Home Latest Feeds Technology News This well-known Windows feature has used temporary code for 30 years

This well-known Windows feature has used temporary code for 30 years

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This well-known Windows feature has used temporary code for 30 years

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Looking good for its age.

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft’s “format drive” dialog UI has remained unchanged for 30 years, initially meant to be temporary.
  • Developer Dave W Plummer created the UI in 1994 as a quick fix that never got updated.
  • Despite its outdated appearance, the current format drive UI still functions effectively after decades.


How long have you left a project unfinished? If you answered anything below “30 years,” then congratulations; you’ve beaten Microsoft. A developer who worked on some of the most well-known Windows features has made a post revealing that the UI for one of his dialog boxes was meant to be a temporary solution, but it has gone without a proper lick of paint for 30 years now.

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The Windows “format drive” dialog UI has gone untouched for 30 years

Screenshot of File Explorer and the format drive dialog in Windows 11

The news broke on Dave W Plummer’s X feed, who has worked on long-lasting Windows features such as Task Manager and the legendary Windows Pinball. As it turns out, the UI used for the “format drive” wasn’t meant to be its final look; it was something Dave whipped up “on a rainy Thursday morning at Microsoft in late 1994” as a stand-in for the “real” UI. The only problem is, that “real UI” never actually arrived, which reminds us of when it took Microsoft 10 years to enable a feature.


Since then, every time a Windows user went to format their drive, they used a temporary UI that was meant to get a proper design three decades ago. But honestly, the current UI does its job very well; at this point, giving the format drive UI its long-awaited makeover may anger more people than it pleases. However, it will be fun to see how long this “temporary check-in” coded in a single afternoon will last until Microsoft finally decides to bring it up to speed with the rest of Windows.



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