The default file system for Windows 11 may soon be changing to a new offering designed with high-end servers in mind, but there’s still a long way to go yet.
For more than three decades, Windows machines have used NTFS for all things storage, including internal drives as well as external drives such as USB sticks.
However release notes for the latest build of Windows 11 (version 25276), detail support for the Resilient File System (ReFS).
TechRadar Pro needs you! (opens in new tab)
We want to build a better website for our readers, and we need your help! You can do your bit by filling out our survey (opens in new tab) and telling us your opinions and views about the tech industry in 2023. It will only take a few minutes and all your answers will be anonymous and confidential. Thank you again for helping us make TechRadar Pro even better.
D. Athow, Managing Editor
Windows ReFS vs NTFS
ReFS was first introduced with Windows Server 2012, and it’s clearly designed with large amounts of data in mind. Windows Latest (opens in new tab) notes that NTFS is limited to 256 terabytes (which frankly is more than enough for you or I), but there are some instances where businesses and data centers may need more than this. ReFS raises the limit to 35 petabytes (over 35,000 terabytes).
The Resilient FS promises to be more resilient in that it can detect and repair corruptions while remaining online, and it’s also designed with scalability in mind.
“ReFS is designed to support extremely large data sets - millions of terabytes - without negatively impacting performance, achieving greater scale than prior file systems," Microsoft (opens in new tab) noted.
There are some drawbacks, though, especially when it comes to using ReFS for the computers that consumers may end up using. For now, at least, it’s unable to support system compression, encryption, and removable media.
While it could be years before ReFS comes to our home (if at all), its support in Windows 11 may indicated it trickling down into some high-end business machines as it expands outside the realms of servers, but right now, NTFS has nothing to worry about.
- We’ve rounded up the best free office software
Via Windows Latest (opens in new tab)