Steam won't run on Windows XP or Vista in 2019

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 14, 2018

Steam users who run the gaming platform on devices that are powered by Microsoft's Windows XP or Windows Vista operating systems won't be able to run the client anymore from 2019 onward.

steam windows xp vista end support

Steam parent company Valve announced yesterday that the company will end support for Windows XP and Vista officially on January 1, 2019.

The company notes that Steam won't run anymore on those systems and that users who run devices with these operating systems need to switch to a supported operating system to continue using Steam on the device.

Starting on January 1 2019, Steam will officially stop supporting the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems. This means that after that date the Steam Client will no longer run on those versions of Windows. In order to continue running Steam and any games or other products purchased through Steam, users will need to update to a more recent version of Windows.

Valve explains that Steam relies on embedded versions of Google Chrome and that new versions of Chrome don't function anymore on XP or Vista. Google dropped support for Windows XP and Vista in April 2016. Mozilla will drop the last version of Firefox that supports XP and Vista officially, Firefox ESR 52.x, in September.

Future versions of Steam will rely on security features that Microsoft introduced in Windows 7 additionally according to Valve.

The newest features in Steam rely on an embedded version of Google Chrome, which no longer functions on older versions of Windows. In addition, future versions of Steam will require Windows feature and security updates only present in Windows 7 and above.

Steam will function normally in 2018 on XP or Vista devices but some functionality may be limited already. Valve refers to the recently introduced new Steam Chat functionality as an example, as it won't be available for XP or Vista versions of Steam.

What can XP or Vista users do?

There is little that can be done to force compatibility on XP or Vista devices. The most obvious option is to update to a new version of Windows or start with a clean slate. While Linux may be an option, as Steam supports Linux as well, many games won't run on Linux.

Users may need to research whether their purchased games support Linux; if the games do, switching to Linux is definitely an option going forward. Check out the Linux section on Steam to find out about games that support Linux.

Now You: Do you use Steam?

Steam won't run on Windows XP or Vista in 2019
Article Name
Steam won't run on Windows XP or Vista in 2019
Steam parent company Valve announced yesterday that the company will end support for Windows XP and Vista officially on January 1, 2019.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Veritas said on October 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Steam sucks big time. I knew this would happen and will continue to happen;
    I.e; win7 dropped in 2022, win10 – 2025, etc.
    Awful platform.
    Dropped because of Google chrome?? – (also sucks big time)
    Not even their software…Has NOTHING to do with the game’s code or functionality of the games, just the PoS platform.

    Planned obsolescence: Many people like – XP much more then the bloated hogs/spybots that win7, win8, win10: are.
    Take control of your computer and forsake the cloud computing BS that chains you to a corporate server which dictates what you use.

    Take care all.

  2. Ben Dover said on July 31, 2018 at 3:48 am

    In australia Games are a Good not a Service, when you buy a game here you don’t buy a ‘permission slip’ to play this game subject to everchanging terms and conditions. You buy a copy of the game. Yours to play or resell or do whatever you want with. Very much like a Car or a Couch or milk and cookies.

    My question is, how will steam rectify denying customers access to the legitimately purchased goods?

  3. PGJU said on June 17, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Fucking Steam. This is just pure laziness on their parts.

  4. dark said on June 15, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Many games won’t run on Linux unless you use Lutris, Wine Staging and DXVK.
    Lutris will make it easier to run Windows games on Linux.

  5. John said on June 15, 2018 at 8:22 am

    While it is not unreasonable for a software program or platform to drop support for old operating systems after a certain point (You can’t support every version of every operating system forever), the problem here is that people paid for certain games that need both the steam platform *and* the old operating system(s) that are being dropped.

    They bought the games, but how can they play their legal copies that they bought for personal use if they require both steam and the old operating system steam no long runs on?

    This is only going to get worse when games like Civ V that were created with steam built-in and have no non-steam versions available (Literally, you could buy a boxed version, and steam install was still a prerequisite) eventually don’t work on new operating systems. Those won’t even necessarily have easy grayware hacks to let people keep playing the game they bought.

    Steam informally promised that if they went out of business that they would provide patches for games to allow users to continue to play them past steam’s end of existence as a business entity. I never really thought they’d do that, because a company that’s going out of business may not be able to afford to or really have a self-motivated reason to do that, and they would probably run into legal hurdles patching other companies’ software that way.

    I think if steam can deliver on it, though, they should do it for any games that are not compatible with Windows 7 or above- patch them so people who bought them don’t need steam to use them (I don’t think they’d have to extend this to games that work on Windows 7 or above, as at some point its reasonable to say “Update your OS, bro. Its literally 17 years and 4 major versions behind.”, but if they won’t work on 7 or above, steam should make good). Refunding people’s money would also be an acceptable solution- or providing an XP emulator as part of steam for the old games that just emulates whatever is needed to make tje games work (Not talking about the full OS).

    You buy something, you expect it to work as long as you can get the old hardware and OS or create a virtual machine with it, or whatever. Its your game. You paid for it.

    I mean, sure, I have some old games that I can’t run because I don’t have copies of old operating systems and the appropriate hardware anymore, but at least those games would still work *if* I got the other stuff I’d need- or a good emulator. No one is imposing that from above 2001: A Space Oddessy style (“I’m afraid you can’t play that, Dave”).
    Ironically, I can run old MS-DOS games quite well due to DOSBOX, but 16 bit Windows games from the next generation? No one makes a decent legal emulator like DOSBOX for those.

    On a side note, I think an even bigger (but less ethically charged issue) facing steam is that increasingly the top gaming titles are only able to run on souped up gaming rigs with excellent third-party GPUs (Not the Intel integrated stuff). In the old days, you’d just buy a PC without gaming in mind, at a lowend price, and it’d run all but the most graphically intense games. Now you need a special laptop to play some strategy games from two years ago. I remember being able to play Civ 1-4 on whatever PC I happened to have. 5 I had to wait to buy until I upgraded, but it was still not requiring a gamer PC, just a then-modern lowend WalMart special that I happened to be buying anyway when my previous laptop bit the dust.

    For the first time, I have been looking around and realizing that my next laptop will probably not run Civ VI (Which has been out for a while now), or will only run it slowly at very minimal low-end settings, and certainly won’t handle Civ VII whenever that comes out.

    Requiring gamer rigs really limits the audience. It turns it into a niche where only people who’ll pay an extra couple or few hundred upfront can even be eligible to buy or play the games they might be interested in. Folks who like primarily just one or two gaming franchises or can’t afford the tariff will be lost to PC gaming in the long run. It makes the PC gaming market very insular where they’ll need to get more and more money per person to survive, because fewer people are going to have machines meeting the minimum specs.

    They might want to consider scaling minimum system requirements back. Too many people just have tablets and/or phones as it is to be healthy for the PC gaming industry. Not being able to sell most games to most people who actually *have* laptops and desktops- sometimes even ones they bought that very day- is really going to hurt the gaming industry in the longrun. Even if you have good advertising, promotion, reviews, and word of mouth, a lot of people just won’t have the specs to run anything recent, even though they have PCs that meet their needs for every other thing they do. “Buy a new PC just to play one or two games” or even “Add $200 or $300 to your budget for the PC you want to buy just to potentially play one game (sold separately)” is a tough sell.

    1. Jody Thornton said on June 16, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      @John says:

      ” …. You buy something, you expect it to work as long as you can get the old hardware and OS or create a virtual machine with it, or whatever. Its your game. You paid for it. ….”

      Nun-uh – sorry but those last two sentences are false. You paid for a license to use the game. You don’t own the game. So you know how every company recites that same phrase “terms subject to change without notice”? Well Steam exercised that right. If the company wants to withdraw issuing a license for an outdated product, why can’t it?

      If I have a product subject to copyright, and I want that product no longer to be in circulation (perhaps because it no longer reflects my current product offerings or image, I should be able to withdraw that product.

      1. John said on June 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

        I strongly disagree with this. It may be technically correct in legal terms, but I think ethically if you buy something, you should have the right to personal use of it in perpetuity. Afterall, that was basically true of the things computer games arr successors to- card games, board games, game cartridges, floppy disc PC games, etc.- you could use them until they physically wore out. Even after they wore out, if you were able to, you could in theory repair them, etc.. The courts even acknowledged a right to create archival copies of VHS tapes for personal use, in case the one you originally purchased wore out, got damaged, or was lost! That ruling is what allows us to rip CDs to MP3s for personal use if we we want. That ruling doesn’t apply to things that are protected by DRM because of a subsequent law, but that doesn’t change the moral issues to me.

        To me, the purposr of the license is to say you don’t own a work in the sense of being able to create copies for people other than yourself. That’s it. The rest of the EULA may or may not hold water in court, but I am talking ethics, not legalities.

        I would also acknowledge that there should be ways for companies to rent people things where they disappear when you stop paying- i.e. Netflix, Hulu, cable TV, etc.. I don’t agree with people making permenant copies of everything in those services just because they paid $11 one month- clearly, that’s priced to rent. But there should be a right to buy, too- and usually you can, at a relatively reasonable price through DVDs etc.. I would make DRM illegal for direct paid downloads that aren’t rentals, though. For streaming rental services, DRM is fine.

        One thing I worry about with music going towards streaming is potentially losing the right to buy. I strongly believe people should be able to own their music (for personal use). If streaming rentals ever become the *only* way you can listen to new music, I would have a problem with that. A poor person should be able to take out his or her favorite files, CDs, or whatever bought or gifted in better times, and listen even when he or she can’t afford or justify buying a stream that month, or after the streaming services decide not to carry certain music anymore.

    2. Evil_DRM. said on June 15, 2018 at 11:21 am

      That’s DRM….

  6. shawross said on June 15, 2018 at 4:26 am

    I don’t play games but my partner does. I keep or try to keep her computer clean and before I knew what Steam was I thought it was malware.

  7. Kevin said on June 14, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Services like Steam are why I quit buying PC games. I’m not being put on a leash (asking permission to use something after I buy it), I’m not being spied on by having all my activity monitored, I’m not having my basic human rights violated (specifically that of buying/selling second hand goods and I’m not being forced to upgrade something that still does what I expect it to, purely on someone else’s schedule.

    I do partially blame myself for the current state of things. Twenty years ago I didn’t know that the more I support the content industry, the more totalitarian and invasive things will continue to get. If only I’d figured this out sooner, I could have done something more constructive and less harmful to my freedom, like giving the money to a drunk person instead.

    1. Anders said on June 15, 2018 at 10:57 am

      I’m gonna call you out on this and say you never bought any game. To quit buying games because Steam exists is just a load of BS.

      “asking permission to use after buying* haha rofl

    2. John Fenderson said on June 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      This. Steam is one of the factors that contributed to my losing interest in modern games. GOG, however, rules.

  8. maxa said on June 14, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    “What can XP or Vista users do?”
    Use crack , steam emuls ,wrappers :-)
    If Valve dont want money….OK !

    1. HowdoIplaywindow7games said on October 16, 2018 at 12:37 am

      how do you get newer games to run on vista… I cant play anything I download that is cracked…

      How do I play games that say only for windows 7

  9. test said on June 14, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    F*** Steam. Just get no cd for yourgames and be done with all this BS.
    If you really want get the game again, go GOG. :)

  10. Harro Glööckler said on June 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Damn, i have 100+ Steam games that run only on xp and a dedicated machine for them…

  11. stefann said on June 14, 2018 at 11:19 am

    XP and Vista users can always use Smart Steam instead, but ofcourse, You can’t play online.

    1. Shlomo said on June 14, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Yeah, but how will one download obscure old stuff like Chrome? There are many forgotten old games in my library –

      I think Smart Steam is just for newish and/or popular games, not for something maybe 5 different people downloaded and played in the last 10 years…

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.