Google ends Chrome support for Windows 7 and 8.1 in early 2023

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 25, 2022
Google Chrome
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Google Chrome users who run the web browser on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices will soon have to do without updates for the web browser. Google announced today that its support for the two operating systems will end in early 2023.

chrome 106 stable

Windows 7 is in its third year of extended support currently at Microsoft. The last year of support ends on January 10th, 2023. Similarly, Windows 8.1's support will run out on the same day in 2023. With official support by Microsoft removed. Google decided to follow Microsoft's lead and drop support for the two operating systems in Chrome.

The company plans to end support officially on February 7th, 2023 with the release of Google Chrome 110 Stable. Future versions of Chrome won't be released for Windows 7 and 8.1 anymore, according to Google. Whether the company plans to block installations of Chrome or manual updates on the unsupported systems remains to be seen.

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Chrome users who run the web browser on unsupported versions may continue using the latest versions released before end of support. It is generally not recommended to do so, as these will contain bugs and security issues that Google addresses in Chrome for supported operating systems only.

Most Chromium-based browser makers may follow Google. Major browser makers such as Microsoft, Brave, Opera or Vivaldi have yet to reveal whether they plan to extend support for the unsupported operating systems or extend it to provide users who run browsers on the unsupported versions of Windows with updates. Chrome users may find a new haven in Firefox, at least for the short term. Mozilla has yet to announce its plans for support going forward, though.

Windows 7 and 8.1 hold a sizeable share of the desktop operating system market. Statcounter sees both operating systems at about 14% of the overall Windows usage share worldwide. While these stats are not exact, they suggest that millions of devices are still running these operating system versions.

Closing Words

With Google removing support early, it is likely that other browsers will benefit from the gap that the decision leaves in the short term.

Now You: are you affected by Google's decision?

Summary
Google ends Chrome support for Windows 7 and 8.1 in early 2023
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Google ends Chrome support for Windows 7 and 8.1 in early 2023
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Google Chrome users who run the web browser on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices will soon have to do without updates for the web browser.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Steve99 said on October 25, 2022 at 2:14 pm
    Reply

    Goodbye Brave, Hello Firefox.

    I absolutely hate Firefox but in the choice between Win 10 or Win 7 with Firefox, Firefox it is…

    Of course a week later, when the “I want to be a Chrome Clone” Firefox voids Win 7, it will be Ubuntu and back to Brave because lets face it, there is no better browser than Brave.

    1. Iron Heart said on October 26, 2022 at 1:18 pm
      Reply

      @Steve99

      Firefox won’t support outdated operating systems either. My guess is they support them until the next ESR release and then they drop support for them too.

      1. Greg said on October 26, 2022 at 11:36 pm
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        wonder if Vivaldi will follow suite? you’d think they would, though they dont have much userbase anyway

      2. JodyThornton said on November 2, 2022 at 12:41 am
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        It sounds like they’re going to drop Vivaldi support by February. Sigh! It was definitely my #2 after Firefox ESR. I hope that support is maintained for awhile longer

      3. Steve99 said on October 27, 2022 at 6:27 pm
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        @Iron Heart

        Thanks for the heads up on ESR. Came to my senses this morning so will skip Firefox altogether – just run Brave on Win 7 until browsing falls apart in a few years. Of course, not a recommended path for casual users.

      4. John T. Haller said on October 31, 2022 at 4:05 pm
        Reply

        Firefox generally supports outdated versions of Windows longer than Chrome. Windows XP hit end of life in April 2014. Chrome ended support for Windows XP in April 2016. Firefox ended support for Windows XP in June 2018.

  2. Tom Hawack said on October 25, 2022 at 3:36 pm
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    I am not affected by Google’s decision to end Chrome support for Windows 7 & 8.1 in early 2023 but I am aware that Mozilla will inevitably decide as well for its Firefox browser, even if, as stated in the article, “Mozilla has yet to announce its plans for support going forward, though.” brings a relief for the short-term, at least. Users of Windows 7 and 8.1 have to face it : happiness is not eternal, at least not on Earth :=)

  3. eizmaden said on October 25, 2022 at 4:00 pm
    Reply

    should remove google chrome and also other based on this, p.e. microsoft edge, Liebao, ….before February 2023?

  4. userpassadmin said on October 25, 2022 at 4:53 pm
    Reply

    They should’ve ended Chome support as a whole.

  5. Leopeva64 said on October 25, 2022 at 5:13 pm
    Reply

    The option to sort bookmarks by date or alphabetically is finally coming to Chrome:

    https://redd.it/yd6z84

    And Google is experimenting with the position of the tab scrolling buttons:

    https://redd.it/yczdny

    .

  6. Andy Prough said on October 25, 2022 at 6:14 pm
    Reply

    Pale Moon and Seamonkey browsers should continue working for quite a few more years I would think, until it becomes technically impossible for them to continue supporting the older versions of Windows.

  7. Anonymous said on October 25, 2022 at 10:20 pm
    Reply

    Google can shove their junkware where the sun don’t shine. I’ll continue to use whatever still works on Windows 7.

  8. Anonymous said on October 26, 2022 at 2:50 am
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    Never used Chrome anyway. I will continue to use Windows 7. Windows 10 and 11 are not usable.

  9. NeonRobot said on October 26, 2022 at 7:33 am
    Reply

    Ah, at last! Support of spyware will be finally dropped.

  10. John G. said on October 26, 2022 at 12:25 pm
    Reply

    The users of W7 and W8.1 don’t really care about Chrome leaving the house.

  11. Mothy said on October 26, 2022 at 4:44 pm
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    The only potential impact for me (using Windows 8.1) would be if this affects ungoogled chromium (portable). But they only specify 32 or 64 bit options, nothing about specific Windows versions so it may not be an issue. Either way, I only use it as a secondary browser for a few trusted websites so I would be comfortable to continue using an old version if needed. Overall, software updates are but one layer of security and from my experience not the most important as I have used old outdated browsers and Windows operating systems for long periods of time without any malware issues.

  12. John said on October 27, 2022 at 3:24 pm
    Reply

    Lot of people in the world cannot afford a new PC just to run the latest OS. Yeah, probably not good to run Windows 7 and even worse a browser that won’t be supported. But there is a significant number running Windows 7 and probably will continue to do so.

  13. AJ North said on October 27, 2022 at 9:51 pm
    Reply

    Hopefully, this change by Google will not force other builders of Chromium-based browsers to abandon Windows 7 & 8.1 — in particular Iridium, SRWare Iron, and UnGoogled Chromium, each of which offer portable builds of their browsers (as does Firefox ESR through PortableApps.com), which I prefer to use. Sigh.

  14. Hm Ski said on October 28, 2022 at 1:36 am
    Reply

    Yandex. Best browser I have used.

  15. coakl said on October 29, 2022 at 1:01 am
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    Is Chromium, the underlying base, also dropping support for Win 7 and 8.1?
    Or is it just Chrome, the browser built on top of Chromium?

    If Chromium updates are no longer tested against Win 7 and 8.1, that means all Chromium-based browsers will be affected on Win 7 and 8.1

  16. Anonymous said on November 1, 2022 at 8:36 am
    Reply

    Mozilla Considers Ending Windows 7 Support for Firefox August 2023
    Wednesday October 26, 2022, 09:55

    Mozilla is considering ending support for Firefox on Windows 7 at the end of August 2023. The browser will then no longer receive security updates. However, many Firefox users still use Windows 7, so a final decision has not yet been made. Earlier this week , Google announced that it would end support for Chrome on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 next February.

    Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU) and Windows 8.1 on January 10, 2023. Already three years ago there was talk within Mozilla to end support for Windows 7, whose standard support by Microsoft ended on January 14, 2020. For a long time, however, the topic received no attention from the Firefox developer, until Google’s announcement this week.

    Mozilla now seems to be in two minds . The first option is to end Windows 7 support early next year, just like Microsoft and Google. The other possibility is different at the end of August, as this coincides with the end of support for Firefox ESR 115 . Such a measure could have major consequences for Firefox. At the moment, almost sixteen percent of all Firefox users work with Windows 7. According to Mozilla engineer Joel Maher, it will therefore be a “product decision”.

    Source: https://www-security-nl.translate.goog/posting/772521/Mozilla+overweegt+Windows+7-support+voor+Firefox+augustus+2023+te+stoppen?_x_tr_sl=nl&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp

    1. Jody Thornton said on November 2, 2022 at 12:02 pm
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      I can’t believe just how undecided Mozilla is. There are saying that ESR 115 will get support, but I think it will end with ESR 102.

      1. Jody Thornton said on November 2, 2022 at 2:01 pm
        Reply

        Correction – I meant to type “There are some people saying that ESR 115 will get support, but I think Mozilla will end it with ESR 102”

  17. bawldiggle said on November 3, 2022 at 2:15 am
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    It looks like the Romanofs rebirth will have some competition for who rules the world.
    As 1945 dinasaurs; we (my wife and I) are in the home stretch of life.

    Meanwhile BRAVE is our back up browser after our beloved Pale Moon.
    Brave ?: no lead in ads on YouTube :) … there is a lot of “positve” distractions and music on da-tube.

    We are both using Win-7 … could never find a good reason to take on Win-8/8.1/10.
    Then a few weeks ago wifes Win-7 desktop C: drive failed.
    Our tech advisor supplied a new SSD and installed Win-11 … argh !
    ( I am down to one eye and a white stick to live one day at a time )
    Another reason to consider Linux-Mint again.

    We dont know how much time we have left to try Linux … again.

    1. AJ North said on November 3, 2022 at 11:33 am
      Reply

      0Patch, which I have been using on a Windows 7 box (and have installed on several clients’ Windows 7 rigs), have extended their subscription patching service through at least 2025:
      https://blog.0patch.com/2022/10/two-more-years-of-critical-security.html

  18. J.B. said on December 4, 2022 at 3:13 am
    Reply

    Agree with commenters who’ve expressed hopes this doesn’t affect Chrome alternatives like SRWare Chromium/Iron, or Opera and Vivaldi. I also use Google Drive Client on my 2012 MacBook Pro running High Sierra, which has been nagging me to upgrade to Mojave or above (which I refuse to do, on grounds that Apple has been dragging their feet on releasing specs for APFS to data-recovery vendors, and won’t let you run MacOS after 10.13 in anything but APFS, making it all but impossible to recover data from a crashed APFS-formatted drive).

    https://www.diskinternals.com/ios-data-recovery-impossible/

    Windows 10 and 11 are awful. Whoever is in charge at the major tech companies are making way too much money forcing end-users to upgrade to buggy and unreliable systems and software, by turning reliable ones into crippleware. They know full well that users are locked into the 2-3 year replacement cycle that they, themselves, have created.

    This isn’t like developing new software for CP/M in 2022. Windows 7 still has a significant user base, and the impending post-pandemic recession is most likely going to see people hanging onto their “old” (but not really) systems for longer still. How these companies maintain their vaunted ESG scores while contributing to the problem of “obsolete” (after only a few years) tech piling up in landfills is beyond me. They’re letting the marketing department take all the wrong lessons from Moore’s law.

    “OK Google,” time to uninstall and seek out alternatives; I quit using their Orwellian search juggernaut in favour of Duck Duck Go awhile ago anyway. I will definitely be researching 0patch, and kudos to the user who posted the link. My philosophy: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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