Windows 11 retires WordPad app after 28 years

Microsoft deprecates its WordPad app on Windows 11 after 28 years since its original release.

WordPad on Windows 11
WordPad on Windows 11
  • Microsoft ends support of its WordPad app on Windows 11.
  • The app is no longer maintained, and it’ll be removed in future updates of Windows.
  • The company recommends switching to Word or Notepad for note-taking.

Microsoft quietly announces that it is ending development for its legacy WordPad for notetaking on Windows 11 after 28 years. According to the official notes, the app has been deprecated, and the company is expected to remove it completely from the operating system in future releases.

WordPad is an app that has been around for a long time. The app was first introduced with the release of Windows 95 to replace the original Microsoft Writer app included in previous operating system versions.

The app offers a basic word processor that allows users to create and edit text documents. It has a simple interface and limited features but is sufficient for most basic tasks, such as letters, reports, and other documents. It supports basic text formatting, including font, size, and alignment. It also supports basic editing features like cut, copy, and paste.

WordPad saves documents in various formats, including Rich Text Format (RTF), plain text, and WordPerfect. Although you can open these types of files in Microsoft Word, you can’t save files with the “.doc” extension. However, surprisingly, it’s possible to save files with the “.docx” extension.

The app has received various updates throughout the years but has remained virtually unchanged since Windows 7, and now, the company is ready to remove it, and it’s recommending users use Microsoft Word for “.doc” and “.rtf.”

For text documents, the recommendation is to use Notepad, which the company has been proactively updating in the last several years with many new features and improvements, such as tabs, dark theme, auto-save, additional support for Unix documents, and more.

The decision to end the development of WordPad on Windows 11 isn’t surprising since the app has not received any significant updates in a long time, not many people use it (and many don’t even know it exists), and the software giant has been putting a lot of effort into promoting its Microsoft 365 subscription for users to access the suite of Office apps, which includes Microsoft Word for text and document creation.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].