Microsoft details the features being deprecated or removed in Windows 11

A woman waving at people on a Teams call on a laptop running Windows 11

Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 today, sharing with the world the work that is has been doing in the past year to revamp Windows with new UI elements, a new store that supports Android apps, and more. The company also detailed the minimum hardware requirements needed to run the OS, which is expected to be released this holiday. For eligible Windows 10 users, the latest OS will be a free upgrade.

While there is a lot of information about the new features, UI changes, and improvements, the company has also detailed all the features that it will be deprecating or removing from Windows 10 when users upgrade to Windows 11. While the list of deprecated features between major Windows 10 releases was usually small, there are a bunch of significant features that will no longer be worked on or completely removed from Windows 11.

Some of these features are obvious additions, such as the tiles and app folders in the Start menu. With Windows 11 moving to a new layout that consists of just app icons, the OS will not retain any folders made in the Start menu when it upgrades to Windows 11. Another feature that will be removed is the ability to sync wallpapers across devices.

The company is also making S Mode – a version of the OS that prevents the installation of non-Store apps – available only for Windows 11 Home users. Previously, S Mode was essentially a locked-down version of Windows 10 Pro, so it isn’t clear if there will be a path for those running Windows 10 in S Mode to upgrade to Windows 11.

Windows 11 will also prevent users from changing the position of the taskbar, which means that it is locked to the bottom of the screen, unlike with older versions that allowed for moving the taskbar to the top, or the sides.

Here is the complete list of deprecated features:

  • Cortana will no longer be included in the first boot experience or pinned to the Taskbar.
  • Desktop wallpaper cannot be roamed to or from device when signed in with a Microsoft account.
  • Internet Explorer is disabled. Microsoft Edge is the recommended replacement and includes IE Mode which may be useful in certain scenarios.
  • Math Input Panel is removed. Math Recognizer will install on demand and includes the math input control and recognizer. Math inking in apps like OneNote are not impacted by this change.
  • News & Interests has evolved. New functionality has been added which can be found by clicking the Widgets icon on the Taskbar.
  • Quick Status from the Lockscreen and associated settings are removed.
  • S Mode is only available now for Windows 11 Home edition.
  • Snipping Tool continues to be available but the old design and functionality in the Windows 10 version has been replaced with those of the app previously known as Snip & Sketch.
  • Start is significantly changed in Windows 11 including the following key deprecations and removals:
    • Named groups and folders of apps are no longer supported and the layout is not currently resizable.
    • Pinned apps and sites will not migrate when upgrading from Windows 10.
    • Live Tiles are no longer available. For glanceable, dynamic content, see the new Widgets feature.
  • Tablet Mode is removed and new functionality and capability is included for keyboard attach and detach postures.
  • Taskbar functionality is changed including:
    • People is no longer present on the Taskbar.
    • Some icons may no longer appear in the System Tray (systray) for upgraded devices including previous customizations.
    • Alignment to the bottom of the screen is the only location allowed.
    • Apps can no longer customize areas of the Taskbar.
  • Timeline is removed. Some similar functionality is available in Microsoft Edge.
  • Touch Keyboard will no longer dock and undock keyboard layouts on screen sizes 18 inches and larger.
  • Wallet is removed.

Additionally, there are a bunch of apps that will no longer be pre-loaded in the OS, which the company says can be installed from the Microsoft Store. This includes the OneNote for Windows 10 app, which is the UWP-based version of OneNote. Skype is also being removed in favor of Teams in Windows 11.

Here are the four apps that will be removed:

With the official launch of Windows 11 still a few months away, it is not clear if there will be any additions or changes to these lists.

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