A vast majority of Windows users have updated to Windows 10 or Windows 11. According to StatCounter, nearly 95% of Windows desktop users have adopted one of the two most recent versions of the operating system. But there are still some stragglers with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 installed on their PCs. Unfortunately for those Windows users, Steam will stop supporting all three of those operating systems on January 1, 2024.
On its support page, Steam developer Valve explains that “existing Steam Client installations on these operating systems will no longer receive updates of any kind including security updates.” If you continue using the Steam app on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, Steam Support won’t be able to offer technical support or even guarantee the continued functionality of the app.
“In order to ensure continued operation of Steam and any games or other products purchased through Steam, users should update to a more recent version of Windows,” Valve suggests on its support page. “We expect the Steam client and games on these older operating systems to continue running for some time without updates after January 1st, 2024, but we are unable to guarantee continued functionality after that date.”
Valve says that this change is necessary due to core features in Steam relying on an embedded version of Google’s Chrome browser that doesn’t work on older versions of Windows. Also, new versions of Steam will require updates only present in Windows 10 and up.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft stopped issuing security updates and ended technical support for both Windows 7 and Windows 8. With or without Steam, your PC is susceptible to malware and exploits that Microsoft will never patch if you continue running an older OS.
If you want to see whether or not your PC is compatible with Windows 11, visit this site. Sadly, Microsoft stopped offering free upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 11, but you can buy a license online. That said, it might be time to upgrade your PC anyway.