Steam support for Windows XP and Vista ended

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 1, 2019
Updated • Jan 1, 2019

Steam customers who use devices with the operating systems Windows XP or Windows Vista cannot run the Steam client anymore on these devices starting today.

Valve Software revealed in mid 2018 that it would end support for the two Microsoft operating systems on January 1, 2019.

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in 2014 and support for Windows Vista in 2017. While there are still options to install some security patches on Windows XP or Windows Vista devices, many major Internet and software companies stopped supporting these operating systems already.

Valve notes that Steam won't run anymore on those versions of Windows and that users who want to "continue running Steam and any games or other products purchases through Steam", need to "update to a more recent version of Windows".

steam windows xp vista end support

The explanation that Valve gives is the following: Steam uses an embedded version of Google Chrome and that browser does not support XP or Vista anymore. Also, the latest version of Steam requires "Windows feature and security" updates available only for Windows 7 and newer versions.

Valve's hardware and software survey, last updated in September 2018, highlights that 0.11% of all devices running Steam ran a 32-bit copy of Windows XP. Windows Vista is not listed which means that its share is lower than the share of the lowest listed Windows operating system; that's Windows 8.1 with a share of 0.06%.

Valve's decision to end support for the operating system has far reaching consequences for some customers. Steam won't run anymore on unsupported devices; the main issue arises for users who don't have access to devices running newer versions of Windows. Why? Because they won't be able to access their Steam game purchases anymore on XP or Vista devices.

Steam customers have two main options:

  1. Upgrade to a supported version of Windows or use a PC that runs a supported version of Windows.
  2. Switch to Linux or Mac.

Linux offers some advantages but also disadvantages: Linux distributions are free to use and install, and Valve improved support for running Windows games under Linux in recent time. The downside is that there are games that won't run under Linux; certain games, e.g. those that require some form or DRM, may not run under Linux.

Steam users can browse the Linux category on the Store website to find out if games are supported under Linux officially.

Now You: Are you affected by the end of support?

Steam support for Windows XP and Vista ended
Article Name
Steam support for Windows XP and Vista ended
Steam customers who use devices with the operating systems Windows XP or Windows Vista cannot run the Steam client anymore on these devices starting today.
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  1. Saiko said on January 2, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    I still use Vista, and Firefox is supported (or at least it works). It’s ESR version, but I won’t upgrade to never one anyway (because it uses multiple processes, which is the reason I use the old firefox – allows much more tabs opened at once with small resources, which I use for documentation). I’d like to add that whether Microsoft or Mozilla “supports” Vista doesn’t matter much – the system still works. It’s not like Netflix or internet provider, which has to be regularly paid and maintained to work.

    As for Steam… I still use it (have about 500 games, half of them installed), was out of town for about two weeks, and for some reason its timer stopped working, still showing I have “13 days” till it stops running on my Vista. Maybe it will reset after reboot, but I don’t reboot often, preferring sleep.

    My solution would be use of pirated games instead. Technically as long as I have license it’s not illegal in my country (Poland). I use Vista because it has no spying of Windows 7, and for some other technical reason. Also, what Valve did is not legal in my country (they should just let games work, without updating client anymore, not block it, to comply with laws), but whatever, I can legally use pirates now.

    After Steam announced its decision last year I stopped buying games on it, but because I’ve been using it since 2009, I have put enough in it already to be annoyed.

    1. Harro Glööckler said on January 2, 2019 at 10:33 pm

      Sadly you/we don’t own the licenses. Steam users are just paid for the right to play; they can revoke our access to games any time and for any reason they want. We’ll also lose everything if/when Valve goes out of business and won’t be able to do anything about it…gonna be nice since i spent around 30k€ in the last 8 years for all my 4194 Steam games and i’m not done buying them.

      On the other side, no one can take physical copies and GOG releases from us…they can’t steal it off our shelves or delete GOG installers from our hard drives.

      1. lux said on January 3, 2019 at 2:10 am

        “and i’m not done buying them” I sure hope you are, at least from cloud distribution platforms in which case you don’t even own the license.
        Unless you enjoy corporate camels spitting in your face ;)

      2. Harro Glööckler said on January 3, 2019 at 10:03 am

        @lux: Well let’s say you want product XY you’ve been using for decades, it’s a big part of your life and is currently sold only by company XYZ. You hate XYZ to guts, but the only alternative is not having XY. What will you do?

        Even GOG started with their own client and it’s just a matter of time when they’ll stop providing install exe files. Physical copies won’t come back and not playing games is not an option.

      3. lux said on January 3, 2019 at 10:51 pm

        Meh, it’s up to you, I suppose some sheep enjoy being sheered.
        “not playing games is not an option” Games are not critical for life ;)

    2. guest said on January 2, 2019 at 8:48 pm

      You can disable multiprocessing (electrolysis) open about:config and set browser.tabs.remote.autostart to false then restart Firefox.

  2. stefann said on January 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Another reason to use pirated games…….and connect to unofficial game servers.

  3. AnorKnee Merce said on January 2, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Correction on the 1st paragraph above … “about 90% world market-share”. Please ignore the next part about “used to peddle the new ‘must-have’ features …. especially, enterprise/business users.”
    Copy-n-paste wrongly. Sorry.

  4. AnorKnee Merce said on January 2, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Win XP, Win Vista and Win 7 EOL signify the passing of the kinder era when M$ kindly and generously offered 10-years EOL to Windows buyers/users, in order to out-market Apple-MacOSX during the 1990s, and thereafter successfully established a market-monopoly until today = about 90% world used to peddle the new “must-have” features in new Windows versions, in order to get users to upgrade voluntarily every 3 years. M$’s peddling mostly did not work. Hence the imposition of forced twice-per-year auto-upgrades in Win 10 in 2015, in order for M$ to make more money at the expense of users, especially enterprise/business users.

    For M$ to openly reneged on the 10-year EOL offer to Windows users would have been a marketing disaster. Hence, for the 2015-released Win 10, M$ quietly changed the 10-year EOL offer(= until 2025) to be conditional, ie consumers must be forced auto-upgraded twice or once per year in order to remain supported for 10 years while enterprises/businesses must pay for “free” upgrade-rights through Software Assurance “premiums” or for Ent E3/E5 subscriptions or for the twice-as-costly Ent LTSB edition, in order to remain supported for 10 years. Otherwise, each new version of Win 10 is only supported for 18 months for Win 10 Home & Pro or 30 months for Win 10 Ent/Edu version 1809 or later.

    M$ will only make money when users upgrade their Windows OS = pay M$ for the new Windows licenses.

    After Win 7 EOL in Jan 2020, M$ will likely use forced processor-blocking auto-updates to stop 5-year-old or older consumer Win 10 Home & Pro computers from receiving free upgrades for 10 years until EOL = affected consumers will have to buy new OEM Win 10 Home or Pro computers = Planned Obsolescence.
    Before the advent of Win 10, M$ used to issue new Windows version about once every 3 years, eg Win 95, Win 98, Win XP(2001), Win Vista(2006), Win 7(2009) and Win 8(2012). Windows users upgraded voluntarily at their own pace and most would use a version for at least 3 or 5 years before upgrading, especially enterprise/business users who often aimed to save costs. M$ used to peddle the new “must-have” features in new Windows versions, in order to get users to upgrade voluntarily every 3 years. M$’s peddling mostly did not work. Hence the imposition of forced twice-per-year auto-upgrades in Win 10 in 2015, in order for M$ to make more money at the expense of users, especially enterprise/business users.
    Most Windows users are not against upgrades. They are against M$’s forced twice or once per-year upgrades for Win 10. They prefer to upgrade Windows at their own pace, eg upgrade once per 3 years or 5 years or 10 years.

    In this case, most Windows users are not using Win XP(2001) or Win Vista(2006) or Win 95 or Win 3.1(1992), ie they should have already upgraded to Win 7(2009) or Win 8.1(2012) or to Linux Mint 17.x or 18.x or Ubuntu 14.04 or 16.04 or MacOS 10.11 or 10.12. Like Steam, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox also no longer support Win XP and Win Vista or Win 95.

  5. Cor said on January 2, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    I expected similar backlash when VirtualBox 6 was announced. Or when Intel dropped most support. Interestingly enough, there wasn’t.

    1. lux said on January 3, 2019 at 12:40 am

      People were not happy. Not this upset because they did not lock people out of software they paid for.
      This truly exposes the glaring flaws of cloud distribution. Not to mention you don’t own the license.

      I sure wish AMD intel or microsoft would of released new drivers for XP: Nvme namely and new chip set/mobo/video drivers so we could use new motherboards/chip sets with our preferred OS. There is a great article how to edit the .inf of a Nvidia driver to get a 980TI to work with XP.

      The new AMD 7nm x3700 looks like it’ll be great, I’d never use Win10 with it though.
      Mint Linux for sure. I’m very pleased the system I bought in 2008 has lasted this long, and i will not get rid of it after i get a new one, it’ll stay on the side as a XP system and I’d have a new Linux system as well. Far to many programs I’ve paid big of money for, to loose: such as Autocad 2007. Great program. From now on I’d never (get burnt) use cloud distribution, hard copies only.

  6. How old are you lux? said on January 2, 2019 at 7:52 am

    sorry I meant how old are you lux, not sonar.

    1. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 8:33 am

      Older then the Assyrians (sarc)

  7. Harro Glööckler said on January 2, 2019 at 7:00 am

    I wonder if they will now stop selling or refund old games that don’t work on 7, 8.1 or 10. In my case, that’s almost 400 games in my library.

    (they won’t.)

    1. T said on January 2, 2019 at 10:15 am

      The irony is that you can still play these old games. Not on Windows though, on linux with steam play. Switch to linux to play games (I won’t lie, I love the irony of this) or wait until steam play is available on windows.

    2. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 8:32 am


  8. Jonathan McEvoy said on January 1, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Mac OS 10.14 is the last version of Mac OS that supports 32-bit, as of September 2018 all of the Mac Users have received a message saying “Steam is not optimised for 64-bit” and it still runs on Mac OS Mojave, that alert appears once every 30 days as the next Mac OS 10.15 will not support them, Steam will need to update its client to 64-bit to get support for 10.15 and later?

  9. Jody Thornton said on January 1, 2019 at 9:47 pm


    So let me understand this. If Microsoft wants to stay in business selling Windows, and the version you’re using is dated, why can’t they drop support and get you on to a current product? Why is that planned obsolescence? I guess it is, but why should Microsoft go on supporting XP in perpetuity?

    1. lehnerus2000 said on January 3, 2019 at 2:16 am

      I bet MS would still send their lawyers after you if you were distributing “pirate” copies of XP/Vista.

      The way to deal with forced obsolescence is to have a law that says, when you stop supporting an OS it automatically becomes “Public Domain” and anybody can do whatever they like with it.

      1. lux said on January 3, 2019 at 4:00 am

        I never said a word about distributing “pirate” copies of Xp/vista! You did, lehnerus2000.

        I own multiple licenses to windows XP home and professional. Along with all the other software that I’ve legally purchased.
        I chose a customized version that has all the updates and services packs integrated into one installation. It’s under the same license as my XP professional.
        Some of these comments are unreal and idiotic…
        “i bet” is meaningless, as well as your idea for fantastical laws that don’t exist yet.

    2. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 7:46 am

      Because I’d never use the plague that is windows: after XP.
      Bloated, buggy, spyware with telemetry. Broken when released and not fixed years after with patches.
      Patches that might wreck your installation and compromise stored data integrity.

      They should stay in business selling a product that is good enough to incentivize a user to wish a upgrade; not S-can a well functioning product (which was one of their best) to force a “upgrade”.

      Once i’m done with XP, going straight Linux and never looking back.
      I’d NEVER support Microsoft again, they’re a top donor to planned parenthood and bill gates believes in population control through vaccination, Don’t believe me? listen to his tedX talk.

      My customized nlite version of windows XP performance edition is abit like Frankenstein and fast as a Ferrari :) Still, I’d sure rather use it then the dumpster fire that win 8.1-10 is. it’s a 270meg install and boots in 4 seconds from my “classic” C2D 3.6ghz system with 4x SSD raid0. Once the AMD 7nm 3700x is out, i might consider the upgrade + mint Linux.

      Win7 is OK(ish), though I’m not wasting time with it, I’d much rather switch to mint Linux and be done with the dumpster fire.
      19.1 Tesla is great.
      Win7 will be S-canned soon enough to force a “upgrade”. Yes, this is planned obsolescence. You can be OK with this, I’m not.

      On the subject of Steam/Valve; I’ve already made a solid case: They are locking you out from software you paid for. The programs that supported XP in the past, still function with XP. Many vintage games do not work with win 7-10.
      “Windows feature and security” is simply a sad excuse that sounds better then: planned obsolescence to force the purchase of a buggy, flat tire, PoS OS.
      Sick and tired of that money grubbing shenanigans, same with the hive-mind cloud computing BS which slaves you to a server that dictates what you use. Done with it. Understand? I hope so. ;)

      Thank you Martin Brinkmann for letting us discuss these topics. Take care all.

  10. Anonymous said on January 1, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    I wonder what kind of gamer that still use XP nowadays?

    1. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 9:09 am

      Nostalgic ones? You should throw out that N64 or Nintendo classic because it’s OLD.
      New games are the best, like star citizen! lol. See ya on Gog! (great old games)

  11. lux said on January 1, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Steam/Valve can suck it.

    I am very excited for the rise of Linux gaming. I truly hope Linux developers learn from these horrific mistakes and not continue them.
    I would never buy a cloud based game again. invested 1000$’s in vintage games? too bad.
    Win7 will be on the chopping block next and the planned obsolescence – forced upgrade cycle will continue.

    1. How old are you sonar? said on January 2, 2019 at 7:51 am

      Linux gaming is rising because of Steam/Valve. Proton, massive contribution in Vulkan, Wine and drivers. If they suck it how Linux gaming is going to keep rising? You make no sense.

      1. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 8:36 am

        Software can be designed for native openGL Linux support without the need for slow emulation. makes sense?
        Software emulation of windows games is not the definition of native Linux gaming: it’s much slower.

      2. How old are you lux? said on January 2, 2019 at 9:51 am

        No it doesn’t make sense.
        Game developers don’t want to design for native openGL Linux support.
        Only some indie game developers, but linux gaming will never rise with only some indie developers on board.
        openGL failed, it is what it is. Vulkan, a real cross platform solution is the future.
        Because of Vulkan we are going to see more AAA ports on linux, and it’s not my opinion, that’s what Feral people say.
        Also Wine is not an emulator.

      3. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 11:42 am

        Also, I will agree that valve has contributed to Linux gaming(proton,esync) and that Vulkan will emerge as the premier cross platform graphics API. I should amend my comment to their move to drop support for XP / vista games when the original programs still run perfectly fine with it.

        “The use of Wine for gaming has proved controversial in the Linux community as some feel it is preventing, or at least hindering, the further growth of native gaming on the platform”

      4. sorry lux said on January 2, 2019 at 1:20 pm

        It’s ok lux, sorry if I sounded aggressive. You do know what they have contibuted. That’s why I was a little angry. They don’t deserve us linux users to tell them to suck it. They are the only “big player” who actually give a shit about us, unlike Epic, EA, Ubisoft etc. For their own reasons of course, they are a for profit corporation.
        I also like GOG, but we are still waiting for the linux port of GOG Galaxy..

      5. lux said on January 3, 2019 at 4:26 am

        For their own reasons is right, no money in a GNU is there?
        There is a good reason why “indie developers” don’t want the big corporations infiltrating and co-opting the marketplace. If they contribute quality GNU software that promotes development of quality programs, then i applaud them.

      6. sorry lux said on January 3, 2019 at 9:13 am

        Proton is open source lux, Vulkan is open source, DXVK is open source, SteamOS is open source. They contribute quality GNU software that promote development of quality programs, so applaud them. Indie developers aren’t developing games out of the goodness of their heart and their GNU love, their games are not open source and they sell them to profit money. Valve’s linux love is not altruistic, they don’t want to be controlled by Microsoft and their store, so they need to have a backup plan.

      7. lux said on January 3, 2019 at 10:31 am

        I never said any of those were not open source. You said it best, Valve’s linux love is not altruistic, it’s for profit and ensuring their market-share.
        Many indie developers do give their games away for free under GNU or they accept donations.

      8. sorry lux said on January 3, 2019 at 4:27 pm

        Good, it’s nice you confirm that these are open source projects and they are giving back to linux community.
        And I will confirm again that they are doing it for their own reasons, like all corporations who make commits to linux kernel. They are doing it for their own selfish reasons. It’s what all corporations do in real world.
        Indie devs who offer their games for free. I can only say thank you to them and donate. But the reality is that the majority of people are not interested in these games so much.
        You said you are very excited for the rise of Linux gaming. Without commercial games and AAA titles that’s not possible. So thank you Valve for everything you have done these years for making the rise of Linux gaming a real thing and thank you for not giving up when our marketshare is not even 1% yet.

      9. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 10:53 am

        OpenGL failed? that’s abit strong.
        “NVIDIA notes that OpenGL is still a great option for a lot of use cases, as it does come at a much lower complexity and maintenance burden than Vulkan; while in many cases – still providing great overall performance.

        Vulkan is essentially cross platform OpenGL, which is a great technology, no doubt.
        “AMD says that Vulkan supports close-to-metal control, enabling faster performance and better image quality across Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Linux. No other graphics API offers the same powerful combination of OS compatibility, rendering features, and hardware efficiency”
        Correct, wine: Wine Is Not an Emulator.
        Software based compatibility layers are rarely as fast or efficient as native programs, though cross platform tech is developing very quickly and appears to be the future. Good discussion.
        My point about the rise of Linux gaming was: not being boxed into window$. Take care.

    2. Apparition said on January 2, 2019 at 2:57 am

      Umm, Linux kernel 2.4 came out the same time as Windows XP. It was end-of-lifed in 2011. Linux kernel 2.6 came out in 2005 and was also end-of-lifed in 2011. You wouldn’t have had any better luck with Linux.

      Windows XP and Vista are ancient and using those on the Internet is a threat to the security of your neighbors. Anyone who still uses those OSs online should have their ISP accounts suspended.

      1. stefann said on January 2, 2019 at 5:30 pm

        @Apparition : Those who use the failed Windows 10 should be banned online. It leaks, and it leaks heavily. I feel safer with anything before Windows 8.x !

      2. Tamris said on January 2, 2019 at 12:15 pm

        “XP and Vista are ancient”
        So is W7, it’s almost 10 years old, yet still people use it.

      3. Anonymous said on January 6, 2019 at 12:44 pm

        My Car has over 100,000 miles, and over 10 years old. Yet still does a 10 sec in the 1/4 mile.

        Yes people still use it !!

      4. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 8:30 am

        Wrong. You can still run EOL Linux programs with compatible versions. It’s the developer of cloud software locking you out with Steam. Did you know many vintage games will not run with win7-10?
        Funny, I’ve used XP without a problem for 15+ years, not one security breach, hack attack, nothing. I do use firewall, clam-win, spy-bot search and destroy, peer guardian.

        ISP account suspended?? Nutcase much? Sheesh, get a grip and at least provide some evidence for your argument. Plenty of bots, rootkits, viruses, etc on win7-10. Should I argue that you should have your “ISP service suspend” because you can get a virus, bot, rootkit on Win10 as well?? No i would not, because I’m not insane ;)

        I think it really says something that there are twice as many die-hard “ancient” windows users then the 2nd newest 8.1 version.

    3. sonar said on January 1, 2019 at 8:47 pm

      At least storage is getting cheaper every day which means more people can afford pesonal servers with mega collections of all pc and console games.

  12. RG said on January 1, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    It’s still all cool and hip for some reason to run an OS that came out 17 years ago and another one that came out almost 12 (and one that everybody hated btw). To give an illustration of how old these two OSes are is to say one of them came out around 4 years before youtube came online and another when youtube had a 15 min length limit.

    1. stefann said on January 2, 2019 at 5:26 pm

      @RG and other:

      Some are stuck on XP and XP x64 due to the incompability with software and games. As a music producer i am stuck on these OS:es all thanks to Microsoft’s stubborness to stop support needed java plugins in anything after mentioned OS:es. Many music producers are in this situation, but still some people that comment can’t accept the facts.

      1. RG said on January 2, 2019 at 8:17 pm

        @stefann The issue here people wanting MS and then the likes of Steam to support something 17 years later. Incompatible software is software maker’s fault too, not only MS. I bet I can find 1000 ghack comments that say Java is evil and should be uninstalled and abandoned, not at all supported.

      2. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 11:44 pm

        This isn’t about support or incompatibility, this about being locked out from functioning programs that the customer paid for.
        It’s not like the year turned 2019 and the programs broke all of a sudden, this is part of a plan to S-can XP and Vista. We paid for software and now because of cloud distribution, we don’t have hard copies to rely on and we are out 1000’s $. “i bet” isn’t an argument, show it or you got nothing. This has been said numerous times, I’ll say it once more: Many vintage programs do not run on win7-10, so we are being locked out from the only OS that the software works on.

      3. luxisanimbecile said on July 23, 2019 at 11:18 pm

        What a damn load of bullshit you are spewing lux. If you knew anything about software development you’d know how difficult it is to support stuff that’s almost two decades old. But since you know nothing you think it’s part of a plan to scam customers and squeeze out more money from them.

        If you got software that runs only on XP, use a f**king virtual machine if you still depend so much on it and are too cheap to buy new software. If you got Steam games which only run on XP, crack them and continue to play them on XP, it’s as easy as that.

        It’s like still driving a 30 year old car, sooner or later spare parts will become more and more expensive as they reduce in availability and demand. The same thing applies to maintaining compatibility of software, it just isn’t maintainable anymore sooner or later.

        Instead of ranting with that tinfoil hat on your head, you should try to educate yourself. After that you might realize that not everything you don’t understand is magic, voodoo or something that will f**k you over. We aren’t in the dark ages anymore.

    2. Tamris said on January 2, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      “another when youtube had a 15 min length limit.”
      And how does that prove anything? When, W7 came out, YT still had the 15 minute limit…

      1. RG said on January 2, 2019 at 4:34 pm

        @Tamris Because for some reason, the so called greedy company who makes it, still provides security updates for Win 7 until 2020, that would be almost 11 years after it came out. If you want examples of greed and such complaining about somebody supporting 17 and 12 year software is not it, the are much worse things happening around the world.

    3. Jeff said on January 2, 2019 at 6:32 am

      Thankfully, the old argument falls apart in the era of Windows 10. To avoid Windows 10, people will hang on to Windows 7 far longer than anyone held on to Windows XP.

      1. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 8:31 am

        Get back to me in 20 years to prove it ;)

    4. Grieving God said on January 2, 2019 at 1:59 am

      I’d reply in an intelligent way to our nonsense post but let’s face it, it would be lost on you.

    5. Anonee said on January 1, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      An even better comparison is that XP came out before Myspace even existed!
      This pseudo-outrage doesn’t surprise me though. After viewing comments on this site for years I’ve noticed there’s a small subset of visitors who seem to be those tinfoil-hat wearing people who hide from the “big bad gub’ment” in their basements where they use all this supposedly locked down software, VPNs and encryption… while continuing to use old software, abandoned software or discontinued software, all on a proprietary OS like Windows – and an outdated one at that!

      1. lux said on January 2, 2019 at 8:39 am

        Edward Snowden disagrees with you ;)
        Plenty of government spy programs, Echelon comes to mind.

  13. meepmeep said on January 1, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    If someone switched all their steam games to offline mode before the cut-off date,
    would they not be able to continue to access their games?

  14. Ld Elon said on January 1, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    joo being thieves again… People who choose not to be forced to upgrade will lose millions of assets worth of personal property. FUCK OUR SMELLY RAT POLICY.

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