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Official Increasing system requirements for Windows Editor in 2023.1 and dropping support for Windows 7

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by thomh_unity, Nov 1, 2022.

  1. thomh_unity

    thomh_unity

    Unity Technologies

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    Increasing system requirements for Windows Editor in 2023.1 and dropping support for Windows 7

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

    With Unity 2023.1, we are adjusting our minimum system requirements for our Windows Editor.


    What does this mean for me?

    We are increasing the minimum supported Windows version to Windows 10 Version 1909 (build 18363). As a result, this version of Unity will no longer work on computers which use Windows 7 and older Windows 10 releases. This adjustment has been long coming as it is the first minimum system requirements increase since Unity 5.3 when we dropped support for Windows XP 7 years ago.


    Why is Unity making this change?

    You may be wondering, why are we doing this now? The short answer: the number of developers using 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. The number of developers using the Unity Editor on Windows 7 has been rapidly declining over the last few years and now consists of less than 1% of all users using Unity (and continues to fall every month). Windows 10 has evolved over the years and given its upgrade policy, our hardware stats show that very few developers are using older Windows 10 versions than Version 1909.

    Continuing to support Windows 7 also limits our ability to improve certain features. For example, it prevents us from upgrading to newer versions of NodeJS (used by package manager) and .NET (used by various editor tools that run out of process). Lastly, 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.

    That means that increasing our Windows 10 system requirements to this version will allow us to more easily make use of recent Windows technologies, like the latest recent additions to DirectX 12.

    Even testing our products on Windows 7 has become problematic. Newer hardware generally does not have support for drivers for Windows 7 and the last few generations of Intel and AMD CPUs are not supported on Windows 7.


    What about the Windows Standalone player?

    At this time no changes are being made to the system requirements for the Unity Player on Windows. Unity users will still be able to build games that target Windows 7 in 2023.1.

    We are actively monitoring the numbers of players that play games made in Unity on Windows 7 and those numbers have been dropping too. We have not yet made a decision to drop Windows 7 support for the player but we are considering it for Unity 2023 LTS. If Windows 7 support for the Unity player is essential to you, please don’t hesitate to let us know in this forum thread.


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

    The last version of Unity that will work on Windows 7 will be Unity 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 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 using Windows 7. As a result, we recommend developers currently using the Unity Editor on Windows 7 to upgrade to a supported Windows 10 version.

    Users on Windows 7 that wish to upgrade to the latest version of Unity (2023.1 and beyond) will need to change their operating system to a supported version. More information about supported versions can be found here:

    Manual: System requirements for Unity 2023.1 (alpha)
     
  2. Marks4

    Marks4

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    Feb 25, 2018
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    You say you are dropping support for windows 7 but the minimum supported version will be windows 10. I assume this means that windows 8 and windows 8.1 will be dropped as well?
     
  3. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

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    Correct, sort of. Unity will not work on Windows 8.1 starting with Unity 2023.1. However:

    1. According to our data, there are almost no people using Windows 8 & 8.1;
    2. Due to point 1, several years ago we stopped testing Windows 8 & 8.1 and dropped it from Windows Editor supported OS list (our system requirements for Unity 2022.2 say: "Windows 7 (SP1+), Windows 10 and Windows 11, 64-bit versions only."). So technically, it was already not supported but I don't think we actually had any bugs reported relating to it (and it probably works just fine due to Microsoft's excellent backwards compatibility).
     
    KindredKara and cxode like this.
  4. Marks4

    Marks4

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    I'm one of them :p
     
  5. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

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    Time to upgrade it sounds like, especially since Windows 8.1 is going to stop receiving security updates in a couple months :).
     
    KindredKara likes this.
  6. AzaanHukkeri

    AzaanHukkeri

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    Does that mean I can still continue using 2022 LTS on Windows 7 or do I have to upgrade?
     
  7. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

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    You can use Unity 2022 LTS with Windows 7 if you really want to (although we do advice you to upgrade). We are only dropping support in 2023.x.