To continue using the game client, you will need Windows 10 or a later version of Windows.
There’s a good chance you won’t want to hang on to that old gaming computer for much longer. Valve has issued a warning that beginning January 1, 2024, Steam will no longer provide support for the Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 operating systems. The most recent additions to the game client make use of an embedded version of Google’s Chrome browser, which as of February no longer offers support for the aforementioned operating systems. According to Valve, upcoming versions of Steam for Windows will require OS updates that are currently only available in Windows 10 and newer releases. These updates are not compatible with earlier versions of Windows.
According to PC Gamer, this won’t have an impact on the vast majority of Steam users. According to the most recent survey conducted by Valve, just under one point nine percent of the software’s audience is utilizing one of the relevant Windows versions. However, that does still affect a sizeable number of people, and it may force those individuals to either upgrade their operating system or purchase a personal computer that runs on a platform that is supported. If you have a retro gaming system or a job that requires you to use an older version of Windows, you may find the end of support to be particularly inconvenient.
There has been a great deal of pressure coming from other directions to move on. In January of 2020, Microsoft ended support for Windows 7, and in January of 2023, they did the same with Windows 8.1. If you want to play Fortnite, Epic Games no longer provides support for those platforms, so you’ll need to find another way. It is becoming increasingly difficult to use an older Windows machine in general; the compatibility change that Steam implemented may be the final straw that causes you to decide to purchase a new computer.