3 Charts Explaining .NET Long-Term Support


Crista Perlton

Crista Perlton


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3 Charts Explaining .NET Long-Term Support

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.NET 6 has been released bringing much excitement to the DevOps community. So what does that mean for .NET Core 2.1, .NET Core 3.1, .NET Framework 4.8, .NET 5…?

There’s a lot to keep track of! Microsoft has scattered the information across a variety of GitHub pages, blog posts, and announcements, so it’s hard to know what’s still supported and what’s been deprecated.

Instead of cross-checking various docs, use these handy charts we’ve made to understand how your .NET set-up is being supported right now.

.NET Framework

VersionExisting SupportSupport End Date
1.x✘ out of support2007 (July)
2.x✘ out of support2011 (July)
3.x✘ out of support2011 (July)
3.5✓ Operating System ⚠️ 2029 (April)
4.0 to 4.5.1✘ out of support2016 (January)
4.5.2 to 4.7⚠️Operating System (mixed) – review support policy of each version⚠️ Varies (mixed)
4.8✓ Operating System✓ Indefinite (2031+)

According to Microsoft, “.NET Framework 4.5.2, 4.6, and 4.6.1 will reach the end of support on April 26, 2022.” There will be no more security fixes or technical support after that date.

Any developers using an out-of-support .NET should consider migrating to .NET 6 as soon as possible.

Any developers using a yellow-warning .NET, or running applications on deprecated frameworks like Windows Communication Framework, should target with caution and start considering a migration plan.

.NET Core

VersionExisting SupportSupport End Date 
1.x✘ out of support2019 (June)
2.0 and 2.2✘ out of support2018, 2019
2.1⚠️LTS has ended – begin migration plans2021 (August)
3.0✘ out of support2020 (March)
3.1  ✓ LTS ⚠️2022 (December)

Microsoft considers .NET 6 and beyond to be “.NET Core v.Next.” so LTS for Core is shorter than for the “older” .NET Framework 4.8.

Framework 4.8 and Core 3.1 are LTS for at least one more year, so if you delayed migrating last year when .NET 5 was released, start considering a migration to .NET 6 or plan for maintaining legacy applications.

.NET 5/6 and Beyond

PlatformRelease DateSupport End Date
5November 2020⚠️2022 (May)
6November 2021✓ 2024 (November)
7November 2022⚠️ 2024 (May)
8November 2023✓ 2026 (November)

All odd-numbered. NETs, since .NET 5, will be “current” and only have support for 18 months after their release. Compared to even-numbered .NETs like .NET 6 which will have approximately three years of support from release.

Understand Your .NET’s Support Status

Although .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.8 are estimated to last another 10 years, it never hurts to start planning for migration. Consider how you’ll move your package libraries; now may be the time to consider a CI/CD method.

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Crista Perlton

Crista Perlton