Steam stops supporting Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 — Microsoft and Google no longer provide security support for Valve's launcher

Steam Software and Hardware Survey
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Valve has halted its official support for the Steam launcher on older Windows operating systems 7, 8, and 8.1 from Jan 1, 2024, marking the end of an era for these obsolete platforms. As such, these operating systems will no longer receive security updates or support. 

For now, Steam might continue to work with these older operating systems. Valve announced the retirement as its launcher depends on some software vendors' security patches. More specifically, Steam relies on a version of Google Chrome that's not supported on Windows 7. As you'd expect with such announcements, Valve recommends that users jump to Windows 10 or newer. 

Better now than never, if ever?

Microsoft stopped deploying updates and providing technical support for Windows 7 in January 2020. Even though Windows 8 and 8.1 weren't as popular, the operating system giant stopped rolling out security updates and technical support for those platforms in January 2023

These security patches are vital because malicious programs can affect multiple apps and launchers, requiring companies to add safeguards. Security researchers also find vulnerabilities in both hardware and software, which are then corrected through Windows updates.

The end of support for these operating systems won't impact many Steam users. December's Steam hardware survey shows these operating systems represent between 0% and 0.01% of Steam users worldwide. However, Windows Server 2019 is still supported as Microsoft will keep rolling out security updates until Jan. 9, 2024, impacting about 0.06% of Steam users.

Epic Games supports Windows 7 for now, but given the lack of security updates for the operating system, it probably won't be long before other launchers move on, too. Windows 10's support is scheduled to end on Oct. 14, 2025, with Microsoft later having a paid support subscription

Over 96.40% of Steam users are on Windows, while MacOS and Linux have a negligible share in comparison. It will be interesting to see if newer users would migrate to Windows 10, Windows 11, or any of the Linux distros. Arch Linux Ubuntu 64-bit is a home for 0.15% to 0.14% of Steam's user base.

Freelance News Writer
  • BX4096
    If you're a power user willing to spend some time with it, migrating to Win 11 has very few drawbacks. Once you change everything about it to a degree when it doesn't look or behave like the vanilla installation, it's actually very decent ;).

    For more practical advice, I'd recommend starting with ExplorerPatcher and StartAllBack, simply to make sense of the brain-damaged "modern" UI. Then the registry tweak to enable the old full context menu by default, and at this point you can take a more usual and leisurely "new OS" path depending on your particular needs.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    I thought Valve brought out an Apple M1 (M2/M3) compatible version of Steam?
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    Frankly, it's about time they did so. As great as 7 was, it's way past time to move on. 8/8.1 should have never existed.
    Reply
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    ezst036 said:
    I thought Valve brought out an Apple M1 (M2/M3) compatible version of Steam?
    It works without a native version well enough, the problem is that dev kits make it expensive for developers to take their 32 bit games to be ported to 64 bit, and stuff like Unity’s backtracked licensing make it ten times worse.
    Reply
  • Sluggotg
    One of the Advantages of Steam is its ability to support older and/or lower end systems. By removing 7 your forcing them to go to 10. Try to find legitimate copies of windows 10, it is not easy. Windows 10 home on Newegg is 300. The older machines won't work with Windows 11. Valve is telling all the people with older machines to buy new systems, (if they want to continue to play all the games they purchased over the years).

    I hope this won't impact the gamers on a budget.

    It won't effect me, I have several new machines. (and waaay too many old ones.... it might be a problem)
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    You can still install it, they just won't put any effort into fixing anything if it breaks. Windows 7/8/8.1 will simply no longer be a target they test versions against.
    Reply
  • artk2219
    Sluggotg said:
    One of the Advantages of Steam is its ability to support older and/or lower end systems. By removing 7 your forcing them to go to 10. Try to find legitimate copies of windows 10, it is not easy. Windows 10 home on Newegg is 300. The older machines won't work with Windows 11. Valve is telling all the people with older machines to buy new systems, (if they want to continue to play all the games they purchased over the years).

    I hope this won't impact the gamers on a budget.

    It won't effect me, I have several new machines. (and waaay too many old ones.... it might be a problem)
    You can modify the windows 11 installer to install on "unsupported" hardware, rufus actually has a couple of options boxes where all you have to do is click them when you're creating your bootable media. Those two boxes get rid of the TPM etc requirements, and makes it so you can create a local account instead of going through hoops to not use a microsoft account, basically it turns it into a windows 10 like install. The issue is that you need to download and patch the installer for the twice a year service packs on your computer as Windows update on 11 may not let you install them natively on its own since you are on "unsupported" hardware.

    https://www.tomshardware.com/how-to/bypass-windows-11-tpm-requirement
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Sluggotg said:
    One of the Advantages of Steam is its ability to support older and/or lower end systems. By removing 7 your forcing them to go to 10. Try to find legitimate copies of windows 10, it is not easy. Windows 10 home on Newegg is 300. The older machines won't work with Windows 11. Valve is telling all the people with older machines to buy new systems, (if they want to continue to play all the games they purchased over the years).

    I hope this won't impact the gamers on a budget.

    It won't effect me, I have several new machines. (and waaay too many old ones.... it might be a problem)
    Sure, because all the huge effort valve put into making steam run on linux well enough for them to put out a gaming device based on that are completely useless.
    People are used to windows and I get that, but if you want to keep gaming on an very old system you do have to compromise.
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    Yup, Steam runs on Chrome. Linus Tech Tips team ran into this issue with Apple Xserve 3, 1 they installed an old version of Steam. But it said it would expire after x days is there a workaround for that?
    Reply
  • ezst036
    Sluggotg said:
    Valve is telling all the people with older machines to buy new systems, (if they want to continue to play all the games they purchased over the years).
    Probably not. Valve is currently working to get older games such as Nuclear Strike working in Proton/WIine.
    If anything, Valve is telling all the people with older systems to upgrade to Linux. - which, incidentally, is not all that different than what Microsoft says. They do now give instructions on how to install Linux. Why else would Microsoft provide that?

    https://www.pcworld.com/article/2105336/microsoft-tells-windows-users-how-to-install-linux.html
    Reply