Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system already disables by default SMB (Server Message Block) version 1, the 30-year-old file-sharing protocol. Now the company is doing the same with Windows 11 Home Dev Channel test builds, announced officials on April 19.
SMB1 is considered outdated and not secure. However, some users with very old equipment may be in for a surprise if their Windows 11 laptops can’t connect to an old networked hard drive, as officials said in a blog post about the SMB1 phase out plan.
“There is no version of Windows 11 Insider that has any part of SMB1 enabled by default anymore. At the next major release of Windows 11, that will be the default behavior as well,” said Ned Pyle, Principal Program Manager.
“Like always, this doesn’t affect in-place upgrades of machines where you were already using SMB1. SMB1 is not gone here, an admin can nonetheless intentionally reinstall it,” Pyle added.
Pyle said that Microsoft next will be removing the SMB1 binaries, and that both Windows and Windows Server will no longer include the drivers and DLLs of SMB1. Microsoft will provide an out-of-band, unsupported install package for users that nonetheless need to connect to old factory machinery, medical gear, consumer NAS and other equipment that nonetheless requires SMB1, however.
Speaking of Windows 10, Microsoft also announced this week that Windows 10 version 21H2 (the November Update) is now considered ready for broad deployment and will be available to everybody via Windows Update. Anyone with a device that has been deemed suitable for various causes by Microsoft or which isn’t set up to defer feature updates will be offered 21H2.
The update can be manually installed by checking for Windows Updates as of April 15.