Steam drops support for Windows 7 and 8 users

A sad face emoji next to the Windows 7 logo

A sad face emoji next to the Windows 7 logo

Despite the success of Windows 7, like everything, all good things must come to an end, with Steam shutting down support for the almost 15-year-old operating system on January 1, 2024. However, Windows 7 users aren't the only casualty, with Windows 8 and 8.1 support ending on the same date too.

This is due to Valve's concern for security issues, after Microsoft stopped releasing security updates for Windows 7 back in 2020 and Windows 8 in early 2023, as confirmed in a Steam Support blog post. Google also stopped releasing updates for its Chrome browser on the same operating systems too, which Steam relies on for an embedded version of the storefront.

While both Windows 10 and 11 struggled to make a dent in the overall Windows market share to start with, Windows 10 has a huge market share of over 60% of the total Windows users now, with many pre-built PCs and laptops running the OS. Alternatively, Windows 11 has over 26%, meaning that Windows 7, 8, and older Windows operating systems make up a measly 7% of the total market share, combined.

Screenshot of a Steam blog post confirming the end of support for Windows 7 and 8
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Credit: Valve

However, this is certainly a curtain call for the beloved Windows 7 OS, which saw millions of users over an almost 15-year lifespan. Valve stopping support for the OS for Steam users is no surprise, with a lack of security updates meaning that users are more susceptible to malware and exploits.

If you're still on the older Windows OS versions, there's no urgent need to update your computer, although we'd seriously recommend it. Valve has confirmed that it "expects the Steam client and games on these older operating systems to continue running for some time without updates after January 1st, 2024", with the caveat that it is "unable to guarantee continued functionality after that date".

Considering that Windows 11 is actually a pretty great OS, there's no real excuse to not upgrade, unless your computer can't run it. The minimum specs for Windows 11 aren't too high though, according to Microsoft, so hopefully you can get back to playing the some of your PC games fairly soon. At least, after a lengthy update of course.

Of course, for many of you PC gamers out there, this news will simply be a confirmation that finally upgrading to Windows 10 or 11 was worthwhile, but it's a shame to see one of the biggest players in the PC market removing support for arguably one of the best operating systems. However, it is certainly a good thing in the long run.

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