Windows 11 may switch to ReFS from NTFS file system

Windows 11 to use ReFS as the default file system, ditching the legacy NTFS technology.

Windows 11 ReFS
Windows 11 ReFS (Source: @XenoPanther)
  • Microsoft is working to change the Windows 11 file system to ReFS.
  • ReFS overcomes the limitations of NTFS and has corruption resiliency.
  • The new file system is a hidden feature that must be enabled manually.
  • It’s unclear when the feature will be introduced to Windows 11.

Windows 11 may soon switch from the New Technology File System (NTFS) to Resilient File System (ReFS) on new installations. In the latest preview of Windows 11 available through the Dev Channel, a Twitter user has discovered that it’s now possible to enable a hidden option (ID 42189933) to install a clean copy of Windows 11 using ReFS.

ReFS is a technology designed to meet storage needs and overcome limitations from today and tomorrow. The file system can handle large volumes, share storage pools with different systems, and has corruption resiliency.

Initially, the company created the file system to replace NTFS, but it was only available for the server version of Windows. However, it appears that ReFS will finally come to the desktop version of the operating system.

According to another Twitter user, the installation didn’t show any issues with the new file system as the default, and Windows 11 worked as expected.

It’s unclear when Microsoft plans to replace NTFS with ReFS, but seeing that Windows 11 can install and boot from a ReFS partition, it seems that the days of the legacy file system are numbered. In the latest preview of Windows 11, you can use these instructions to try the system with ReFS.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].