WordPad is no longer supported by Windows after 30 years

Microsoft has announced that WordPad will no longer receive updates and is slated for removal in a future Windows release. This decision aligns with Microsoft’s recommendation to use its more robust, paid word processor, Microsoft Word, for creating rich text documents such as .doc and .rtf files. For plain text documents, such as .txt files, Microsoft suggests using Windows Notepad.

Read: Microsoft launches a 1TB matte black Xbox Series S

This development comes on the heels of Microsoft’s recent announcement that it plans to enhance Notepad with features like autosave and automatic tab restoration. In 2018, Microsoft had already updated its Windows Notepad app for the first time in years, followed by the addition of tabs in the Windows 11 version.

In contrast, WordPad has not received the same level of attention. While it received a user interface update with Windows 7’s Ribbon UI and underwent a slight redesign with Windows 8, it has not seen any significant improvements since. Microsoft has decided to discontinue WordPad entirely in an upcoming Windows release, which is expected to be Windows 12, scheduled for a 2024 release with a host of AI-powered features.

Here is a brief history of Microsoft WordPad:

  • 1989: WordPad was first released as a basic text editor for the Windows 1.0 operating system. It was a stripped-down version of Microsoft Word, with fewer features but a smaller file size.
  • 1995: WordPad was updated for Windows 95 and included new features such as spell checking and the ability to save documents in Rich Text Format (RTF).
  • 2000: WordPad was updated for Windows 2000 and included support for Unicode, a character encoding standard that allows for the representation of text in most of the world’s languages.
  • 2007: WordPad was updated for Windows Vista and included a new user interface and support for the ribbon, a toolbar that organizes commands into logical groups.
  • 2012: WordPad was updated for Windows 8 and included the ability to open and edit Office Open XML (OOXML) documents, the file format used by Microsoft Office 2007 and later.
  • 2015: WordPad was updated for Windows 10 and included a new design that made it more touch-friendly.