Microsoft pulls the plug on WordPad, the world's least favorite text editor

Throwback word processor ditched from clean installs, soon to be removed on upgrade

Microsoft has begun ditching WordPad from Windows and removed the editor from the first Canary Channel build of 2024.

We knew it was coming, but the reality has arrived in the Canary Channel. A clean install will omit WordPad as of build 26020 of Windows 11. At an undisclosed point, the application will be removed on upgrade.

The People app is also being axed, as expected, and the Steps Recorder won't be getting any more updates and will instead show a banner encouraging users to try something else. Perhaps ClipChamp?

WordPad was always an odd tool. Certainly not something one would want to edit text with, but not much of a word processor either. It feels like a throwback to a previous era. However, it was also free, came with Windows, and didn't insist on having a connection to the internet for it to work.

Plenty of alternatives are available, but it was a handy thing to have around. Now on its way out, it was at least spared the indignity of having Microsoft's AI Copilot thrust into it.

And then there are the seemingly endless tweaks and changes being made to Notepad, a perfectly acceptable editor that managed to last decades before Microsoft decided it needed a bit of polish. WordPad's fate is instead a swift termination.

Microsoft lists the removal in the "Changes and Improvements" section of its announcement, a section that does not include the Start menu changes the Windows boss said the team would be pushed to implement.

As well as accessibility improvements – notably voice access over multiple displays – the build includes functionality to indicate when the energy saver is on and added the ability to pause and resume print jobs to permit printer maintenance mid-job. Microsoft plans to add the ability to rename a printer directly from the same settings screen too. Assuming it hasn't already accidentally done the renaming itself.

There are also improvements to Windows Share and the ability to give a device a friendlier name in Nearby Sharing, but it is the demise of WordPad once and for all that makes this build notable. Once upgrades start removing the doomed app, that will be that. ®

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