WordPad, a Windows rich editing app that has been a mainstay of the platform since Windows 95, is on its way out. Microsoft has marked it for deprecation, a death knell that signals that it will be removed in a future version.
BleepingComputer first noted the change, was made official in Microsoft’s list of deprecated Windows features, in September 2023.
And now the axe has started to fall. One of the changes being made in the latest Canary Channel build of Windows 11 is the elimination of WordPad from new Windows 11 builds — perform a clean install and WordPad will no longer be included. While it’s unclear how many users actually pined for (and used) WordPad and its RTF file format, it does rob Windows 11 of a native rich text editor. Free alternatives include LibreOffice, the open-source alternative which is still going strong.
“WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows,” Microsoft said. “We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt.”
According to Wikipedia, Microsoft Wordpad was first introduced in Windows 95, replacing Microsoft Write. It’s not hard see why Wordpad was picked to head to the chopping block, however: while Microsoft has released new features for Notepad, Wordpad has been largely ignored. The notion of a “rich text editor” may also be outdated, since there are text editors like Notepad or Notepad++, and word processors like Microsoft Word, and, well, not much need for something in between.
In any event, Microsoft hasn’t said when WordPad will finally be eliminated, once and for all. Will users rally around it, like they did for Microsoft Paint? We’d doubt it. Sorry, WordPad, your time has come.
This story was updated on January 29, 2024 with additional details.