Microsoft Disables 30 Years Old SMB1 Protocol On Windows 11

Microsoft Disabled SMB1 in Windows 11
Image: Ned Pyle

Microsoft has disabled the SMB1 protocol by default in Windows 11 Home insider builds. The software giant has created a roadmap to disable the 30-year-old file-sharing protocol. Currently, if you will install a Windows Insider Dev channel build in any variant of Windows 11 Home Edition you will find that the SMB1 client isn’t installed by default.

For the uninitiated, SMB or Server Message Block is a network file sharing protocol built into Windows operating system. It was introduced to enable shared access to files and printers connected to a network.

Microsoft Disables SMB1 Protocol

Microsoft Disabled SMB1 Protocol in Windows 11

As of now, none of the Windows 11 insider builds have any part of SMB1 enabled by default. Microsoft Principal Program Manager Ned Pyle confirmed that the company will follow the same behavior in the next major release of Windows 11. It means Windows 11 stable builds will also come with SMB1 protocol disabled.

Microsoft did the same thing with Windows 10. In 2017, the company released Windows 10 RS3 update and the SMB1 protocol was disabled by default in it. An important point to note here is the changes will not affect in-place upgrades of machines already running SMB1. For those users, SMB1 isn’t gone completely, and it is possible to reinstall SMB1 if the admin wants.

Not just that Microsoft will also remove SMB1 binaries in future releases of Windows 11. When the update arrives, Windows 11 and Windows Server will not come with drivers and DLLs of SMB1. For the organizations and users who still want to connect to old factory machinery, medical gear, or consumer NAS, Microsoft will provide an out-of-band unsupported install package.

As SMB1 protocol is outdated, it puts privacy and security at risk while transferring files. It is good to see Microsoft disabling it on Windows 11 Home. The feature will be there but not be enabled by default. Those users who still want to use SMB1 can install it.

What are your thoughts about Microsoft disabling the SMB1 protocol by default in Windows 11? Do you still rely on SMB1 for file transfer? Do let us know in the comments.

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