Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool and Troubleshooters deprecation
Microsoft informed customers about the upcoming deprecation of the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) and MSDT Troubleshooters on a support page last week.
Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool and Troubleshooters that are based on the tool will be deprecated over the course of the next three years. Some of the troubleshooters will be redirected to Microsoft's new Get Help application, but several will also be removed without replacement.
Windows users may run the command msdt from the command line currently to open the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool. Users need to provide a passkey that has been provided to them by a support professional. The tool walks the user through various troubleshooting steps set up by the support professional.
Most Windows users may have come into contact with one or multiple troubleshooting apps on Windows. The legacy versions of these rely on the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool. Troubleshooters assist users in resolving common issues that they face on the system.
They are capable of fixing common issues, but in no way universal repair tools with a 100% guarantee of success. Troubleshooters exist for fixing video and audio playback issues, issues with Windows Update, speech, printing, or connectivity.
Get Help in Windows
Microsoft started to replace classic troubleshooters with modernized versions. These are powered by the Get Help app. Windows 11 users may run several of these already on their devices.
All it takes for that is to open Start, type Get Help, and select the result. The app is powered by search and users need to type the issue that they experience in the field to get potential fixes for it. A few common searches are listed in the app as well.
Not all results that the Get Help presents loads a troubleshooter. Some searches display help text instead. If you type video in search, the first entry that is returned is about Clipchamp support. While there is an option to tell the app that the result did not resolve the problem, there is no direct link to the video playback troubleshooter.
Typing video playback does not recommend the troubleshooter either, as Microsoft's Get Help app wants to help with the importing of videos or photos instead. Only when you type "Run the Windows Video Playback troubleshooter", you will get to the troubleshooter in question.
Get Help is a work of progress, and there is a chance that it is improved by Microsoft in the coming years. For now, the best option to launch the supported troubleshooters is to launch them using these links:
- Audio Troubleshooter
- Background Intelligent Transfer Service Troubleshooter
- Bluetooth Troubleshooter
- Network and Internet Troubleshooter
- Printer Troubleshooter
- Program Compatibility Troubleshooter
- Video Playback Troubleshooter
- Windows Media Player Troubleshooter
Microsoft plans to integrate a Windows Update Troubleshooter as well in the future.
The troubleshooting tools are also available in the Settings app under System > Troubleshoot > Other trouble-shooters.
Deprecation timeline and removed troubleshooters
Microsoft plans to redirect some legacy troubleshooters to the Get Help app later this year. In 2024, all legacy troubleshooters will either redirect to the Get Help app or will no longer be available. In 2025. the entire MSDT platform is removed.
Microsoft plans to remove a large list of classic troubleshooters, including Keyboard, Power, Speech, System Maintenance, and Search and indexing.
When users run legacy troubleshooters in 2023 and later, they will receive the following message that informs them about the deprecation: "Important: If you’re running Windows 11 version 22H2 and older you won’t see this in-product message and the legacy inbox troubleshooters will still work on your device".
Windows 11 version 22H2 and older Windows versions are not affected by the deprecation and removal. These continue to run the classic troubleshooters. Users who update to newer versions of Windows 11 will experience the deprecation, however.
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