Feature deprecation is nothing new in the Microsoft world. Every now and then, the company stops developing parts of its operating system due to various reasons. In 2022, Microsoft deprecated only two services just to ditch a massive list of components in 2023. Keeping track of everything might be challenging if you do not follow Windows development closely, so here is a recap of every feature Microsoft deprecated in Windows 10 and 11 in 2023.
What is feature deprecation in Windows?
As a reminder, feature deprecation does not mean feature removal. When Microsoft deprecates a Windows component, it no longer receives updates and new capabilities. Usually, deprecated features remain available and continue working for a while, eventually becoming optional components or leaving the operating system for good.
Table of contents:
Deprecated features in Windows in 2023
Universal Windows Platform (UWP) Apps for ARM32 | Deprecated in January 2023
Future Windows 11 updates, including the next-gen Windows client, will remove support for 32-bit Universal Windows Platform apps on ARM. If you are a Windows developer, Microsoft urges you to update your project to ARM64.
Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool | Deprecated in January 2023
MSDT is the engine for the legacy troubleshooters in Windows. Microsoft plans to retire MSDT in 2025, moving troubleshooters to the Get Help platform. Half of the built-in troubleshooters have already been redirected there.
Cortana app for Windows | Deprecated in June 2023
The original assistant for Windows 10 and 11 is dead. As a gesture of goodwill, Microsoft allowed users to uninstall the app in the latest Windows 11 updates. Right-click Cortana in the All Apps list and select “Uninstall.”
TLS 1.0 and 1.1 | Deprecated in August 2023
The original Transport Layer Security protocols are extremely outdated, and they create unnecessary security risks for Windows users. However, TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are still available as optional features for organizations that rely on them. This change does not affect regular users.
AllJoyn | Deprecated in August 2023
AllJoyn was an open-source IoT protocol for things like turning lights on or off, getting temperature information, etc.
The built-in WYSIWYG text editor for Windows is no longer in development. It is still available for use in the latest Windows 11 updates, but Microsoft plans to remove it in future releases. If you need an alternative for doc and rtf documents, Microsoft recommends Word or Word Online.
Here is a quick look at the history of WordPad.
VBScript | Deprecated in October 2023
Microsoft’s active scripting language for Windows will soon be removed from Windows. However, Microsoft will let developers install VBScript as a feature-on-demand to prepare for its removal.
Timeline for Microsoft Entra Accounts | Deprecated in October 2023
Microsoft ditched Windows Timeline for Windows 10 for personal accounts in 2021, a few months before launching Windows 11, where Timeline is not available at all. However, cross-device syncing of Microsoft Entra is still available on Windows 10. Microsoft will drop it in January 2024.
Remote Mailslots | Deprecated in November 2023
This old and unreliable mail protocol, first introduced in MS-DOS, is now turned off by default.
Webclient (WebDAV) Service | Deprecated in November 2023
This HTTP extension no longer runs by default in modern Windows versions.
Computer Browser | Deprecated in November 2023
Do not confuse this with Edge or Chrome. Computer Browser is an old and unsafe device location protocol. Microsoft turned it off alongside SMB1 in Windows 10.
Tips App | Deprecated in November 2023
For some reason, Microsoft decided to deprecate and remove this app. However, it will continue receiving new content for the latest Windows 11 features until Microsoft removes it from the operating system.
Steps Recorder (psr.exe) | Deprecated in November 2023
This old troubleshooting utility you can use to show your grandma how to get things done in Windows will soon be removed. Although it is still available in Windows 10 and 11, Microsoft suggests moving to apps like Snipping Tool, Xbox Game Bar, and Microsoft Clipchamp, even though none can replace all the features available in the old Steps Recorder.
Microsoft Defender Application Guard for Office | Deprecated in November 2023
MDAG for Office and its related APIs are deprecated, so Microsoft recommends organizations shift to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Do not worry if that explains nothing to you—regular consumers are not affected (they do not even have access to MDAG).
Windows Speech Recognition | Deprecated in December 2023
First introduced in Windows Vista, the old Windows Speech Recognition app is no longer in development. Windows 11 users can replace it with the new Voice Access feature in Windows 11 version 22H2 and newer. However, the latter has a very limited set of supported languages.
Legacy Console Mode | Deprecated in December 2023
This feature allowed running old console apps in modern Command Prompt versions. Despite deprecation, Microsoft will keep LCM as an optional feature for those needing it.
Microsoft Defender Application Guard for Edge | Deprecated in December 2023
Like MDAG for Office, MDAG for Edge is now deprecated alongside its related APIs. Microsoft has a special whitepaper with more information about securing Microsoft Edge in business environments. Again, MDAG for Edge is not available for regular users.
Windows Mixed Reality | Deprecated in December 2023
This is a big one. WMR was introduced alongside Windows 10, and it was Microsoft’s big push into VR and an attempt to standardize VR helmets and make them affordable. It did not take off, so Microsoft decided to pull the plug after more than eight years. Mixed Reality Portal and Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR will soon be removed from future Windows releases.
Total: 18 features deprecated. You can learn more about them in the official documentation.