Microsoft Windows 11 system will disable WMIC tool on January 29


Microsoft WIndows 11 update

Microsoft recently issued a press release announcing that it will disable the WMIC management tool starting from the Windows 11 preview version on January 29, 2024. The full name of WMIC is Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line. It is a command line interface tool in Windows systems. It is used to obtain system and network information and manage Windows operating systems/devices through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

WMIC tool

Deprecation of WMIC

Microsoft deprecated WMIC in Windows Server in 2016; it deprecated WMIC in Windows 10 systems in 2021. Now, it is the turn of the Windows 11 system. WMIC is a built-in Microsoft program that allows command-line access to the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). It has been used by threat actors for various malicious purposes, such as deleting Shadow Volume Copies to thwart ransomware attacks. However, the tool has been superseded by Windows PowerShell for WMI

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Microsoft says that starting with the next version of Windows 11, likely the 24H2 version released later this year, the tool will be disabled by default in subsequent versions. Eventually, Microsoft will remove WMIC from future versions of Windows.

Microsoft replaced WMIC (WMIC and WMI are two different things) with Windows PowerShell for WMI, providing administrators with a more efficient way to query Windows Management Instrumentation. Microsoft says that removing obsolete features helps reduce code complexity and allows users to stay secure and productive.

Microsoft Windows 11

Impact on Windows 11 Users

Starting with Windows 11 build 22572, WMIC is now available as an optional feature that can be uninstalled or reinstalled via Settings. This means that users who have not explicitly installed the WMIC optional feature will not have access to the tool. Windows PowerShell is a more powerful and flexible alternative to WMIC for managing WMI. It provides a more robust and secure way to interact with WMI, making it a better choice for administrators and power users.

Conclusion

The deprecation of WMIC in Windows 11 is a step towards improving security. It could also reduce the potential for malicious use of the tool. WMIC has been a useful tool for administrators and power users. However, its deprecation is a necessary step to address the risks associated with its use. Users who require the functionality provided by WMIC can still install the optional feature. Nevertheless, it is recommended to explore alternatives like Windows PowerShell for more secure and efficient management of WMI.

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1 Comment

  1. January 30, 2024

    “…removing obsolete features helps reduce code complexity and allows users to stay secure and productive.”, yet SMBv1 (depreciated 10 years ago in 2013) is still available on Windows 11 23H2 to be loaded and version 2 & 3 are entangled with the O/S to cause possible problems when disabled or removed. Not to mention telnet, legacy Media Player, DirectPlay, IIS and PowerShellv2, seems “…will eventually be removed..” is 8, 10, 20 years away. Playing hardnose with the hardware requirements for Windows 11, but let legacy protocols and apps reside inside the O/S for decades. Top notch security Microsoft!!