Microsoft is trying to stop the distribution of the leaked Windows 11 ISO using DMCA

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 21, 2021
Windows 11 News

A development version of Microsoft's next version of Windows, Windows 11, leaked earlier this month. It did not take long for the leaked copy to go viral. People from all over the world downloaded it from websites, P2P networks and other sources, and information about Windows 11 started to appear on social media sites, in forums, and on tech sites.

Microsoft started to issue DMCA takedown requests to various sites on which leaked copies of Windows 11 are offered on or linked on. Damage has already been done, as information about Windows 11 were published already prior to the company's own event on June 24, 2021.

windows 11 leak dmca

The DCMA requests confirm that Windows 11 is an unreleased version of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

ADVERTISEMENT's article is distributing Windows 11 ISO(copyrighted to Microsoft). Please remove their article from the search. It is a leaked copy of the unreleased Windows 11.

Microsoft has not published information about the takedown requests or the leaked copy of Windows 11 other than what is included in the DMCA takedown requests. We don't know why Microsoft started to issue the requests days after the version of Windows 11 leaked and not earlier.

The most likely reason for issuing the DMCA requests is to contain the spreading of the version of the operating system. Takedown requests target specific sites only, and it is a futile undertaking to get something removed from the Internet entirely once it has spread like the Windows 11 ISO did. The popularity of the leak could result in copies being infected with malware, and that could be another concern that Microsoft has in this regard.

Many Windows users are interested in the next version of Windows, especially since it looks to replace Windows 10, the version of Windows that Microsoft once called the last version of the operating system. Microsoft will likely shed light on Windows 11 on Thursday, when it is holding its own event to reveal the future of the operating system.

Now You: what are your expectations in regards to Windows 11?

Microsoft is trying to stop the distribution of the leaked Windows 11 ISO using DMCA
Article Name
Microsoft is trying to stop the distribution of the leaked Windows 11 ISO using DMCA
Microsoft is using DMCA takedown complaints to contain the spreading and distribution of the leaked copy of the company's Windows 11 operating system.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Anonymous said on June 21, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    These DMCA requests are just to delist the entries from Google. You can still see them on other search engines.

  2. GoodMeasure said on June 21, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    @Now You: what are your expectations in regards to Windows 11?

    I look to the impending announcement with interest. My concern is that MS will use it as an opportunity to test the waters on more anti-power-user features. I hope that influential voices like gHacks and other tech media will ask the important questions regarding mandatory MS accounts, secure boot, updates, telemetry, the Store, running other O/S’s, user customization, etc.

    I understand (and share) the fascination with the UI, but we can (hopefully, we shall see) change that. Just don’t be overly distracted by little UI changes.

    I am not so naive that I expect a perfect world. Just a strong, unified front so we, at a minimum, don’t go backwards on the OPTION of user control.

  3. Zz said on June 21, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    In the name of VPN, torrent client and magnet link.


  4. ddk said on June 21, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    I DL’ed from Pirate Bay then attempted an install in Virtualbox. Failed with cryptic error messages, then tried Linux Mint just for the heck of it and was “WOWED” by major improvements to that OS.

    I’ll keep LM around on a San Disk Extreme, works great, just really getting fed up with MS aggressive marketing and changing user privacy settings during updates which are deceptive as they come packaged as forced “security” updates.

    Surprisingly I do like MACOS though. Didn’t think I would take to it but it’s been pretty solid for me.
    Since both Linux & Mac are Unix based, they compliment each other well. IOW what works on Linux, works on a Mac too.

    1. Ramsey said on June 21, 2021 at 11:29 pm

      Seriously… do you really care about the ‘OS features’ if you have hard time launching programs or there is no official support so you have to “hack” it or you just can’t do it at all?
      That’s linux.

      Just look at the many software that is available only for Windows and MacOS, yeah, there are some that are available for linux, I am talking about Adobe, Affinity. Autodesk like 3dsmax, revit (windows only), Zbrush which is the best and major sculpting software, Office, and then if we go further and further we get that Nvidia is not even properly supported for Linux, they don’t care at all about it, Nvidia which has the best videocards with CUDA and other features which are used in many software and other features for videogames, and many more examples of windows only software or windows and macos only software…. so what is great about “features” when you can’t easily run software like that?

      If I could I would have a windows like the Safe mode with Command Prompt support to only launch programs and never load anything else, because all that matters about windows is the program support it has, how you can custom build and upgrade your computer without having to buy some hardware that will be unsupported after few years like happened with Apple hardware when they went to intel, and now their own processors.
      That’s why Windows wins and it will always win, and there will never be a “year of linux” anyway, even free nobody cares about it, there are some people who will put “privacy” or some lame excuse to use Linux but the common person will buy a Windows computer and do more than you can with Linux and MacOS and that should be enough reason not to find excuses to stop using it.

      1. The Funky Bunch said on June 23, 2021 at 7:11 am

        I’m sure your words of wisdom are of great comfort to all those that got their computers/files hijacked by ransomware and other lovely goodies available exclusively for Windows. Just because YOU don’t know how to use linux, doesn’t mean anything. Imagine if you’d use the same energy on that as you do on writing garbage on the internet.. People use Windows because that’s what their computer came with, and there’s not one single person on this planet who has had a good experience with it. Put your big boy pants on and shut up, you big crybaby.

    2. Anonymous said on June 22, 2021 at 4:15 am

      ddk, I had no issues installing an ISO from PBay on VMware.

      1. ddk said on June 22, 2021 at 8:03 am

        @ Ramsey…I’m not entirely sold on Linux, it’s difficult especially when things break. Keeping it as a possible option. If there’s a need to run Windows programs, will have to use 10 or possibly 11 depending if it’s worth the upgrade. Hoping for a public beta announcement this week on 11.
        Wine isn’t a real good choice, very buggy and GUI on many apps look terrible.

        @ Anonymous….forgot about VMware, will attempt that, thanks.

    3. Klaas Vaak said on June 22, 2021 at 8:37 am

      @ddk: I got so sick of M$ and its disregard for home users so I switched to Linux Mint. Then, when my wife got a Macbook I got hooked on that and bought one too. I have been thoroughly happy with it, though I still have a soft spot for Linux. Good riddance Windows though.

    4. Dumbledalf said on June 22, 2021 at 9:30 am

      I also had an error message when I tried to update my existing Windows 10 installation.

      Then I found the solution – you have to extract the Win11 ISO and delete the “install.wim” file from it and replace it with one from a Win10 ISO and then repackage the thing again into a bootable ISO and then it works.

      Ever since the leak, I’ve been using Windows 11 as my daily OS and it has worked almost flawlessly. Some problems I found:

      1. Taskbar is rewritten in a new language like the UWP apps and you can’t drag & drop files into open programs in the taskbar, middle click also doesn’t open new instances of pinned stuff.

      2. I had one program that requires Net Framework 2.0 and 3.5 to be installed and they would refuse to install on Win11 no matter how many times I tried.

      1. install.wim (they/them) said on June 22, 2021 at 12:52 pm

        install.wim is the whole thing.
        If you replace it with W10’s install.wim then you got a W10 not W11.

        Stupid nonsense, to put it mildly.

      2. John Wold said on June 22, 2021 at 2:04 pm

        You do it the other way around, you replace everything *but* install.wim with the files from the windows 10 install iso.

        You can also use dism from a command line (Shift + F10) when the error message appears.

      3. Dumbledalf said on June 22, 2021 at 3:03 pm

        @install.wim (they/them)

        I don’t care if you believe me or not, but it worked for me, now I have Windows 11:

      4. to Dumbledalf said on June 25, 2021 at 1:01 am

        For net framework, copy the sxs folder from the sources folder in the Win11 iso, copy it to the root C drive and run this command in powershell

        Install-WindowsFeature Net-Framework-Core -source:C:\sxs

        You may have to restart after. Have fun!

  5. TheBocaDeb said on June 21, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    I am not a fan of CEO Nadella and what seems (to me) his hands-off corporate management style.

    If CEO Nadella was more hands-on and directly involved in Microsoft — instead of being the promotional figurehead behind launch events — the Windows 11 leak might not have had to happen. Or it might not have happened at all.

    I fully understand Microsoft issuing the DCMA Takedown Requests, but from a security standpoint why have we not heard anything about Microsoft going after the individuals who leaked the software in the first place?

    One can only delegate so much before they actually have to do their job.

    1. Goober said on June 23, 2021 at 6:58 pm

      > why have we not heard anything about Microsoft going after the individuals who leaked the software in the first place?

      Really? You expect MS to send out a news release saying they are going after the individuals who leaked 11?

      That’s silly. I’m sure they are on it, without wanting or needing to advertise about it.

      1. TheBocaDeb said on June 26, 2021 at 4:55 pm

        No, Goober, I expect CEO Nadella to care about the best interests and security of his company instead of just being the figurehead behind launch events.

        But issuing a press release saying they are going after the leakers would make them look more laughable than they already are.

        One can only delegate so much….

  6. Pierre said on June 21, 2021 at 11:04 pm


  7. Anonymous said on June 22, 2021 at 3:11 am

    You mean someone actually wants Windows 11? lol And beta (alpha?) release to boot.
    As for my expectations – very low.

    1. RobG said on June 22, 2021 at 1:37 pm

      “You mean someone actually wants Windows 11?”.

      My thoughts exactly. Gluttons for punishment, I reckon.

      As a wise man once said….

      ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.’

    2. Peterc said on June 22, 2021 at 3:16 pm

      @Anonymous: Black hats, foreign law enforcement, and foreign intelligence services probably want an alpha/beta release of Windows 11! It gives them a little head start. I kind of doubt that US / Five-Eyes / Nine-Eyes / Fourteen-Eyes / Fourteen-Eyes-Plus law enforcement and intelligence need to get it from a leak, however. Full access could be the tit-for-tat demanded by the US and the EU in exchange for dropping the “M” from “GAFAM” antitrust scrutiny.

    3. ULBoom said on June 22, 2021 at 3:44 pm


      Meet the new boss strategery if I remember correctly.

  8. Does Google Lie? said on June 22, 2021 at 4:24 am

    It will be interesting if Google suddenly, and magically, can remove websites from their search results.

    I reported an antisemitic hate site to Google years ago that appeared near the top of their search results. Google claimed that it was technically impossible for them to remove any sites from search engine results.

    I didn’t have the legal of power or financial resources of Microsoft, so I had to accept Google’s claim, even if it was a lie. Soon we will know the truth about whether or not Google can, in fact, remove sites from their search results.

    1. Peterc said on June 22, 2021 at 3:36 pm

      @Does Google Lie?: How many years ago? Google supposedly didn’t begin subjectively tampering with Google Search results until spring 2017, when it implemented PropOrNot filtering and downgrading. It’s possible they really *didn’t* have the requisite coding in place at the time of your inquiry. Before those days, when I came across a top search hit that had obviously been Google-bombed, I just kept scrolling and usually found something worthwhile on the first results page. (By the way, if you support censorship thinking it will only ever be used against speech *you* don’t like, have I got a surprise for you!)

  9. ULBoom said on June 22, 2021 at 4:38 am

    Crying DMCA is the same as “Don’t do that!”

    Stupid, Win 11 exists and some closer to release version will be out soon to insiders or whatever that’s called today.

  10. ULBoom said on June 22, 2021 at 4:46 am

    A good link on what’s happening:

    So, google’s taking down links but page after page of download links appear if you search with, guess what, bing!

    Tech’s so screwed up, it’s guaranteed to provide non-stop comic relief over the next few years as myriad events unfold.

  11. R said on June 22, 2021 at 8:29 am


    The problem is the philosophy. Closed source is a dead end. Free and Open Source Software is the present and the future.

    1. Aldous Huxley said on June 23, 2021 at 7:08 pm

      So you think you know the future. Ha. In the future, the world is ruled by a corporate distopia, and everyone is high on Soma.

  12. John C. said on June 22, 2021 at 8:37 am

    “Many Windows users are interested in the next version of Windows, especially since it looks to replace Windows 10, the version of Windows that Microsoft once called the last version of the operating system.” So Microsoft was caught in a blatant lie. It will be interesting to see if they try to have their spin-doctored euphemistically rationalize it somehow or if they will simply never again refer to their claim that W10 would be the last version of Windows. More likely it will be the latter. Kind of like how with each new version of Windows they claim that you’ll be able to do things faster and easier, yet each version strips away useful features and obfuscates the workflow.

  13. Henk said on June 22, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Quote: “Many Windows users are interested in the next version of Windows.” Sure, I suppose this is true. But why? Just because people want a revamped interface once in a while? Or do people actually hope for (or even expect) some fundamental improvements?
    Looks like I’m out of this perpetual loop myself. Yes I still am a Windows user (most of the time). But speaking for myself, no, I’m not interested in the next version. Not at all. In fact I was never interested in the current version, either.
    Sometimes it looks to me like people do not always weigh the perceived benefits of change against the actual benefits of keeping things as they are. Yes, of course you have to update some of your security software once in a while, but do secondary considerations like that really justify updating your entire OS? I don’t think so.

  14. RobG said on June 22, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    “…The popularity of the leak could result in copies [of Windows 11] being infected with malware..”.

    Its not even officially released, but already Windows 11 is causing chaos around the globe.

  15. Anonymous said on June 22, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Gahhhh ! all new devious telemetry methods ! how the hell do I stop all this ! — START AGAIN !

  16. Corky said on June 23, 2021 at 11:42 am

    So what happens if Bing links to an ISO of W11, does Microsoft send Microsoft a DMCA notice. :)

  17. Agent Smith said on June 24, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Used it for a week now and its rock solid.
    It’s missing some of the features still being tested like ‘Teams’ integration but not a deal breaker.

    New start menu is much more compact and useful but also irritating as its difficult adding anything to task bar and the start menu is limited in space.

    Very snappy build though.

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