Millions of Windows users could lose access to their online cloud storage within weeks as Microsoft looks to encourage upgrading to the latest software.

The tech giant has warned that the OneDrive app will stop syncing with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 on March 1, 2022, meaning users only have a few weeks to upgrade to a newer version or possibly lose access to their files.

Despite Windows 7 and 8 being initially released nearly a decade ago, the two operating systems still see millions of users, meaning many will need to get updating soon.

“In order to focus resources on new technologies and operating systems, and to provide users with the most up-to-date and secure experience, beginning January 1, 2022, updates will no longer be provided for the OneDrive desktop application on your personal Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 devices,” Microsoft’s Ankita Kirti wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

“Personal OneDrive desktop applications running on these operating systems will stop syncing to the cloud on March 1, 2022.”

The closure does not affect business users in the same way, with Microsoft saying that starting January 1, 2022, support for the OneDrive desktop application for business will be aligned with the Windows support lifecycle.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are in extended support until January 10, 2023, however Windows 8 reached end of support on January 12, 2016, meaning it no longer receives vital security updates that keep devices safe from the latest cyber threats.

Microsoft says it advises upgrading your operating system to either Windows 10 or Windows 11 “to avoid disruption” – although it does note that many devices currently running Windows 7 or 8 may not fit the hardware system requirements for the latest software.

To see if your PC is compatible with Windows 11 system requirements, you can check out our guide above.