Microsoft is planning to remove WordPad from future versions of Windows, potentially starting with Windows 12, which is expected to be released in the fall of 2024. WordPad, which has been a part of Windows for 28 years, hasn’t received any updates since Windows 7. The last major update occurred in October 2009 with the introduction of the new Ribbon UI in Windows 7.
Microsoft has shifted its focus to Notepad and Word, leaving WordPad as an optional feature since 2020. In a support document update, Microsoft announced its intention to replace WordPad in a future release of the operating system. Though the company hasn’t specified when WordPad will cease to function, it is likely that Windows 12 will mark the end for the basic text-editing app, which offers more functionality than Notepad but less than Microsoft Word.
Microsoft advised users to rely on Microsoft Word for rich text documents such as .doc and .rtf files, and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt files. While WordPad may not be as popular as Notepad or MS Word, it does have a dedicated following within the tech community. The lightweight app allows users to write notes with screenshots or images, and it can run on less powerful hardware without an internet connection.
Some readers have expressed concern over Microsoft’s decision to remove WordPad, comparing it to other pre-installed apps like Candy Crush that could potentially be removed to reduce bloatware in Windows. Nevertheless, it is not surprising that WordPad is being phased out, considering its lack of updates and optional status since February 2020. Users who do not utilize the app can easily remove it from their system through the settings app and the optional features/apps page.