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Microsoft kills WordPad, will remove the app from Windows in future updates

A WordPad Icon with a dark background

28 years ago, Microsoft announced WordPad, a successor to another text editor called Microsoft Write. WordPad arrived as a part of Windows 95, Microsoft's back-then latest and greatest operating system. Since then, WordPad has been available in every Windows release, giving users basic text editing capabilities with RTF, DOC, ODT, and other popular formats support. Almost three decades later, Microsoft is ready to kill WordPad.

Microsoft has updated the official documentation with a notification about WordPad deprecation. The company says WordPad is no longer in development, it will not receive new features or updates, and a future Windows update will remove the program from the operating system.

WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows.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.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of first and third-party WordPad alternatives. You can use Notepad for basic text editing (the app recently received a tabbed interface and session autosave) or switch to more advanced editors, such as Microsoft Word. The latter is available for free on the web or as a standalone app in the Microsoft 365 subscription.

A WordPad screenshot

WordPad is not the only component Microsoft is removing from Windows. The company recently turned off Cortana, its neglected voice assistant, and announced the end of Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT). Also, Microsoft will soon disable old Transport Layer Security protocols to make Windows 11 more secure.

You can learn more about deprecated Windows features in the official documentation. Note that deprecation and feature removal are different, which means WordPad will remain accessible for some time before Microsoft removes it from Windows. Also, Windows enthusiasts will most likely find a way to restore WordPad for those not ready to ditch the thirty-year-old application for something more modern.

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