Microsoft has officially confirmed that there are no plans to make WordPad a “reinstallable” feature on Windows 11. In a future update release, it will be removed. When performing a clean install of Windows 11 Build 26020 or newer in the Canary channel, WordPad is no longer installed.
Starting with Windows 11 Build 26020, Microsoft has ceased the availability of two of its features – WordPad and People. Both apps are no longer installed when doing a fresh installation of Windows 11 using Build 26020.
For now, this change is only applicable to Build 26020. However, a note in its support document suggests that WordPad may also be removed from production builds in the future. The exact timing of when Microsoft will remove WordPad from Windows 11 is unclear, but it’s likely aimed at the long-rumored Windows Hudson Valley update.
According to a support document updated in December 2023, Microsoft has stated that WordPad has been deprecated and “is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows.”
While the reasons for removing the legacy text editor app remain unexplained, Microsoft has recommended the use of Word for rich text documents and Notepad for plain text documents. This is in line with Microsoft’s focus on apps like Notepad and Paint, instead of WordPad.
Additionally, Microsoft indicates that once WordPad is removed from the OS, it won’t be possible to reinstall it through official channels. In addition to WordPad, Microsoft is also phasing out the People app and Steps Recorder.
Microsoft’s efforts to remove legacy components from the Windows 11 operating system also include other features such as the old taskbar, system tray, and P2P services. Once these changes are implemented in the production channel, workarounds like editing the Windows Registry to re-enable the legacy taskbar will no longer be effective.
The changes being made by Microsoft reflect a shift in focus towards modern and more efficient applications and services that align with their current strategy.