Valve is ending Steam support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1

midian182

Posts: 8,797   +110
Staff member
In brief: Are you among the few people still using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 and playing games via Steam? If so, you might want to upgrade to a newer version of Microsoft's OS before January 1, 2024, as that's the date Valve is terminating Steam support for those older operating systems.

Valve made the surprise announcement in a Steam support post. It writes that as of January 1, 2024, Steam will officially stop supporting the Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 operating systems. After that date, the Steam Client will no longer run on those versions of Windows. In order to continue running Steam and any games or other products purchased through Steam, users will need to update to a more recent version of Windows. Or they could always switch to Linux.

Valve's reasoning for dropping Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 is due to Steam relying on an embedded version of Google Chrome, which no longer functions on older versions of Windows. The company adds that future versions of Steam will require Windows feature and security updates only present in Windows 10 and above.

It was just last month when Chrome 110 was released, the first version of the world's most popular browser not to support Windows 7. Edge no longer supports these operating systems, either, and Microsoft's extended support for Windows 7 and 8 ended in January.

A quick look at the latest Steam survey shows only a small number of people will be disappointed by Valve's decision – assuming they weren't planning on upgrading in the next nine months. The survey results show that 1.43% of participants still use Windows 7 64-bit, while 0.34% use Windows 8.1 64-bit and 0.09% use Windows 7.

Microsoft keeps trying to push more people onto Windows 11, and while user numbers are increasing, it's at a slow pace. According to Statcounter, the latest version of Windows takes a 19.1% global desktop market share. The Redmond giant might not be pleased to see that Windows 10 users have increased every month since December.

Windows 10 now sits at 73%, the highest percentage it has enjoyed since last April, yet this version of the OS is being effectively killed off in October 2025. Windows 7, meanwhile, is at 5.3%.

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dangh

Posts: 975   +1,628
"Are you gaming on Windows 7 or 8?"
Where is option to select linux as an answer?:)
I think that with Steam Deck value of Windows 7 has been reduced greatly. MS is going to do what it always do: enforce user to change or face unsupported system. Staying with single OS simply do not bring them money, so there is little reason to employ people to spend time on additional dependencies.
 

nismo91

Posts: 1,329   +363
Do people realize that you can install windows 10 and windows 11 using windows 7 keys? that's probably one of the main reasons why win10/11 adoption is pretty quick.

I mean if back then you could've installed win7 using XP keys than it's gonna be a different story. let's also not forget the introduction of WDDM for Graphics and HD Audio driver (replacing AC97) in Vista, another reason why many PCs running XP could not easily upgrade to Windows 7. First you gotta buy another costly license, then you have to deal with incompatibility because there is no driver available for the older hardware.

so in short, if you want people to upgrade their PC OS, make the upgrade free of charge and make sure the driver works with the new OS.

 

m4a4

Posts: 3,323   +4,535
TechSpot Elite
That's an odd stance from Valve. Even if the store page (or something) didn't fully work, they could easily just announce no official support and not do anything (letting the people using an older OS deal with it).

Unless they know that it will immediately break when they push some new Win10+ changes? But then you just don't update it and it should work fine for a while...
 

masaaya4

Posts: 12   +19
This has the potential to be very problematic.

I have recently discovered that some of my steam game library has (steam)discussions with alot of people claiming the game does not run on modern hardware/windows.

I have kept my old win7 pc, and I was thinking to myself that in order to play some of my older steam games, I would hook it up some years down the road.

but if valve flat out discontinued steam on older versions of windows, that essentially puts a time limit on how long you can play your games.

essentially, windows 10 games today might not run on windows 12 in 5-7 years, and if valve ends support for windows 10 in those 5-7 years then good luck playing your older games at all.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 4,153   +7,456
That's a real shame. All those older games from the late 2000s or early 2010s are not easily available without steam, and the fun of running them on old hardware and software will be cut short if I can't even get a legacy client to run on 7.
Do people realize that you can install windows 10 and windows 11 using windows 7 keys? that's probably one of the main reasons why win10/11 adoption is pretty quick.

I mean if back then you could've installed win7 using XP keys than it's gonna be a different story. let's also not forget the introduction of WDDM for Graphics and HD Audio driver (replacing AC97) in Vista, another reason why many PCs running XP could not easily upgrade to Windows 7. First you gotta buy another costly license, then you have to deal with incompatibility because there is no driver available for the older hardware.

so in short, if you want people to upgrade their PC OS, make the upgrade free of charge and make sure the driver works with the new OS.
Do you realize that people not running 10 or 11 usually are doing so because they don't want a bloated spyware infested shatbox of an OS on their machine?

Same reason 10 is gaining on 11, people cope with windows 10 and how "great" it is (Stockholm syndrome is great) but 11 is just so bad and so neutered that only hardcore windows fans like it.
"Are you gaming on Windows 7 or 8?"
Where is option to select linux as an answer?:)
I think that with Steam Deck value of Windows 7 has been reduced greatly.
Us Linux boys always get ignored.

I doubt the steam deck has anything to do with windows 7 numbers. Anyone still on 7 ia either running legacy hardware for older games or has 0 interest in 10 or 11. A portable Linux box isn't going to change that.
 

jonny888

Posts: 175   +355
That's an odd stance from Valve. Even if the store page (or something) didn't fully work, they could easily just announce no official support and not do anything (letting the people using an older OS deal with it).

Unless they know that it will immediately break when they push some new Win10+ changes? But then you just don't update it and it should work fine for a while...

I suspect they use the Chromium web engine to power their web interface in the client. Since Chrome(ium) is EOL on those systems, they are left with little choice, as things will increasingly not work over time.
 

m4a4

Posts: 3,323   +4,535
TechSpot Elite
I suspect they use the Chromium web engine to power their web interface in the client. Since Chrome(ium) is EOL on those systems, they are left with little choice, as things will increasingly not work over time.
That's what it sounds like, but they also phrase it as if they'll shut down Steam access on those OS's regardless on the date (instead of letting people deal with it, knowing it's EOL).
 

MakeMSGreatAgain

Posts: 106   +99
Valve would be smart to make their SteamOS they have on the Deck and make it for sale on generic PC's with tech support. If they put more effort and money into it they can probably get even more Windows games to run in it. I'd be willing to pay $20 or even $30 for a license with one year of support. I'm not sure if the license for the source Linux will allow that, but if it did... that would be awesome. To have a Linux based OS designed for gaming and supported by Valve, I'd pay for.

I'm still using Windows 7 x64 for most of my games, and there are only a few that require 10 which I have installed but don't use much. I still hate 10 to this day and will likely never go to 11 - I'm done with M$FT's crap.
 

hwertz

Posts: 308   +171
No 3rd poll choice, "No, I'm on Linux".
Anyway, "Am I still using Steam on Windows 7?" "NO, I'm on Linux."
 

Gezzer

Posts: 356   +176
Not happy with this news. I dual boot one system with Win7 and Win10 for the very reason that some games run like crap or not at all in Win10. My big problem is if Steam turns off (which seems to be the case here) the ability to run older versions of Steam under Win7. Sure don't support Win7 with newer versions of the client, makes perfect sense. But disabling Steam period? They should do what hardware manufactures do with drivers. Designate a version EoL Win7 support and freeze it so it'll no longer update or allow new games to be installed. If Steam is still selling games that only support Win7 or Win8/8.1 it's the very least they can do.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 4,153   +7,456
This has the potential to be very problematic.

I have recently discovered that some of my steam game library has (steam)discussions with alot of people claiming the game does not run on modern hardware/windows.

I have kept my old win7 pc, and I was thinking to myself that in order to play some of my older steam games, I would hook it up some years down the road.

but if valve flat out discontinued steam on older versions of windows, that essentially puts a time limit on how long you can play your games.

essentially, windows 10 games today might not run on windows 12 in 5-7 years, and if valve ends support for windows 10 in those 5-7 years then good luck playing your older games at all.
This is why I never spend more then $15 on any game from steam, but will pay $60 for a GoG release.
 

ddferrari

Posts: 716   +398
TechSpot Elite
You can still get a free upgrade to Windows 10, and have the option to disable reporting anything to MS (like crash reports, etc.). This whole spyware theory is paranoia. Even if they were tracking the sites I visit, why would I care - unless I was a criminal? That's what VPNs are for. It's not like I research new monitors online and get a phone call or email the next day trying to sell me one.

Windows 7 has been EOL for three years and there is no good reason to use it. I don't know just how old these games are that some of you play that can't run on Win 10, but there are workarounds, like compatibility mode.
 

loki1944

Posts: 827   +607
Do people realize that you can install windows 10 and windows 11 using windows 7 keys? that's probably one of the main reasons why win10/11 adoption is pretty quick.

I mean if back then you could've installed win7 using XP keys than it's gonna be a different story. let's also not forget the introduction of WDDM for Graphics and HD Audio driver (replacing AC97) in Vista, another reason why many PCs running XP could not easily upgrade to Windows 7. First you gotta buy another costly license, then you have to deal with incompatibility because there is no driver available for the older hardware.

so in short, if you want people to upgrade their PC OS, make the upgrade free of charge and make sure the driver works with the new OS.
It's not about that. This is a mark of the beast situation.
 

Gastec

Posts: 422   +207
That screws me up big time as I use Windows 7 and some of my DirectX 9.0 Steam games, that I'm currently playing or planning on playing, only work fine on Windows 7 (from what I've read and seen). But fine, I could understand the end of support for Windows 7, but why for Windows 8.1? That OS only came out like yesterday. WTF is this?
 
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nismo91

Posts: 1,329   +363
Do you realize that people not running 10 or 11 usually are doing so because they don't want a bloated spyware infested shatbox of an OS on their machine?

Same reason 10 is gaining on 11, people cope with windows 10 and how "great" it is (Stockholm syndrome is great) but 11 is just so bad and so neutered that only hardcore windows fans like it.
Us Linux boys always get ignored.

you wanna game you gotta go windows. everybody knows that. so when you buy a digital game from steam, you accept the fact that you don't really "own" your game. buyers don't get a say if steam forced users with win7 system to upgrade to win10/11.

again, the upgrade is free and unless you're running ancient core 2 duo or athlon X2 system there's no reason to keep being in the minority (less than 10%) of windows users running outdated OS.

You can still get a free upgrade to Windows 10, and have the option to disable reporting anything to MS (like crash reports, etc.). This whole spyware theory is paranoia. Even if they were tracking the sites I visit, why would I care - unless I was a criminal? That's what VPNs are for. It's not like I research new monitors online and get a phone call or email the next day trying to sell me one.

Windows 7 has been EOL for three years and there is no good reason to use it. I don't know just how old these games are that some of you play that can't run on Win 10, but there are workarounds, like compatibility mode.

that's what I thought as well. I actually applaud those who are staying with windows 7 as they have my respect for staying with the same old OS for 13 years. I ditched win10 for win11 with explorerpatcher because after 7 years I figured it's time for a new one.
 

Gastec

Posts: 422   +207
I suspect they use the Chromium web engine to power their web interface in the client. Since Chrome(ium) is EOL on those systems, they are left with little choice, as things will increasingly not work over time.
That is exactly right.