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What just happened? The start of a new year brings lots of changes; unwelcome ones, if you're still using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 with Steam. Valve's previously announced end of support for the older operating systems came into effect on January 1, meaning a section of Steam users will no longer receive updates.
It was back in March last year when Valve announced it would be killing off Steam support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 on January 1, 2024. Now that the date has passed, existing Steam client installations on those operating systems no longer receive updates of any kind, including security updates.
Additionally, Steam Support is no longer able to offer users technical support for issues relating to the old operating systems. Valve writes that while it expects the clients and games to continue running for some time, it cannot guarantee their continued functionality.
Users of old macOS versions are also being cut off. On February 14, macOS 10.13 and macOS 10.14 will lose support.
The latest Steam hardware and software survey shows that only a small number of participants still use the affected operating systems. Windows 7 64-bit is the most popular of the bunch, found in 0.68% of respondents' machines. Followed by Windows 8.1 (0.15%) and Windows 7 (0.06%). There aren't enough Windows 8 users to push the OS onto Steam's list.
Valve says dropping support for those operating systems is required as core features in Steam rely 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 features and security updates only present in Windows 10 and above.
Windows 10 remains the most popular version of Microsoft's OS among Steam survey participants, but it has rapidly been losing ground to Windows 11 over the last year. Expect Windows 11 to take the lead at some point in 2024, especially with Windows 10's October 2025 end-of-life date drawing ever closer.