Microsoft deprecates legacy command console on Windows 11

  • Microsoft is deprecating the legacy Console mode, not the Windows Console experience.
  • The legacy mode was only a compatibility fallback feature to run older tools.
  • This decision means the legacy mode will no longer be part of the system in future releases.

Microsoft is retiring the legacy command console on Windows 11 and feature releases. The company quietly updated its documentation page in December 2023, noting that the “legacy console mode” has been deprecated, meaning it’ll no longer receive updates.

In addition, the documentation points out that the console will no longer come as a system component on Windows 11. However, it will be available as a “Feature on Demand” that anyone can install from the “Optional features” configurations page or run the DISM /add-Capability command.

Although the command console is often associated with Command Prompt, it’s actually a tool to access features such as PowerShell and Command Prompt.

Since Windows 10, the system has included three consoles: the Windows Terminal, Windows Console, and the legacy Console mode. The “Windows Terminal” is the newest default experience to access Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Linux through WSL. The “Windows Console” is the newer experience that replaces the original console, and the legacy Console mode brings a compatibility layer to run older command-line tools that do not work correctly in the newer version of the console or the terminal.

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In other words, Microsoft is only retiring the legacy component. You will still be able to access the Windows Console. However, it’s recommended to use the Windows Terminal, which should already be the default experience on Windows 11.

Microsoft isn’t detailing the reasons for the decision, but it’s likely because telemetry may now indicate that not many users are reverting to the legacy mode to use command-line tools.

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