Google to end Chrome support for Windows 7, 8.1 in early 2023

It is official: the last update for Chrome for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be arriving early next year. This means the end of Chrome support for the said Windows OS versions, including the necessary security updates the users need to ensure a safe browsing experience online. Interestingly, while the systems are incredibly old, a considerable number of users are still using them nowadays.

According to the announcement posted by Google on its support page, the tentative date for the release of the final Chrome update for Windows 7 and 8.1 is set for February 7th, 2023. After this update, Chrome can still work on the said systems, though they will no longer receive essential ones in the future. This translates to security risks online, which can result in bigger problems, given the current state of cyber crimes prowling online these days.

“You’ll need to ensure your device is running Windows 10 or later to continue receiving future Chrome releases. This matches Microsoft’s end of support for Windows 7 ESU and Windows 8.1 extended support on January 10th, 2023,” adds Google. “If you are currently on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, we encourage you to move to a supported Windows version before that date to ensure you continue to receive the latest security updates and Chrome features.”

According to Microsoft, it recorded a total of 1.4 billion monthly active devices running Windows 10 or Windows 11 in 2022. And while the number looks huge, it is undeniable that there are still individuals stuck in using older Windows operating systems. For instance, in the web traffic analysis report of StatCounter, Windows 10 and 11 dominated the desktop Windows version market share worldwide in September 2022 at 71.87% and 13.56%, respectively. However, Windows 7 is not far from the latter’s share at 10.68%, which accounts for 100 million active users. This means the only remedy Chrome users of Windows 7 and 8.1 have is to upgrade to higher Windows versions, which is just rational, especially since support for Windows 7 ended in 2020 while the support for Windows 8.1 will end on January 10th, 2023.

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