Google Drive dumps Windows XP and Vista, now what?

Google Drive is dumping official support for Windows XP and Vista. Here are some options for anyone running those systems.

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Strike another program down for Windows XP (and Vista) fans. Google recently announced that the Google Drive desktop utility would cease support for Windows XP, Vista, and Server 2003 beginning January 1, 2017. This is the second major desktop-cloud sync program to dump older versions of Windows after Dropbox did so in April.

With Google Drive going away, what’s an XP (or Vista) fan to do? Here are some solutions.

Just keep on, keepin’ on

Unlike Dropbox, Google isn’t turning off Google Drive for the desktop. As long as you have the utility up and running on an XP and Vista computer before January 1, 2017 you can continue to use it.

Even though it will continue to work, Google says the program “will not be actively tested and maintained.” That means if a serious security flaw is discovered the XP- and Vista-supporting versions of Google Drive will not be patched, leaving you at risk of being hacked. Of course, if you’re still running Windows XP, which also isn’t being updated, then the threat of another critical flaw running on your system probably isn’t worrying you—even though it should.

Use the website

As with Dropbox, you can continue using the website version of Google Drive. As long as your browser continues to support the technology and features that Google uses on its website, you should be good to go. Google Drive began as a web-only service with no desktop component (that came along in 2012), so in some ways it will be like going back in time—kind of like running an XP machine. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Find another service or upgrade to Windows 10

If using a desktop-cloud sync program integrated with Windows Explorer is a must, then XP and Vista users will have to look elsewhere, such as the paid service Sugar Sync. 

The reality, however, is that other sync services will eventually cease support for Windows XP, too. Like it or not, if you want to continue using modern versions of cloud sync you’ll have to upgrade to a Windows 10 machine at some point.

If you’re waiting for your PC to completely give up the ghost before getting a new one, then make sure you download Google Drive before January 1.

Update: This article was updated at 3:20 AM Pacific Time to remove reference to Amazon Drive, which does not support Windows XP or Vista.

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