Transactional NTFS (abbreviated TxF[1]) is a component introduced in Windows Vista and present in later versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system that brings the concept of atomic transactions to the NTFS file system, allowing Windows application developers to write file-output routines that are guaranteed to either succeed completely or to fail completely.[2] Major operating system components, including System Restore, Task Scheduler, and Windows Update, rely on TxF for stability.[1] During the development of Windows Vista, WinFS also relied on TxF for storing files.[3]

Due to its complexity and various nuances which developers need to consider as part of application development, Microsoft has deprecated TxF and stated that it may be removed in a future version of Windows.[4] Microsoft has strongly recommended that developers investigate using the alternatives rather than adopting the Transactional NTFS API platform which may not be available in future versions of Windows.[2]


Transactional NTFS allows for files and directories to be created, modified, renamed, and deleted atomically. Using transactions ensures correctness of operation; in a series of file operations (done as a transaction), the operation will be committed if all the operations succeed. In case of any failure, the entire operation will roll back and fail.

Transactional NTFS is implemented on top of the Kernel Transaction Manager, which is a Windows kernel component introduced in Windows Vista that provides transactioning of objects in the kernel.[1] The NTFS file system already supports journaling of low-level operations, such as writing a block of data. Transactional NTFS expands on this capability to include:

With the exception of read operations, using Transactional NTFS for transactions on Encrypting File System files is not supported in Windows Vista until Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Olson, Jason (2007). "Enhance Your Apps With File System Transactions". MSDN Magazine. Microsoft. Archived from the original on August 30, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Microsoft. "Alternatives to using Transactional NTFS". MSDN. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  3. ^ "NTFS Beta Chat Transcript (July 12, 2006)". TechNet. Microsoft. September 20, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "About Transactional NTFS". Microsoft. May 30, 2018. Retrieved 2019-10-27. Microsoft strongly recommends developers utilize alternative means to achieve your application s needs. Many scenarios that TxF was developed for can be achieved through simpler and more readily available techniques. Furthermore, TxF may not be available in future versions of Microsoft Windows.
  5. ^ Microsoft. "When to Use Transactional NTFS (Windows)". MSDN. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2015.