How to Enable SMB1 on Windows 11: Step-by-Step Guide for Users

If you’re trying to enable SMB1 on Windows 11, you’re in the right place. This guide will walk you through how to do it step-by-step, ensuring you can access older network devices that require the SMB1 protocol. Before we dive in, keep in mind that SMB1 is outdated and less secure, so you should only enable it if absolutely necessary.

How to Enable SMB1 on Windows 11

Enabling SMB1 on Windows 11 can restore compatibility with older network devices and file shares. However, due to its security vulnerabilities, it is recommended to disable it when not in use. Follow the steps below to enable SMB1 on your Windows 11 machine safely.

Step 1: Open Settings

Open the Start Menu, then click on Settings.

Accessing the Settings app is the first step in making changes to your system. This is where you can configure various options, including enabling SMB1.

Step 2: Go to Apps

In Settings, click on Apps in the left sidebar.

The Apps section allows you to manage installed applications and features on your Windows 11 system. This is where you will find the option to enable SMB1.

Step 3: Click Optional Features

Under Apps, click on Optional Features.

Optional Features is a list of additional functionalities that you can enable or disable. This is where SMB1 settings are located.

Step 4: Add a Feature

Scroll down and click "Add a feature."

The "Add a feature" button allows you to include more features that are not enabled by default on your Windows installation.

Step 5: Search for SMB1

In the search box, type "SMB1" and select the checkbox next to "SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support."

Searching for SMB1 ensures you can quickly find and select the specific feature you need to enable.

Step 6: Install SMB1

Click Install and wait for the installation to complete.

Installing SMB1 will take a few moments. Once done, your system will have the necessary protocols to communicate with older devices.

After you complete these steps, your Windows 11 machine will have the SMB1 protocol enabled, allowing you to connect to older network devices and shares.

Tips for Enabling SMB1 on Windows 11

  • Always ensure your system is up-to-date before making changes.
  • Only enable SMB1 if absolutely necessary due to its security vulnerabilities.
  • Consider using other, more secure file-sharing solutions if possible.
  • Disable SMB1 when not in use to protect your system.
  • Regularly check for updates to minimize security risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SMB1 and why is it used?

SMB1 (Server Message Block version 1) is a network protocol used for sharing files, printers, and other resources. It is often required for compatibility with older devices.

Is enabling SMB1 safe?

Enabling SMB1 poses security risks due to known vulnerabilities. Only enable it if necessary and disable it when not in use.

How do I disable SMB1 after enabling it?

You can disable SMB1 by reversing the enabling steps: Go to Settings > Apps > Optional Features, then remove "SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support."

Will enabling SMB1 affect system performance?

Enabling SMB1 itself should not significantly impact system performance, but it can introduce security vulnerabilities that might be exploited.

Can I enable SMB1 on other versions of Windows?

Yes, you can enable SMB1 on other versions of Windows such as Windows 10 and older by following similar steps through the Control Panel or Settings.


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. Click Optional Features.
  4. Add a Feature.
  5. Search for SMB1.
  6. Install.


Enabling SMB1 on Windows 11 is a simple process that can help you connect to older network devices. However, given the security concerns associated with SMB1, it’s crucial to use it sparingly and disable it when not needed. Always consider more secure alternatives when possible. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just someone trying to get your old printer working, these steps will guide you safely through enabling SMB1. For further reading, you might want to explore the security implications of SMB protocols and alternative file-sharing solutions. Now, go ahead and enable SMB1 if you need to, but remember to prioritize the security of your system!

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