Windows 10: Prices for Extended Security Updates announced

Windows[English]Microsoft has already announced that there will be an ESU program (Extended Security Updates Program) for Windows 10, which will no longer be supported on 14 October 2025. Even private users will be able to purchase extended security updates for their Windows 10 installations. However, it was previously unclear how much this ESU extension, which is to be purchased on an annual basis, would cost. Now, for the first time, Microsoft has named prices for ESU licenses for support renewal, which start at 61 US dollars for the first year.


Windows 10 End of Support

On October 14, 2025, Windows 10 22H2 will receive a security update for the last time. This marks the end of Microsoft's support for Windows 10 (Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education). This date has been communicated for some time. Roughly speaking, this means that private individuals and companies will need a successor solution of some kind by the end of October 2025. After November 2025, there will no longer be any security updates for Windows 10. Microsoft provides the following options:

  • Updating an existing system with Windows 10 to Windows 11 – but this requires a compatible machine and the desire to switch to the new OS.
  • Buying a new computer with Windows 11, which turns millions of otherwise still functional systems into electronic waste – not a nice option.
  • Migrating to the cloud, to Windows 365, which requires a subscription and is only a solution for a few use cases at most.

The better solution for a lot of people is therefore to either move away from Windows completely (macOS, Chrome OS or Linux are alternative operating systems), or simply stay on Windows 10 and "treat" themselves to security updates. Because security updates for Windows 10 21H2 will be available until 2032 (because Microsoft still has to support LTSC systems).

Windows 10 ESU: The prices and conditions

As companies need more time to introduce a successor solution (Microsoft prefers Windows 11), Microsoft has also announced a program for so-called Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 10. This was already available for Windows 7 and will also be open to private users for the first time for Windows 10. I reported on this in the blog post Windows 10: Surprise, there is an ESU support extension; also for private users.

Windows 10 ESU details

Microsoft has now published more details about its Windows 10 Extended Security Updates (ESU) program in a tech community post on April 2, 2024 When to use Windows 10 Extended Security Updates . At the end of support, on October 14, 2025, Windows 10 users will have the opportunity to buy an ESU license annually.


  • In the first year, the ESU extension will cost 61 US dollars per device. Microsoft refers to this as a basic license and states that the price is similar to Windows 7 ESU for the first year.
  • The ESU licenses for the first year will be available for purchase from October 2024, i.e. one year before the end of support. However, the ESU license will not run until October 2025 for one year until October 2026.
  • The ESU license can be purchased for three years, i.e. until October 2028. The price of the ESU license for subsequent years doubles each additional year. Anyone who only books an ESU license in the second year must also pay for the first year.

According to Microsoft, the ESU program will not extend technical support for Windows 10. From October 2025, technical support will be limited to the activation of ESU licenses, the installation of monthly ESU updates and the rectification of problems that may have been caused by an update itself. Between you and me: In fact, nothing will change, as Microsoft has not really reacted to bugs in Windows 10 so far and has at best made this version worse by backporting Windows 11 features.

How to get ESU

Microsoft is keeping quiet about sources where the ESU support extension can be purchased. My guess is that this will be done via partners. Microsoft has not yet said anything about the ESU program for private users, which is also supposed to exist (the Techcommunity article is aimed at business users).

In the Techcommunity article, Microsoft also specifies the ways in which users can obtain the ESU support extension. The classic variant (referred to as the 5-by-5 activation method) should be suitable for most users. An activation key must be purchased and downloaded. This ESU activation key must then be entered on the desired Windows 10 system. Microsoft states that the ESU keys can be managed via scripting or the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT). End users can enter the ESU key directly in the activation page for the Windows product key to continue receiving security updates for one year.

However, there are other variants, including a cloud-based variant for managing ESU keys and security updates. Enterprise administrators can also use local management tools such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) with Configuration Manager to download the updates and apply them to their Windows 10 devices. I assume that the updates can also be obtained via Windows Update on individual machines.

Users get "courtesy notification"

I'll include it in my blog post here. Blog reader Benny pointed out to me in this German comment at the end of March 2024 that Microsoft has come up with a special feature for the end of support for Windows 10 and quoted the following:

If your PC is not eligible for an upgrade to Windows 11, you can expect a courtesy notification on your PC starting in 2024 informing you of the end of support and the option to learn more.

This was mentioned by Microsoft a few days ago in the support article Making the transition to a new era of computing. The support post doesn't contain that much information, except for advertising for Windows 11 and a reference to the ESU program mentioned above. I will therefore translate what the "courtesy notification" means: At some point this year, Windows 10 will inform its users with annoying pop-ups that support will end in October 2025 and that they should switch to Windows 11.

Are there alternatives?

Whether there is such a thing as a BypassESU for Windows 10 (similar to Windows 7, see Windows 7 Sept. 2020 Updates: BypassESU v8 required) is still open. However, anyone who wants to continue using Windows 10, especially in a private environment, should keep an eye on 0patch from ACROS Security. I haven't spoken to Mitja Kolsek yet, but he is planning support for Windows 10 in 0patch. This should be available at a price of around 20 euros per year for the business version and I'm guessing there will also be a free version. Some information on 0patch can be found, for example, in the article Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 receive 0patch micropatches in 2023 and 2024.

Windows 10 21H2 IoT Enterprise LTSC as Plan B

At this point, I would like to throw something like a plan B into the debate, also in view of the prices for the ESU program. As far as I know, Windows 10 systems with a basic license (from Pro) are entitled to switch to the IoT Enterprise LTSC variant. Some of the Enterprise variant of Windows 10 IoT gets 10 years of update support as LTSC.

The last version in this program is Windows 10 21H2 IoT Enterprise LTSC (see also Windows 11 23H2 announced for 4th Q. 2023; Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 starting Aug. 1, 2023., which is still in mainstream support until January 12, 2027 and will receive security updates until January 13, 2032 (see).

If you search the Internet, you will come across sources (e.g. Cloud Service Providers and Microsoft partners) where you will learn that customers have been able to officially purchase a perpetual license of Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 since August 1, 2023, without Software Assurance (SA) via the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) and Select Plus agreements. There are also offers for pre-owned licenses on the Internet, which may be quite attractive for the private environment.

Similar articles:
Windows 7 Sept. 2020 Updates: BypassESU v8 required
Windows 10: Surprise, there is an ESU support extension; also for private users
Windows 11 23H2 announced for 4th Q. 2023; Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 starting Aug. 1, 2023.

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