Not every new release means features are added. Sometimes elements are removed. Windows 11 doesn’t support SMB1 file-sharing anymore.
Users installing the latest Windows 11 Home Insider builds will find that support for version 1.0 of the vulnerable SMB file-sharing protocol is now disabled by default, something that may break file-sharing for older networked storage equipment.
Microsoft had already disabled SMB1 by default in other editions of Windows. The SMB1 server service was removed from all Windows versions starting in 2017, and the client service was disabled in Windows 10 Pro editions in 2018. Home and Pro editions still had the client so users could connect to the vast fleet of consumer and small business third-party NAS devices that only supported SMB1. If the client didn’t see any outbound use of SMB1 after total 15 days of uptime, it would then automatically uninstall it. In RS5 – version 1809 – Microsoft stopped installing SMB1 client in Pro editions.
Acknowledging “consumer pain”
Microsoft program manager Ned Pyle detailed the change in a blog post. Pyle writes that the client in the Home editions of Windows came last since it will “cause consumer pain among folks who are still running very old equipment, a group that’s the least likely to understand why their new Windows 11 laptop can’t connect to their old networked hard drive.”
This means there is no edition 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.
“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 still intentionally reinstall it.”
“This is not the final story, though,” Pyle continues. “I am also announcing that we are going to remove the SMB1 binaries in a future release. Windows and Windows Server will no longer include the drivers and DLLs of SMB1. We will provide an out-of-band unsupported install package for organizations or users that still need SMB1 to connect to old factory machinery, medical gear, consumer NAS, etc. – I’ll have more details on this in a few months.”