Microsoft Details Deprecated and Removed Features in Windows 10 Version 1803

Posted on April 30, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 48 Comments

As part of its rollout of Windows 10 version 1803 today, Microsoft has published a list of those features that are deprecated and removed in this release.

This isn’t the first time the software giant has provided such a list: It notably listed Paint as a feature it was deprecating in the previous release, Windows 10 version 1709. But the list for version 1803 is pretty long and features some notable changes.

These are the most important.


Windows Help Viewer. It doesn’t get much more legacy than this.

Phone Companion. This superfluous app has been replaced by the Phone page in Settings.


Groove Music Pass. The Groove app no longer mentions the discontinued Groove Music Pass and instead promoted Spotify.

HomeGroup. Once called out in Windows 7 Setup, the HomeGroup feature, finally, is dead. That said, users can still share printers, files, and folders like they used to before Windows 7.

XPS Viewer. This waste of time from the Vista days is still technically available from the Apps and Features control panel. But it’s no longer installed by default. Good riddance.

You can check the Microsoft site for the full list of changes.


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Comments (55)

55 responses to “Microsoft Details Deprecated and Removed Features in Windows 10 Version 1803”

  1. tbtalbot

    Can EDGE view XPS files?? If not, I'll need to install that XPS viewer....

  2. mrdrwest

    But, but...I used XPS...aargh!!!!!!!

  3. Daekar

    I'm not really in a position to evaluate what should and shouldn't be eliminated - I seem to use a couple subsets of WIndows features and ignore the others - but I am glad, on principle, to see them actively cutting out unnecessary functionality and applications. As Paul consistently reminds us, Windows is a massive chunk of code, so getting rid of anything they don't need to hold onto is a good thing, in my opinion.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Daekar:

      If we're going to get into cruft, when was the last time anyone here used EUDCEDIT.EXE to create or tweak their own private character set? I figure XPS Viewer usage is at least 2 orders of magnitude greater.

      Also, I forgot GRPCONV.EXE, the utility to convert Windows 3.x Program Manager groups into Windows 95 Start menu submenus. I suspect WINHELP/.HLP files are more used by several orders of magnitude.

  4. hrlngrv

    There was a time Windows didn't come with a PDF printer/output option, so XPS was the best option for saving WYSIWYG 'printouts' to disk. People with years worth of records saved in XPS format (like me) may not be so sanguine about the XPS Viewer's downgrade.

    Then again, I use Linux at home, and Okular has no problem with most of the non-MSFT document and image formats I need. And for the ever rarer occasions I need to view .HLP files (actually only MACROFUN.HLP, for Excel 4 and prior XLM functions, which are still supported and still the only means to do certain things without VBA, i.e., group policy can disable the VBA editor, but it can't prevent use of XLM functions), wine's version of WINHELP.EXE is adequate.

  5. Jorge Garcia

    I think they need two more versions of Windows...

    A. Windows "Lean"...(as the rumors already suggest)...a SKU of Windows which should work as "traditional" Windows 10 does, but without occupying more than 5-6GB of drive space.

    B. Windows "Dumb"...something that, in addition to being relatively lean, ONLY runs the Windows store apps (and that is possibly not even called Windows, to avoid the RT fiasco) and that works a lot more like mobile devices do, but not "all the way" mobile, just kind-of mobile. To accomplish this: Keep mouse support, but no more double-click to do ANYTHING. No more ability to change filenames by precisely putting a cursor over the icon name and clicking and a host of other similarly "too precise" things which Windows has always offered. I personally do enjoy the amazing precision of Windows, but the truth is normal people don't need so much precision, and it just gets in the way and annoys them, turning them on to Chromebooks even more. Microsoft can't just cater to the ultra-precise nerd crowd any more, and I think they know that. I know Skane2600 will protest this and not be able to wrap his mind around what I'm proposing, but I am NOT saying please "dumb-down REAL Windows (even more)" I'm saying "make a separate Windows SKU that is Windows for dummies". This still won't stave off the Chrome/Fuchsia apocalypse that MS is facing, but at least they can have an offering that stops turning off younger users who find all the precision of Windows FRUSTRATING.

  6. sgtaylor5

    XPS documents? QuickBooks Desktop on Windows uses XPS to make interim copies of reports, then it uses Amiyuni PDF Converter to turn that into your PDF report. A bigger kludge I've never seen. (and hope that it doesn't break somewhere in the background... EVER...)

    QuickBooks Desktop also needs Internet Explorer in the background, too, or it won't even load. It'll be interesting to see what happens when Microsoft truly sunsets IE.

    Luckily, I'm on a Mac now, where QuickBooks Desktop PDF is mostly sane.

  7. red.radar

    Can’t wait for the phone calls from dear ol dad on the home group support disappearing ... thanks for the heads up Paul. I can take two shots and brace myself for the angry rant they are changing for the sake of change ....

  8. Tony Barrett

    Windows as many new (and loved) it is gone forever. It's just a data slurping ad platform now. MS will slowly keep depreciating those oft used and useful 'legacy' win32 apps, and either replace them with inferior UWP versions or not at all. In the end, Windows will just be an empty shell compared to what it was. Win10 doesn't bear any resemblance to what Windows used to be. I know times move on, but MS are turning it into some type of gaudy side show - lots of features to attract people, but not much else besides. It's no longer a power users platform. It's no longer a rock solid dev platform. It's no longer tested to death inside Redmond. It's no longer Microsoft's no.1 poster boy. It's actually a sad shadow of what used to be and could have been.

  9. Darekmeridian

    Get a hold of your XPS viewing selves.. good grief

  10. plettza

    Why remove Homegroup? They should've improved its reliability rather than entirely remove it.

    I rolled back to 1709. I don't intend to upgrade Windows to 1803 any time soon.

    I still have a Windows Home Server 2011 which runs the Homegroup and a number of different PCs that connect to it. I know I can set up file sharing manually, but it's a pain in the arse with the 7 PCs I have. With Homegroup, all I do is join and enter a password. Done.

    I'm over the shit Microsoft's pulling these days.

    • wright_is

      In reply to plettza:

      If you have already shared / are already in a Home Group, according to the MS page, they shares will still work. Newly installed PCs will have to manually share.

      I always saw Home Groups as a security issue and never used them.

  11. IanYates82

    Everyone, please read... XPS Viewer is still there, it's just not installed by default. For the few percent of users that need it, they can still install it.

    XPS itself isn't going away. It forms the basis of many in-box printer drivers for major manufacturers. It's also an open standard and there are plenty of viewers - free & open source even - that can render to and from XPS. It was an alternative to PDF, and now that print-to-PDF support is baked in to Windows, and PDF viewing is baked in to Windows, XPS isn't going to get a lot of end-user use.

    If you need it, install it. Same goes for things like Message Queue and the telnet command-line client. XPS Viewer wasn't installed by default on remote desktop servers for years but was always available in that "turn windows features on and off" window.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to IanYates82:

      I think the point is more that if it's still widely used, why wouldn't it be installed by default? OTOH, if it's not being installed by default because fewer than half of Windows PC users use it, how many Windows PC users have run GRPCONV.EXE in the last 15 years? At the very least, MSFT's priorities in this regard are a mystery.

  12. bassoprofundo

    I totally hadn't seen the news about Homegroup. All my machines have been joined to the same homegroup ever since I took out my WS2003-based domain controller back in the day, so everybody automatically gets access to shared printers and such. I guess I need to go through and see what I can still access and what I can't on my machines. (Man, I've gotten lazy...)

  13. Jhambi

    I'm glad they left phone dialer alone. Maybe the next build will include 10 speed dial slots instead of 8.

  14. skane2600

    Windows Help Viewer isn't used as often as it had been, but can be more useful for legacy programs than some of the junk that Microsoft has added in the last few years.

  15. madthinus

    Paint is still better for image editing than Paint3D

  16. Davco

    XPS Viewer is still present after the 1709>1803 update, no need to activate it via the control panel. I used it this morning without even knowing it was deleted. Then, on a clean installation, perhaps it should be activated, but not following an update. 

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