Microsoft is no longer publishing offline symbol packages for Windows

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

Users who require downloading symbols in order to debug apps or Windows will need another solution, as Microsoft stopped offering offline symbol packages as a downloadable MSI. The reason is that the company is updating Windows too frequently and the packages become outdated. Users will have to connect straight to the symbol server and they can also use the symchk tool to download them.

All the symbols are in an Azure-based symbol store

Here’s what Microsoft said in the official release notes:

With the cadence that we release updates for Windows, the Windows debugging symbols we publish via the packages on this page are quickly made out of date. We have made significant improvements to the online Microsoft Symbol Server by moving this to be an Azure-based symbol store, and symbols for all Windows versions and updates are available there.

Symchk is packed in Windows 10 SDK

Users can now benefit from symchk.exe which is packed in the Windows 10 SDK. This tool examines an executable file and confirms whether the correct symbols are available on the system. In order to get the tool, you have to install the Windows 10 SDK and select to install the Debugging Tools for Windows package.

If your system is connected to the Internet you can use this tool to analyze an .exe file and after that automatically connect to the Microsoft symbol server and download the required symbol files.

The symbol path specified can include any number of local directories, UNC directories, or symbol servers. Local directories and UNC directories are not searched recursively. Only the specified directory and a subdirectory based on the executable’s extension are searched.

We recommend that you head over to the official website to learn the complete information on using this handy tool.

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