Microsoft is Killing a Much-Loved Windows App That’s 28 Years Old

Microsoft has revealed plans to shelve legacy app WordPad, encouraging those who still use choose a different app.

Microsoft has announced that it’s finally killing off WordPad, a basic word processor that has been included in every version of its flagship operating system Windows since 1995.

The company is encouraging users to make the switch to Microsoft Word or NotePad, which are used for similar tasks.

The software has been an optional feature since 2020, but now, it won’t be updated and won’t appear in any subsequent versions of Windows.

So Long, WordPad

“WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows,” Microsoft confirmed in a documentation about soon-to-be deprecated features.

“We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt.” the company added.


The writing has been on the wall for some time. In 2020, the Windows 10 Insider Build 19551 was released, becoming the first version of Windows where you could uninstall WordPad in the “Optional Features” area.

This might not be the last we ever see of WordPad, however – famously, Microsoft deprecated MS Paint only to revive it and eventually give it a makeover.

Cortana also Axed

Cortana has also been nudged onto the chopping block recently, seemingly a victim of Microsoft’s continued and increasing focus on next-generation AI tools.

Cortana is Microsoft’s digital assistant app, first released to the public almost a decade ago, back in 2014. It will officially end life as a standalone app by the end of the year.

There are several apps where Cortana will remain available during a transitional period, however, including Outlook on mobile, Teams on mobile, and Microsoft Teams Rooms.

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NotePad Gets an Upgrade

Just a few days prior to the announcement that WordPad would be deprecated, a significant upgrade to Notepad’s features was announced.

A Windows Insider blog post authored by Dave Grochocki details that “Notepad will start automatically saving your session state allowing you to close Notepad without any interrupting dialogs and then pick up where you left off when you return.”

Notepad will also “automatically restore previously open tabs as well as unsaved content and edits across those open tabs.”

These updates will make it a significantly more capable program that, along with the more powerful Microsoft Word, will satisfy any particularly disgruntled WordPad fanatics.

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Written by:
Aaron Drapkin is's Content Manager. He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol six years ago. Aaron's focus areas include VPNs, cybersecurity, AI and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, Cybernews, Lifewire, HR News and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, ProPrivacy, The Week, and covering a wide range of topics.
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