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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%.