Steam, the leading PC gaming platform, has announced plans to discontinue support for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 operating systems. This significant change will result in the Steam client being unable to run on these older operating systems, and users will lose access to their game libraries unless they upgrade to a newer version of Windows.
The cessation of support is slated to take effect on January 1, 2024.
Valve Corporation, the company behind Steam, stated, “As of this date, the Steam client will no longer support these versions of Windows. In order to continue using Steam and any games or other products purchased through Steam, users will need to upgrade to a newer version of Windows.”
The announcement came as part of the latest Steam Beta version update. Steam’s Beta version now sends “End of Life” notifications to players running Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, advising them to switch or upgrade to a newer version before support ends. This warning will also soon be pushed to the regular Steam client.
Valve explained the reasoning behind the change, noting that the latest features in Steam rely on the embedded Google Chrome browser, which does not function properly on older versions of Windows. Additionally, future versions of Steam will require features and security updates available only in Windows 10 and higher versions.
According to Valve’s own survey data, approximately 1.86% of the Steam user base is currently using one of the three operating systems that will soon lose support. The vast majority of Windows users, accounting for 96.37% of Steam’s total active accounts, are using Windows 10 (62.33%) and Windows 11 (32.06%).
For players still using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, this announcement comes as a significant setback. If they wish to continue enjoying the convenience and rich gaming resources offered by the Steam platform, upgrading their operating system in a timely manner will be of paramount importance.
Players are encouraged to pay attention to official Steam announcements to stay informed about the specific implementation timeline and potential impact of this change. It is hoped that players will smoothly transition through this period of change and continue to enjoy the fun of gaming.