Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) for Windows 11 will be deprecated in 2025

Windows[German]Now it's confirmed what was only hinted at before. The developers are phasing out Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) support for Windows 11 (and successor versions) in 2025. The first steps will be taken starting in 2023. The reason for this move is likely to be security considerations on Microsoft's part. Here is some information about what exactly is involved.


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What is the MSDT?

The abbreviation MSDT stands for Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool. The msdt command calls a troubleshooting package on Windows via the command line – or via automated scripts.

The tool starts with a dialog box, where a master key provided by a support staff member is then to be entered. The tool then guides the user through various troubleshooting steps. The msdt command can also be invoked with command line parameters to go immediately to the relevant troubleshooting diagnostic step.

Microsoft has published the msdt support article (last updated 03/22/2021) with more details. A list of available diagnostic packages can be found on this article. The tool is already included with the operating system in Windows 7 and has been carried over into new Windows versions over the years. However, it is not clear to me how often the tool has been used at all – I have deliberately never used it – users usually call the Windows troubleshooter directly to perform the diagnostic steps.

The MSDT will be deprecated in 2025

I had already reported on January 15, 2022, in the post Is Microsoft retiring Windows MSDT in 2025? about the end of support for this tool. The background was that the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) in a Windows 11 Insider Preview displayed a message in the dialog box that it would be retired in 2025. However, the Learn more link in the dialog box was still private at the time, and no details could be retrieved.

Now media outlets like neowin.net or Bleeping Computer have noticed that there is a Microsoft support article Deprecation of Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) and MSDT Troubleshooters confirming that and reporting more details about this deprecation.

  • 2023 – Begin redirecting some troubleshooters to the new Get Help troubleshooting platform.
  • 2024 – Complete the redirection of troubleshooters and remove the remaining troubleshooters.
  • 2025 – Removal of the MSDT platform.

Furthermore, the support article states that Microsoft is discontinuing Windows Legacy Inbox Troubleshooters, such as Keyboard Troubleshooter and Speech Troubleshooter, as well as the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) that runs them. These Windows troubleshooters are built-in tools that automatically diagnose and fix common problems for a variety of Windows features at startup. The MSDT troubleshooters will be declared deprecated in the next release of Windows 11. The exact date when this Windows 11 version will be released is still being determined.


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Redirection to Get Help

Many of the built-in troubleshooters in Windows are based on the MSDT platform. Some of these troubleshooters will be redirected to Microsoft's new platform called Get Help. The remaining troubleshooters will be removed, Microsoft writes in its support post on the discontinuation. The support article Deprecation of Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) and MSDT Troubleshooters already roughly lists which troubleshooters will be redirected in upcoming Windows 11 versions in the years 2023-2024:

Troubleshooter redirects

Furthermore, the troubleshooters listed below will be completely removed from future Windows 11 (or later versions)..

  • Connection to a Workplace using DirectAccess
  • Devices and Printers
  • Hardware and Devices
  • HomeGroup
  • Incoming Connections
  • Internet Explorer Performance
  • Internet Explorer Safety
  • Keyboard
  • Power
  • Search and Indexing
  • Speech
  • System Maintenance
  • Shared Folders
  • Windows Store Apps

Users who open any of the legacy inbox issue treatments from 2023 will see an in-product message. This indicates the upcoming retirement and includes a link for users to learn more.

For users of Windows 11 version 22H2 and older, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, nothing will change. On older operating systems, the MSDT platform will remain intact and will continue to run the old inbox issue handlers.

Security concerns as reason

The explanation for the discontinuation is likely to be security concerns. The tool made headlines in May 2022 because a new attack vector was disclosed via the Follina vulnerability CVE-2022-30190. The attack vector allowed the Microsoft Support Diagnostics Utility (MSDT) to be abused via the ms-msdt: protocol to download and execute malicious Word documents (or Excel spreadsheets) from the web.

Microsoft had issued a support document for CVE-2022-30190 at the time. Security researcher Will Dormann suggests administrators to disable the ms-msdt protocol in a tweet. I had reported about it in the blog post Follina: Attack via Word documents and ms-msdt protocol (CVE-2022-30190) The Follina vulnerability kept administrators busy for a few days and ACROS Security had even released a 0patch micropatch to close the vulnerability (see article links at the end of the post). The colleagues from Bleeping Computer also mention the DogWalk vulnerability (CVE-2022-34713) as a possible MSDT attack target.

Similar articles:
Follina: Attack via Word documents and ms-msdt protocol (CVE-2022-30190)
Follina vulnerabilitiy (CVE-2022-30190): Status, Findings, Warnings & Attacks
0Patch Micro patch against Follina vulnerability (CVE-2022-30190) in Windows
Follina (CVE-2022-30190): No major attack wave, but campaigns on EU/US and other targets
Windows Vulnerability Follina (CVE-2022-30190): New findings, new risks (June 9, 2022)
Microsoft patches Follina vulnerability (CVE-2022-30190) in Windows with June 2022 updates
Remote access Trojan "Woody Rat" uses Follina exploits to attack Russian organizations
Is Microsoft retiring Windows MSDT in 2025?


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