Using an Old Version of Chrome? Expect Some Gmail Changes

If you haven’t yet updated to the latest version of Google’s Chrome browser, you might want to do that as soon as possible.

On Feb. 8, Google will start showing a banner at the top of Gmail for users who are still on Chrome version 53 and below encouraging them to upgrade. Chrome 55, the latest version of the browser, contains “several important security updates” you’ll want as you surf the Web, Google says.

Those still on Windows XP and Windows Vista are most likely to be affected. Google stopped supporting those outdated operating systems after Chrome 49. Microsoft, meanwhile, no longer supports Windows XP and Vista, so if you’re still using them it’s best to upgrade to something newer and safer.

“If you continue to use older versions of Chrome Browser now that support has ended, Gmail will be more vulnerable to security risks and users will not have access to new features and bugfixes,” Google wrote in a Wednesday blog post.

If you don’t upgrade, Gmail will continue to function on Chrome 53 and below through the end of the year. But as early as December 2017, those who don’t upgrade their browser may start to be redirected to the basic HTML version of Gmail, Google said.

In 2013, Google said it would support Chrome on XP through April 2015, a deadline it later extended until the end of that year. By November, the search giant said it would end support for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and older versions of Mac OS X in spring 2016, which it did with Chrome 49.

For those with newer systems, Google’s Chrome supports automatic updates, which are enabled by default. To check which version you’re running, navigate to the three dots at the top-right of your browser > Help > About Google Chrome.

Meanwhile, another Gmail security change is also in the works. From February 13, Google will start blocking JavaScript (.js) email attachments by default, the company announced last week. JavaScript files are dangerous because they can trigger a download, which could have a malicious payload attached.

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