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Say Goodbye - Microsoft Is Eliminating WordPad From Windows

After nearly 30 years, microsoft is eliminating wordpad from windows and has stated that the company intends to eliminate the word processor from a future version of Windows.

Author:Elisa Mueller
Reviewer:Iram Martins
Sep 09, 2023
After nearly 30 years, Microsoft is eliminating WordPad from Windowsand has stated that the company intends to eliminate the word processor from a future version of Windows.

Microsoft WordPad - History And Its Impact On Microsoft Users

A logo of WordPad in violet-white background
A logo of WordPad in violet-white background
Microsoft WordPad has been a staple application for Microsoft users for decades. This simple yet powerful word processing tool has played a crucial role in the evolution of Windows operating systems, making it easier for millions of users to create, edit, and format documents.
In this section, we will delve into the history of Microsoft WordPad and explore how it has been a valuable asset to Microsoft users over the years.

Evolution Of Microsoft WordPad

  • Early Beginnings (1995)- Microsoft WordPad made its debut with the release of Windows 95. It was designed to provide users with a basic text editing tool, bridging the gap between the simplicity of Notepad and the advanced features of Microsoft Word. WordPad was welcomed for its intuitive interface and ease of use.
  • Windows XP and Beyond (2001-2007)- As Windows continued to evolve, so did WordPad. With Windows XP, WordPad received significant updates, including improved formatting options and support for rich text format (RTF). This made it a more versatile choice for creating and editing documents.
  • Windows 7 and Windows 10 (2009-present)- In subsequent Windows versions, WordPad continued to receive minor enhancements. It remained a pre-installed application, ensuring its availability to all Windows users. It retained its user-friendly interface while incorporating features like the ribbon toolbar introduced with Office 2007.

Key Features And Advantages Of Microsoft WordPad

Features of WordPad
Features of WordPad
  • User-Friendly Interface- WordPad has always been known for its simplicity. Its interface is intuitive, making it accessible even to those with minimal computer skills. This accessibility has helped a wide range of users, from students to professionals.
  • Basic Formatting Tools- While it may not offer the extensive formatting capabilities of Microsoft Word, WordPad provides essential formatting tools such as font styles, sizes, and colors. Users can also create bulleted and numbered lists.
  • Compatibility- One of WordPad's significant advantages is its compatibility with various file formats. It can open and save documents in formats like DOC, DOCX, RTF, TXT, and more, ensuring that users can easily work with files created in other applications.
  • Ease of Sharing- WordPad's lightweight nature makes it ideal for sharing documents via email or USB drives. Users can open and edit files without the need for specialized software, enhancing collaboration and communication.
  • Quick Access- WordPad's integration into the Windows operating system means that users can open it with just a few clicks. This quick access makes it a go-to option for simple document tasks.

Impact On Microsoft Users

Microsoft WordPad has had a profound impact on Microsoft users across various domains:
  • Education- Students and teachers have relied on WordPad for creating assignments, reports, and other educational documents. Its simplicity makes it an excellent starting point for learning basic word-processing skills.
  • Business and Professional Use- Small businesses and professionals often turn to WordPad for drafting quick letters, memos, and other business-related documents. Its compatibility with Microsoft Word formats allows for seamless document sharing.
  • Accessibility- WordPad's user-friendly interface has made it accessible to a wide range of users, including those with limited computer skills or disabilities. Its simplicity ensures that individuals with varying levels of technological proficiency can create and edit documents.
  • Cost Savings- For users who do not require the advanced features of Microsoft Word, WordPad serves as a cost-effective alternative. It comes pre-installed with Windows, eliminating the need for purchasing additional software.

Microsoft's Decision To Retire The Basic Word Processor

The software company will instead recommend Microsoft Word, which is a commercial word processor that has always been substantially more feature-rich than the fundamental WordPad application that has been included with Windows since Windows 95.
A WordPad page with the word 'WORDPAD' highlighted with a strikethrough and a RIP
A WordPad page with the word 'WORDPAD' highlighted with a strikethrough and a RIP
Word is a word processor that can be downloaded from the Microsoft website.
The software giant will encourage using Microsoft Word as its word-processing application of choice.
support notepublished by Microsoft on Friday:
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.- Microsoft
WordPad hasn’t been updated significantly since Windows 8
WordPad hasn’t been updated significantly since Windows 8
The announcement that Microsoft will be removing WordPad comes only one day after the company announced that it will be improving Notepadwith new capabilities such as autosave and automatic restoral of tabs.
This was the first time in many years that Microsoft upgraded its Windows Notepad tool, and the company went on to add tabs to the Windows 11 edition of the program.
WordPad, on the other hand, has not received the same amount of attention. The word processor was modernized with Windows 7's Ribbon User Interface (UI), but other than a minor makeover in Windows 8, it has not received any significant new features since then. Microsoft has decided to eliminate WordPad completely in a "future release of Windows."
This "future release of Windows" will most likely be the Windows 12 version that is anticipated to be released in 2024and will have a large number of features that are powered by artificial intelligence.
Microsoft's overhauled Bing search engine has already achieved major advances in AI. Bing has been updated with new features ranging from image production to voice input detection.

About Microsoft WordPad

According to Techopedia, the WordPad is much like other word-processing software and is made up of two components: the program itself, as well as a word-processing engine.
The application includes a selection bar, document ruler, format bar, status bar, and title bar among its several bars and toolbars. WordPad and Microsoft Word both make use of documents with an RTF file format.
Microsoft has continued to improve WordPad by adding support for additional file formats with each new iteration. These new file formats include .txt, .doc, and .odt.
When generating documents that need to be formatted, it is recommended that you use WordPad rather than Notepad. It is able to process formatted text in addition to plain text.
Its feature set is more straightforward than that of Microsoft Word, and it functions quite well both as an editor and as a little viewer for Word documents.
Font alteration, formatting at the character level, as well as the creation and modification of margins, are all within its purview. It may also include charts and pictures, in addition to sound files, on the page.
It is also possible to add hypertext links, and there is a feature that allows you to zoom in and out of the image. WordPad's additional strengths include its simplicity and low demand for the computer's resources.
It is not suggested to use WordPad for documents that have a significant amount of structured components. Additionally, it is not advised for use when altering HTML files or configuration files. It takes longer to load than Notepad, but it is quicker than other word processors and office suites when compared to overall performance.

Why Do Some People Use Wordpad And Not Microsoft Word?

In one comment in Quora, even though he uses quite a few other pieces of software for efficiency and organizing on a daily basis, including Microsoft Word, he still finds himself reaching for WordPad time and time again.
He continues to use WordPad because it is incredibly user-friendly, opening it places very little strain on his computer, and the files it saves are stored in a format that has a very minimal footprint in terms of file size.
A logo of Wordpad (left) and a logo of Microsoft Word (right)
A logo of Wordpad (left) and a logo of Microsoft Word (right)
WordPad makes use of it to jot down brief notes and maintain straightforward logs of a variety of activities, and if the need arises later, he frequently transfers those notes to another location, such as an elegant Word document.
For situations in which the only thing that matters is putting the text down and giving it some very basic formatting, he finds that using WordPad is both simpler and faster. And this goes for every computer that you might use in the future.
Notes is the streamlined and uncomplicated software that comes standard on a Mac. In addition to that, smartphones will ship with their very own version.
The vast majority of people find that they wish to jot down notes using an application that is quick and doesn't have a lot of buttons and settings that slow things down; additionally, you please can always move your writing later if you decide that you require anything more sophisticated.

WordPad Alternatives And Why They Are Better Than WordPad

Microsoft WordPad has long been a reliable and accessible word-processing tool for Windows users. However, as technology has evolved, so have the demands of users. Here are the better options for various user needs.

LibreOffice Writer

  • Open-Source- LibreOffice Writer is part of the LibreOffice suite, which is entirely open-source and free to use. This makes it an attractive option for users who prefer open-source software.
  • Advanced Features- Unlike WordPad, LibreOffice Writer offers a wide range of advanced features, including support for complex formatting, templates, mail merges, and extensive language support.
  • Cross-Platform- It's available not only for Windows but also for macOS and Linux, providing cross-platform compatibility.

Microsoft Word Online

  • Full-Featured- For users who want the familiarity of Microsoft products without the cost, Microsoft Word Online is a web-based alternative. It offers many of the features found in the desktop version of Microsoft Word.
  • Collaborative Editing- Word Online allows real-time collaboration on documents, making it a better choice for teamwork and remote collaboration than WordPad.
  • Cloud Integration- Documents are stored in OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud service, ensuring accessibility from any device with an internet connection.

Google Docs

  • Cloud-Based- Google Docs is a popular cloud-based word processing tool that offers real-time collaboration, making it ideal for teams and remote work.
  • Free and Accessible- It's entirely free to use and accessible from any device with a web browser. No installations or downloads are required.
  • Integration- Google Docs seamlessly integrates with other Google Workspace apps like Google Sheets and Google Slides.

WPS Office

  • Feature-Rich- WPS Office provides a comprehensive suite of office applications, including Writer, which is the word processing component. It offers features comparable to Microsoft Word.
  • Free and Premium Versions- While there's a free version, WPS Office also offers a premium version with additional features and no ads.
  • Compatibility- It supports various file formats, including DOCX, making it a suitable alternative for WordPad users who need to work with Microsoft Word files.


  • Lightweight Text Editor- Notepad++ is a lightweight, free, and open-source text editor with advanced features. While not a full-fledged word processor, it's an excellent choice for users who require basic text editing and coding capabilities.
  • Syntax Highlighting- Notepad++ offers syntax highlighting for various programming languages, making it a preferred choice for developers and programmers.
  • Customization- Users can customize its interface and functionality through plugins, catering to specific needs.

Why Are These Alternatives Better Than WordPad?

These alternatives outshine WordPad in several key areas:
1. Advanced Features- WordPad is a basic word processing tool, whereas alternatives like LibreOffice Writer, Microsoft Word Online, and Google Docs offer a broader range of features. This includes advanced formatting options, templates, and support for more complex document structures.
2. Collaboration- In today's collaborative work environments, real-time collaboration features are essential. Microsoft Word Online and Google Docs excel in this regard, allowing multiple users to edit documents simultaneously, a feature that WordPad lacks.
3. Cross-Platform Compatibility- Many of these alternatives, such as LibreOffice Writer and Google Docs, are accessible from various devices and operating systems. WordPad, on the other hand, is limited to Windows.
4. Cost- While WordPad is free and comes pre-installed with Windows, alternatives like LibreOffice Writer, Google Docs, and Notepad++ are also free. Some even offer premium versions with added functionality for those who require it.
5. Cloud Integration- Cloud-based alternatives like Google Docs and Microsoft Word Online automatically save documents to the cloud, ensuring data security and accessibility from anywhere. WordPad lacks such integrated cloud functionality.

People Also Ask

What Should I Do If I Rely On WordPad For My Document Editing Needs?

If you rely on WordPad, it's essential to explore alternative word processing solutions before it is eliminated in future releases. Consider options like LibreOffice Writer, Google Docs, Microsoft Word Online, or other compatible applications that offer advanced features, real-time collaboration, and cross-platform accessibility to meet your document editing requirements.

Will I Lose Access To My Existing WordPad Documents When It Is Eliminated?

While Microsoft's plans may lead to the removal of WordPad from future Windows releases, your existing WordPad documents should still be accessible and editable using the application on your current Windows version. However, it's advisable to consider transitioning to an alternative word processing tool and converting your documents to a more widely supported format to ensure long-term compatibility.

Will Microsoft Provide Any Migration Tools Or Guidance For Users Transitioning From WordPad To Other Applications?

Microsoft may offer guidance and resources for users transitioning from WordPad to alternative word processing tools. However, the extent of such support may vary, and it's advisable to seek out resources and tutorials provided by Microsoft or the community to facilitate a smooth transition to a new word-processing solution that suits your needs.


Microsoft's plan to eliminate WordPad in future releases signifies a shift in their approach to word processing tools. While this decision may be driven by a desire to streamline their product offerings, it leaves users with the need to explore alternative word processing solutions to meet their document editing needs.
It is essential for users to stay informed about these changes and consider suitable alternatives to ensure a smooth transition in their workflow.
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Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller, a Kansas City native, grew up surrounded by the wonders of books and movies, inspired by her parents' passion for education and film. She earned bachelor's degrees in English and Journalism from the University of Kansas before moving to New York City, where she spent a decade at Entertainment Weekly, visiting film sets worldwide. With over 8 years in the entertainment industry, Elisa is a seasoned journalist and media analyst, holding a degree in Journalism from NYU. Her insightful critiques have been featured in prestigious publications, cementing her reputation for accuracy and depth. Outside of work, she enjoys attending film festivals, painting, writing fiction, and studying numerology.
Iram Martins

Iram Martins

Iram Martins is a seasoned travel writer and explorer with over a decade of experience in uncovering the world's hidden gems. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Management from the University of Lisbon, Iram's credentials highlight his authority in the realm of travel. As an author of numerous travel guides and articles for top travel publications, his writing is celebrated for its vivid descriptions and practical insights. Iram’s passion for cultural immersion and off-the-beaten-path adventures shines through in his work, captivating readers and inspiring wanderlust. Outside of his writing pursuits, Iram enjoys learning new languages, reviewing films and TV shows, writing about celebrity lifestyles, and attending cultural festivals.
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