Microsoft enters “final phase” of disabling SMB1 file sharing in Windows 11

Microsoft disables SMB1 in newer Windows 11 Home builds.
Enlarge / Microsoft disables SMB1 in newer Windows 11 Home builds.


Most Windows 11 preview builds focus on adding features, but sometimes Microsoft uses them to remove things. Users installing the latest Windows 11 Home Insider builds will find that support for version 1.0 of the venerable SMB file-sharing protocol is now disabled by default, which could ruin file-sharing for older network-based storage devices. A post from Microsoft presenter Ned Pyle describes the rationale behind the change and how it will affect users.

Microsoft had already disabled SMB1 by default in other versions of Windows. The SMB1 server service was removed from all versions of Windows starting in 2017, and the client service was disabled in Windows 10 Pro editions starting in 2018. Lyle writes that the client in the Home editions of Windows came last as it will “cause the consumer pain among people who are still running very old equipment, a group that is least likely to understand why their new Windows 11 laptop cannot connect to their old network hard drive. “

SMB1 has long been replaced by newer and more secure versions of the protocol; SMB2 was introduced in 2007, and version 3.1.1 was added to Windows 10 in 2016. But the original is still used occasionally by old servers and equipment – and if a machine is old enough to trust SMB1, it’s probably old enough to one is interested in maintaining or upgrading it.

For now, the SMB1 feature can still be installed manually by users and system administrators who need it, and if you use SMB1 on a PC that you upgrade to Windows 11, the upgrade will not disable the feature. The next phase of the transition will go a step further, completely removing the DLL files and drivers required for SMB1 support from the OS. The company “will provide an out-of-band unsupported installation package to organizations or users who still need SMB1 to connect to old factory machinery, medical equipment, consumer NAS, etc.,” Pyle writes.

List image of Old Windows Icons / Andrew Cunningham