File sharing on Windows 11 will soon be even more secure as Microsoft has announced its intention to finally disable the SMB1 protocol in all editions of its operating system.
For those unfamiliar, the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol was originally developed by IBM in the 1980s to make it easier to share access to files, printers, and other resources on a network. SMB1 on the other hand is a dialect of the protocol which was also created by IBM for file sharing under DOS.
In a new blog post, Senior Program Manager in the Windows Server Engineering Group, Ned Pyle explained that Windows Insiders on Dev Channel will be the first to see SMB1 disabled by default for all editions of Windows 11.
This makes a lot of sense as Microsoft has shipped both Windows 10 and Windows Server without SMB1 installed since the Fall Creators Update was released in 2017. Now, however, this will extend to all versions of Windows 11 that don’t. will no longer have the insecure file sharing protocol enabled.
Still available as an unsupported installer package
Although SMB1 is an insecure protocol, it is still used today to connect to older NAS devices on Windows PCs.
Although the protocol will no longer be enabled by default in Windows 11 going forward, the change will not affect in-place upgrades of machines where end users are already using SMB1. Microsoft also plans to remove the SMB1 binaries in a future release.
As for companies that still need to use SMB1 to connect to older devices such as factory machinery and medical equipment, the software giant will provide an unsupported out-of-band installer package.
In his post, Nyle warned that Microsoft’s plans for SMB1 could create problems for consumers who are still using older hardware and who likely won’t understand why their new business laptop running Windows 11 can’t connect to their aging network hard drive.
Through the register