What you need to know
- Google Chrome users will now see a prompt to update their PC if they're running the browser on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
- Support for Windows 8.1 and the extended support of Windows 7 ends in January 2023, meaning the operating systems will not receive updates after that date.
- Chrome users can upgrade to either Windows 11 or Windows 10, as both of those versions of Windows are still supported at this time.
Those running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will now see a prompt from Google Chrome to update their PC's operating system. The message, which was first spotted by Ghacks, appears at the top of the browser as a notification. Even if someone clicks to get rid of the notification, it will reappear the next time Chrome is opened.
Chrome users don't have to jump all the way to Windows 11 to receive support. The browser's prompt states, "to get future Google Chrome updates, you'll need Windows 10 or later. This computer is using Windows 7"
The cutoff should affect all Chromium browsers in the same way, so switching to Brave or another browser based on Chromium will not avoid the need to update to Windows 10 or Windows 11.
The official end of support for Windows 8.1 is January 2023. Windows 7 reached end of support in January 2020, but Microsoft extended support until January 2023. With those cutoff dates coinciding, Chrome users on older versions of Windows will need to update their PCs in the next few weeks to stay up to date.
After January 2023, Microsoft will not offer technical assistance or software updates for the out-of-date versions of Windows. As a result, using Chrome or any other web browser will be much riskier.
Since Windows 11 has strict hardware requirements, some systems may not be able to update to the latest version of Windows. Anyone with a PC that falls into that category can look toward Windows 10, which will receive support until October 2025.
Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft. It has a refreshed interface designed to deliver a cleaner experience. It's also scheduled to receive support for years to come. Some systems may be able to upgrade to Windows 11 for free, but if you need a license, they're readily available.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.