Steam ends support for Windows 7 and 8
Steam has officially ended support for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. Users on the legacy versions of the operating systems will no longer receive updates for the Steam client.
It's not unusual for major services to end support for operating systems that are outdated. For example, Steam ended support for macOS El Capitan and Sierra in September 2023. It did so because Apple no longer provides security patches for these operating systems.
Microsoft discontinued support for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in January 2023. Many software vendors including browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, have stopped supporting the operating systems due to security risks from unpatched vulnerabilities, and potential malware threats. Similarly, Valve had announced its plans to end support for Windows 7 and 8 on January 1, 2024. That's precisely what has happened now.
Steam stops supporting Windows 7 and 8
In case you didn't know, the Steam client on desktop is based on Google Chromium, and since Chrome has ended support for Windows 7, Steam has to follow suit. This doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to use Steam on the said operating systems. Valve's official announcement mentions that it expects the Steam client and games to work on the older operating systems for some time, even without updates for the client. But the company is not guaranteeing continued functionality anymore. The announcement mentions that future versions of Steam will require some feature and security updates that are only present in Windows 10 and above.
Not many gamers are still using Windows 7 and 8
If you take a look at Steam's hardware survey, you can see that only a small fraction of gamers are still using the old operating systems. 0.68% of Steam users are running it on a Windows 7 64-bit PC, while
Windows 7 has a share of 0.06%. Windows 8.1 64-bit has a user base of 0.15%. The majority of PC gamers, are using Windows 10 64 bit, it has a share of 53.45%. Windows 11 64 bit is catching up with an impressive 41.95% share.
Well, if you are among those who were using Windows 7 or 8 you have a few obvious options, you can upgrade to Windows 10 or Windows 11. You may not be able to do so for free, in which you will need to purchase a license from Microsoft.
Though Windows 10 is more popular, I recommend switching to Windows 11, but it has stricter hardware requirements. Windows 11 is just as good as Windows 10, plus some bloatware that you can disable for the most part. It is worth noting that Microsoft has planned to end support for Windows 10 in 2025, that's another reason why you may want to skip it, and jump directly to Windows 11.
Seriously, even if you are not using Steam, you should still move away from Windows 7 and 8, just to protect your data and online identities. The legacy operating systems are insecure, you should upgrade to a newer operating system that receives security updates regularly.
If your computer is too old and can't run Windows 10 or Windows 11, maybe you can take a look at a lightweight Linux distro like Linux Mint or Pop!_OS. You may want to check out ProtonDB to see if a game that you are interested in is available for Linux (also useful for Steam Deck).Advertisement