using the older OS by paying for security updates. We now know how much those updates will cost. Read on to find out.

Windows 10 Security Updates after End-Of-Support

For those who are wondering how Windows 10 will get security updates after it reaches end-of-support, Microsoft has announced it will offer Extended Security Updates (ESU) to PCs still running Windows 10 after the deadline. The ESU program requires a license and will be available as a subscription.

For Business Users

The subscription will cost $61 a year per PC for business users, and it will double each year. So, users who continue using Windows 10 for the second year after support ends will have to pay $122 for security updates. It will double again for the third year and will cost $427 by 2028.

Besides that, users with more than one PC can buy a license for up to five devices and get a 25% discount. This will bring down the price of the security updates to $45 per device for the first year. You can get this discount by using a cloud-based update solution from Microsoft, such as Windows Autopatch or Intune.

The ESU program will be available for three years and is quite similar to what Microsoft offered when it ended support for Windows 7 in 2020. Also, you cannot continue using Windows 10 for a year and then join the ESU program later on to avoid the charges for the first year.

This means that even if you decide to get the subscription after using Windows 10 without an ESU license for a year, you will still have to pay for the first year whenever you sign up for the program.

For Education Customers

The ESU program for education customers operates in the same manner, but the charges are different. For the first year, you will have to pay $1 per year per device to get Windows 10 security updates. Again, it will double in the second year and again in the third year.

As of now, Microsoft has not provided any information regarding how much home users will have to pay to continue using Windows 10 beyond October 2025.

Windows 365 Users

If you sign up for Windows 365 or are an existing Windows 365 user and the subscription includes Windows 11 Cloud PCs, there is no additional charge you need to pay. This is because Microsoft includes the fees for security updates in the Windows 365 subscription.

When Can You Sign Up for the ESU Program?

Microsoft has traditionally offered businesses security updates through subscriptions so they can continue running older versions of Windows. Administrators who want to sign up for the program can do so starting October this year.

What Does the ESU Program Offer?

Microsoft wants more and more people to shift to Windows 11, and the ESU is designed only to allow users who are unable to do so to continue using Windows 10. That is why the subscription only includes security updates and, according to Microsoft, should not be viewed as a long-term solution.

You do not get any bug fixes, design changes, new features, or extended technical support with the ESU program. The only technical support available under it will be related to the installation of monthly security updates, activation of updates, and fixing issues caused by an update.

This is not the first time Microsoft has offered paid updates to support PCs running an unsupported operating system. What is different this time is that the number of home users still using the older OS is quite large.

The reason for that is that Windows 11 changed the minimum hardware requirements significantly, making it difficult for many people to upgrade to the latest OS. At least Microsoft has now made it clear how much business and education customers will have to pay to continue using Windows 10. Now, we just need to wait until Microsoft announces the charges for home users.