Here is what happens when you try to install and run unsupported browsers on Windows 7

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 18, 2023
Updated • Jan 17, 2023
Windows 7

Microsoft ended support for its Windows 7  and Windows 8.1 operating systems on January 10, 2023. End of support means that the company will not release security updates or any other type of update for the operating system anymore.

google chrome requires windows 7

Browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge will no longer be supported either on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices. Chrome 109 and Edge 109 are the last supported versions, but what does that actual mean? And what about other browsers, such as Firefox?

Note: the following test was run on a virtual machine.

The latest supported versions

edge unsupported

The latest supported versions for Windows 7 and 8.1 are Google Chrome 109 and Microsoft Edge 109. These run and install fine. Both browsers display an end of support notification at the top. It can be dismissed for the session, but it is displayed each time the browser is started.

Another issue that users will notice is that updating has been disabled in both browsers. When you visit the update pages, chrome://settings/help in Chrome and edge://settings/help in Edge, you receive an out of support message and no option to run a check for updates.

Firefox, on the other hand, works without any of those issues currently. Mozilla has not yet announced an official end of support for Windows 7 and 8.1.

Installing development versions

The development channels of Chrome and Edge have versions that are not supported anymore on Windows 7 and 8.1. These are versions 110 and newer. There is no Stable version that is not supported right now, but this will change with the February release of Chrome 110 Stable and Microsoft Edge 110 Stable.

Google is making it difficult already to download Chrome Beta, Dev or Canary installers on the unsupported platforms. Neither the web installers nor the Chrome offline installers are provided when the download pages are opened on a Windows 7, and likely also a Windows 8.1, device. Microsoft Edge and Firefox can be downloaded without issues.

Here is what happens when you try to install these development editions on the unsupported versions of Windows.

Chrome 110 Beta installs fine, but it throws a kernel issue when you try to run it. The error message was not new, and it is possible that the virtual machine had something to do with it.

The installation of Chrome 111 Dev fails with an odd error message. It states that Google Chrome requires Windows 7 or higher. It is possible that Google has not changed the error message yet.

Installation of Chrome Canary fails with the error message "no update is available".

Microsoft Edge threw another error message on the test system. The offline installer for Edge Dev displayed a prompt stating that a problem was detected with the Windows installer package.

firefox nightly windows 7

All Firefox channels installed and ran just fine on the Windows 7 system.

Closing Words

Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and likely many other Chromium-based browsers will stop working on Windows 7 once the stable versions reach Chromium 110. The browser makers won't provide installers anymore, and if installers are copied from other devices or mirrors, they will not run or the installed browser will refuse to run.

Firefox, on the other hand, does not have any restrictions right now. These may be introduced at a later point in time, once Mozilla makes a decision regarding end of support. For now, Firefox is one, if not the, best option to run a browser on Windows 7 or 8.1.

Now You: what is your default browser?

Here is what happens when you try to install and run unsupported browsers on Windows 7
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Here is what happens when you try to install and run unsupported browsers on Windows 7
Find out what happened when we tried to run unsupported web browsers like Chrome or Edge on Windows 7.
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  1. Anon said on August 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I am an XP user and one of the best tips I ever picked up was to copy the i386 folder from the installation disk to the root of C:\, then by changing just two registry keys to point to C:\i386 instead of your CD/DVD drive you can run SFC without using the installation disk.
    If you update to a later service pack, as I did with SP3, you then delete the original i386 folder on C:\ and replace it with the one on the slipstreamed disk.
    You still use the command SFC /SCANNOW.

    As far as I am aware the same technique can be used with later versions of Windows.

    Another similar tip is to install the Recovery Console so that too can be run without the installation disk.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      Yeah I used that technique back in the days. Was mighty useful.

      1. ilev said on August 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm

        Modern netbooks and ultra/laptops don’t come with optical drives anymore.

  2. TechLogon said on August 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Useful reminder about SFC and service packs.

    “Modern netbooks and ultra/laptops don’t come with optical drives anymore” – get a portable USB DVD/RW drive (about $25).

    If you burn the W7 (integrated SP1) ISO to DVD you can use it for System File Checker and as a Recovery Disk and for a full W7 (re)installation – easier than trying to slipstream SP1 or configure a flash drive install of W7.

    1. ilev said on August 3, 2011 at 9:43 am

      ” – get a portable USB DVD/RW drive (about $25).”

      Why should I make dvd/rw OEMs richer after investing thousand $ in a PC just to run Windows 7 ?

      1. Pietzki said on August 4, 2011 at 5:12 am

        $1000 just to run windows 7? Sounds to me like you got a pretty crappy deal dude xD

  3. Anon said on August 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I would have thought that this could be done without a DVD drive or even a second computer, you can get free software that will allow you to mount an ISO image on a hard drive then just copy the required folder to C:\.
    An alternative might be to try extracting the folder from the iSO image using something like Universal Extractor, also free, although the first idea should work without any problems.

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