Microsoft Windows is removing WordPad, its decades-old text editor

Users will be sent to Word instead

Andrew Griffin
Monday 04 September 2023 16:21 BST
(Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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Microsoft is killing off WordPad, its decades-old text editor in Windows.

The company will no longer update the software. It will then remove it from a future version of Windows.

WordPad has been around since Windows 95. It has stood somewhere between Word, its more fully-featured text editor, and the simplicity of Notepad.

“WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows,” Microsoft wrote in a support note. “We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt.”

WordPad has always been offered for free, in contrast to Microsoft Word, which requires the payment of a fee or subscription. But it lacked many features of Word such as a spellchecker, too, and is unable to save into some key formats.

The support note did not explain why it would be removing the software. It added to a page of deprecated software that notes that “new versions [of Windows] also remove features and functionality, often because they’ve added a newer option”.

Microsoft’s announcement came soon after it released new updates for Notepad, which also comes free but does not offer the same formatting or features as WordPad or Word. It will be getting autosave and other new features, after the recent addition of dark mode and other changes.

As well as coming under competition from its more full-featured and more simplistic siblings, other third-party options such as Google Docs also offer many of the same tools – and much more besides.

WordPad on the other hand has been barely touched in years. It was last updated with Windows 8, more than ten years ago, and even then received only a small redesign.

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