Steam games will stop running on Windows XP and Windows Vista next year

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If you’re a PC gamer with a large library of Steam games, and are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, then you’ll want to upgrade to Windows 10 (or Windows 7 or Windows 8.1) pretty soon, as Valve has announced that Steam will no longer run on those older operating systems from January 1, 2019.

Valve announced the decision on the Steam website (opens in new tab), where it confirmed that “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.”

According to Valve, the reason for this is because new features in Steam rely on an embedded version of Google Chrome, which no longer works with older versions of Windows. For the rest of this year, Steam will continue to run on XP and Vista, but some features, such as Steam Chat, will be disabled.

A dying breed

So, how many gamers will this affect? In a recent Steam hardware survey (opens in new tab), only 0.22% of Steam users run Windows XP 32-bit. Meanwhile, the number of Windows XP 64-bit, and Windows Vista users is so small, they don’t even show up on the chart.

Meanwhile, Windows 10 64-bit is by far the most popular operating system for Steam users, with 55.53% running the operating system as of May 2018.

So, hopefully the dropped support for Windows XP and Windows Vista won’t disrupt too many people. 

However, if you are running those legacy operating systems, it is a good idea to upgrade, as Microsoft has long since stopped supporting the operating system for consumers – and earlier this week also announced that it was ceasing technical support for Windows 7.

  • If you’re a PC gamer that’s already upgraded to Windows 10, then make sure you check out TechRadar’s PC Gaming Week 2018, where we have a range of articles and reviews that celebrate the joys of gaming on PC.

Via On Msft (opens in new tab)

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.