16th April 2024

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Technology and Computer

Microsoft finally confirms when it’s killing WordPad

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft is removing WordPad from Windows 11 in version 24H2, set for release around September.
  • WordPad, a feature since Windows 95, is less relevant today with free alternatives like Word for the web.
  • Notepad has evolved with new features like tabs and spellchecking, making WordPad’s removal more understandable.



Microsoft is removing WordPad from Windows 11 starting with version 24H2, the company has confirmed. The news isn’t exactly surprising — at the start of the year, Microsoft shipped the first Windows 11 build in the Canary channel to remove the feature on new installs, and confirmed that a future release would remove the app upon upgrading as well. However, we didn’t know for sure when it was happening for the general public.

Windows 11 version 24H2 will be the next major update for Microsoft’s operating system, and it will become widely available around September, so that’s when you can expect WordPad to disappear for good.


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Saying goodbye after almost 30 years

Screenshot of WordPad on Windows 11 with text reading RIP WordPad

WordPad is a word processor that Microsoft added to Windows starting with Windows 95, released in August of 1995. It lives somewhere between Notepad and Microsoft Word in terms of its complexity. It does have more text formatting capabilities than Notepad, but it’s nowhere near the capabilities of Word, and it can’t open Word files, either.

Still, if you wanted to write a more properly-formatted text, WordPad was your go-to if you didn’t want to spend extra money. Now, you’ll either have to pay up for Microsoft Office or look at one of the many alternatives available on the market.


WordPad doesn’t make as much sense today

Screenshot of Microsoft Word on the web with a Copilot prompt to begin writing

While some will undoubtedly be upset that WordPad is going away, it’s a tool that just makes less and less sense in today’s world. All of WordPad’s capabilities and then some are now available through Microsoft Word for the web. Unlike the classic desktop app, Word on the web is also entirely free, and while it requires an internet connection, that’s hardly a problem for most users these days. Plus, working on the web means your files are synced across devices, too.


Meanwhile, Notepad isn’t as barebones as it used to be. Microsoft has been building up the app in very significant ways, adding support for tabs, auto-save, and even an integration with Microsoft Copilot. You can simply select text and ask Copilot to explain it for you. In a recent version of the app spotted by fans, Notepad even supports spellchecking, a feature that WordPad didn’t have.

It just doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to support another word processor in Windows 11, and that effort is probably better put into other parts of the OS. If you want to keep WordPad, though, you can hold off on the update to Windows 11 version 24H2. If you stay on version 23H2 or earlier, you can keep using WordPad as always, though the upgrade will eventually be forced onto most PCs.


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