Dropping support for Windows 7 as a target for the Unity Standalone Windows Player in Unity 2023.2

Hello Unity developers! My name is Abdullah and I’m a senior technical product manager at Unity. I take care of our Windows platform support.

With Unity 2023.2, we are making a change to our supported platforms for the Windows Standalone Player and we will be removing support for Windows 7.

What does this mean for me?

We are increasing the minimum supported Windows version for the Standalone Player to version 21H1 (build 19043). In a previous announcement here , we explained that we track usage of the number of players that play games on Windows 7. This number sits at approximately 1%, which is below our usual threshold for supporting a platform. As a result, from 2023.2, Unity will no longer produce Windows Standalone builds that will run on Windows 7 and older Windows 10 releases.

Why is Unity making this change?

The number of developers targeting Windows 7 is extremely low, the cost of maintaining the platform is relatively high, and we want to make sure we’re focusing our efforts to deliver the biggest impact for our users.

Windows 7 hasn’t received security fixes from Microsoft since 2020, It will no longer be supported on Steam as of 2024, and the number of developers making builds with Unity targeting Windows 7 has been rapidly declining over the last few years.

Continuing to support Windows 7 limits our ability to improve certain features. The editor currently contains separate code paths specifically to support Windows 7 which are becoming harder and harder to maintain as the Windows 10+ path evolves.

What about the Unity users targeting Windows 7 with prior LTS releases of the Editor?

The last version of Unity that will produce builds for Windows 7 will be 2022.LTS, which will be supported until 2025 for Unity Personal, Unity Plus, and Unity Pro customers and 2026 for Unity Enterprise customers.

All LTS releases supporting Windows 7 as a target platform will continue to receive fixes for major breaking issues for the duration of their LTS period, however, as usage counts drop further we will de-prioritize less serious bugs that only affect customers targeting Windows 7.

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Good

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What is the reason for requiring update 21H1 of Windows 10? Even .NET 8 supports all versions above 1607, having dropped Windows 7 a year earlier.

This will prevent companies using LTSC builds of Windows 10 from using Unity and even more importantly, it'll make Unity require Windows Server 2022, since 2016 and 2019 are based on older builds of Windows 10.
I'd assume those are also more than 1% of server users too.


Windows 10 LTSC 2021 will work as it's equivalent to Windows 10 21H2.

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/whats-new/ltsc/whats-new-windows-10-2021

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A few reasons:

  1. Windows 10 21H1 is when DirectX 12 Agility SDK works out of the box without any additional Windows updates (specifically, 1909 requires installing a bunch of updates before Agility SDK starts working). Starting with Unity 2023.2, we will be relying on DirectX 12 Agility SDK;
  2. The marketshare of people using older versions of Windows so incredibly small that we cannot justify maintaining separate code paths (that we need to also test continuously!) for these older Windows builds.
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Nice.

"The last version of Unity that will produce builds for Windows 7 will be 2022.LTS"
-- You mean 2023.1 ??

You say it will end with 2023.2 and 2022 is last version to support Win7 but what about 2023.1 ??

It's a technicality, 2022 LTS will keep getting updates for a much longer time than 2023.1 (which will stop getting updates as soon as 2023.2 ships).

Windows builds made in 2023.1 are supported on Windows 7.

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Minimum supported Windows 21H1 just for the Player?
That was released only 2 years ago.
Anyway, RIP Windows 7, best version ever!

9430577--1322156--windows7-image.jpg

Yeah, people tend to keep their Windows 10 machines updated. Amazing what forced updates can do, right? :)

But last I checked the editor support was still set at 1909.
How does this fit together?

Both of them are got bumped to 21H1. I see our system requirements page for 2023.2: https://docs.unity3d.com/2023.2/Documentation/Manual/system-requirements.html


Forced updates and people not thinking to search for "disable automatic updates windows 10/11". It's actually trivial to turn them off completely even with the latest release of Windows 11. :p

RIP, Windows 7 <3