Microsoft has dealt a blow to long-time fans of its classic Windows WordPad app, which has been a staple since Windows 95’s launch in 1995. The company recently announced that WordPad is being deprecated and will ultimately be removed from Windows in a forthcoming release.
According to updated Microsoft documentation:
“WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows. We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt.”
Over its 28-year history, WordPad evolved from a basic replacement for Microsoft Write into Windows’ default rich-text editing program during the early 2000s. It essentially served as a free lightweight version of Microsoft Word bundled with Windows.
WordPad underwent a few redesigns, most notably adopting the Ribbon UI with Windows 7 and later transitioning to a flatter design with Windows 8. However, it has not seen any significant updates in over a decade.
The decision to phase out WordPad reflects its diminished relevance in recent years. With Microsoft Word available for free online and Notepad receiving a modern redesign and new features in Windows 11, WordPad has been overshadowed.
Microsoft has not specified the exact removal date for WordPad, but it is expected to coincide with the next major Windows release, slated for late 2024.