I am looking for a word describing a software package that has not been updated for a long time, and although it still works with new versions of the underlying software, bugs have not been fixed for years, and no new features have been added.

I found this similar question, however, none of the words from the answer really seem to match, because the software package still exists and works, but just has not been updated in a long time. So it was not retired, or replaced, or terminated, or deprecated, or sunsetted.

"Unsupported" would somewhat match, but this essentially applied to a huge number of similar packages which are typically not officially supported. "Abandoned" sounds a bit harsh to me, as I would use the word in a document that the original author of the package might get to see at some point.

I was thinking about something like "obsolete" or "outdated", but this sort of seems to imply that there exists something newer, or better replacing the old package, which is not the case.

  • 7
    I've seen it called "abandonware" -- en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware May 4, 2017 at 15:46
  • 3
    You could just say it's defunct, since unlike obsolete / outdated this doesn't particularly imply it's been replaced by something newer / better. May 4, 2017 at 16:09
  • 2
    You did not say in what context you need this. Perhaps legacy software might fit. May 4, 2017 at 16:38
  • 2
    You say "abandoned" seems a bit harsh, but I say it seems perfectly appropriate.
    – Hellion
    May 4, 2017 at 20:02
  • 1
    I'm thinking the term "stable" might actually apply.
    – Hot Licks
    May 4, 2017 at 21:54

6 Answers 6



Is the term usually applied to this type of software. Unsupported in the software world, usually means 'end of life', and 'no more updates'.

End of life and unsupported are synonymous in this context.

For example, from:


What does it mean if Windows isn't supported? An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These updates include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal your personal information. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—such as new drivers for your hardware.

Will I still be able to use Windows after support ends?

Yes, even if you have an unsupported version of Windows XP or Windows Vista, Windows will continue to start and run. You just won't be able to receive software updates from Windows Update any longer.

Berkley Information Security Policy

Security best practices...require the use of supported software for which the vendor will make security updates available in a timely fashion. As vendors are unable to support all previous versions of software, older programs are dropped from support and must be upgraded or removed from the network.

Australian Government (stay smart online)

Stop using unsupported software and apply new security updates

You should retire all vendor products that have reached end of life, meaning they are no longer supported. These products typically do not receive any patches that protect against newer viruses, spyware or other malicious software and may not be subject to technical support.

  • No. Unsupported doesn’t include the poster’s stipulation that the program has bugs. Just because unsupported Microsoft software has, doesn’t mean that Wibble 2000 has.
    – David
    May 22, 2019 at 18:21
  • If software has bugs, they will not be resolved if the software is unsupported. Unsupported encompasses both the requirement described in the title of the question : "Word describing an outdated and no longer updated software package" and the additional stipulation that the software may have bugs. Bug or no bugs. Unsupported does indeed answer this question, I happen to come from an IT background also, so from an experiential point of view, can also confirm this is the correct term, although I trust the above explanation makes the linguistic case clear also.
    – Gary
    May 22, 2019 at 18:28
  • Question states categorically “bugs haven’t been fixed for years”. Unsupported software may be completely bug-free. Your answer may be the closest, and useful to the poster, but it doesn’t satisfy his criteria. As usual people are looking for words that don’t exist
    – David
    May 22, 2019 at 18:40
  • 1
    @David "Software is bug-free when its last user has died."
    – user888379
    May 24, 2019 at 12:48
  • 1
    @David True, but I was pointing out that "bug-free" frequently isn't a useful definiendum ...
    – user888379
    May 24, 2019 at 15:09

legacy software

And I am most definitely not a programmer.

For example: legacy software

What is legacy software?

Legacy software is software that has been around a long time and still fulfills a business need. It is mission critical and tied to a particular version of an operating system or hardware model (vendor lock-in) that has gone end-of-life. Generally the lifespan of the hardware is shorter than that of the software. As time goes on, the hardware gets harder to maintain but is kept because it is installed and (for now) working and has proven too complex and/or expensive to replace.

  • It's like Bjarne Stroustrup said, "legacy software" often differs from its would-be replacement, by working and scaling! 😂
    – Steve
    May 22, 2019 at 20:38


  1. Computers To mark (a component of a software standard) as obsolete to warn against its use in the future so that it may be phased out.

[Source: The Free Dictionary]

  • This is an active designation not one of quiet abandonment.
    – Jim
    May 5, 2017 at 3:16
  • This is usually applied to features of a programming language or an API (Application Programming Interface) I’ve not seen it applied to a program or application.
    – David
    May 22, 2019 at 18:17

Surely the answer to this is obsolecent ie it still works but is not the current version. Everthing we buy from TV's to computers or software becomes obsolescent as soon as a new model comes out.

  • The correct spelling is obsolescent. Please backup your answer with references, e.g. from a dictionary.
    – Glorfindel
    May 5, 2017 at 7:02
  • A thing cannot become obsolescent, only obsolete. And OP explicitly ruled out obsolete. May 5, 2017 at 7:11
  • Have a look at this link May 6, 2017 at 11:55
  • Have a look at this link grammarist.com/usage/obsolescent-obsolete It specifies the difference between obsolescent and obsolete. An object becomes obsolescent and then obsolete. May 6, 2017 at 12:10

How 'bout collectable, antique, historic, or other term indicating someone still thinks it has value. I like "antique computers" or "antique electronics". Maybe because I'm antique.

  • 1
    Can you show that this is in common usage for outdated software?
    – Davo
    Jun 6, 2019 at 12:22

I have seen Deprecated and End of Life used for software that is past the useful life or no longer able to supported by the manufacturer/developer.

  • Hello, Dan. The first term was already provided as a verb in another answer. Would you be able to improve your answer by explaining more thoroughly and providing some references?
    – fev
    Jun 30, 2021 at 15:08

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