Microsoft is killing the classic Windows WordPad app after almost 3 decades

 Wordpad on Windows 11
Wordpad on Windows 11

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced that it is deprecating the classic WordPad app that has shipped as part of Windows since Windows 95.

  • The app hasn't been updated since Windows 8, but still ships in the latest version of Windows 11.

  • Microsoft says the app will be removed in a future release of Windows.

It's a sad day for WordPad die-hards. If you've been happily using the classic Windows WordPad app since its debut with Windows 95 back in 1995, we've got some bad news for you. Spotted by Xeno on Twitter, Microsoft has today announced that it's deprecating WordPad and will be removing it from Windows in a future release.

The updated Microsoft documentation says:

"WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows.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

WordPad has seen countless updates and designs since its inception 28 years ago. It started out as a basic replacement for Microsoft Write, and became Windows' default rich-text editing program throughout the early 2000's. It essentially was a lightweight version of Microsoft Word, bundled with Windows for free.

The app received a few redesigns, most notably with the launch of Windows 7 which introduced the Ribbon UI along the top. That UI was then updated again with Windows 8 to make it flatter, but that was the last time WordPad received any major changes.

With it being over a decade since the app last received any love, it's not surprising to hear that Microsoft is now getting ready to remove it from the next version of Windows. The app hasn't made much sense for many years, especially with Word being available for free online, and Notepad being updated with a modern design and new features on Windows 11.

Microsoft doesn't say when exactly WordPad will be removed, but it's likely to happen in time for the next major version of Windows, which is expected to ship at the end of 2024. Let us know in the comments how you feel about the death of WordPad.