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

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 …

  1. 45RPM

    Sure, WordPad wasn’t a great editor - but in the grand scheme of poor quality software, it really wasn’t that bad. Even in the grand scheme of the wider Windows operating system it was far from being the most egregious mis-feature. Anything that requires me to waste time uninstalling it / hiding it is going to come further up my personal list of Microsoft errors - not least the in-your-face advertising that Windows insists on throwing at users or the Xbox Game Centre (or any gaming stuff since I’m not a gamer).

    I’m sure I must have used WordPad at some point, or more likely it’s direct predecessor (Write). I used to use that kind of stuff a lot until I graduated to just using plain text editors like Notepad++ and BBEdit.

    1. Sir Sham Cad

      Wordpad got me out of so many jams, this is sad news.

      That said I'm sure there'll be a LibrePad port somewhere and I'm there for it.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Notepad++ is the defacto must install..

        1. botfap

          Apples and oranges

          Notepad++ is a text editor, WordPad is a document editor. Completely different tools for different purposes

    2. fuzzie

      While it's default Rich Text format wasn't all that useful, it did allow one to do basic mark-up-ish style text formatting without going way more exotic.

      It had one killer feature that Notepad didn't have: It could properly deal with UNIX, i.e. LF-only line endings. And preserve it through loading and saving. That saved my bacon a few times when I had to edit config files, especially for Unix/Linux command/tools/utilities ported to Windows. I believe it could also handle much larger files (>64KiB?) than Notepad without groaning or falling over.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Notepad & 64K

        Win3.x, Win9x etc Notepad could only load a 64K file.

        NT Notepad always worked with larger files. But couldn't do UNIX text.

        So replaced with something else and then Notepad++

        I used Notepad++ on WINE for a while after jumping ship full time to Linux and then switched to KATE, for its session management.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      It was also a great tool for recovering Word documents that Word and other word processors couldn't read.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    To computer users who didn't have access to Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works, WordPad got us through secondary school when projects needed to be typed up.

    I wouldn't use it now, but in a jam it did the job. So I'll raise a glass to it!

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      It was Write on Windows 2 back when I was at secondary school. Obviously I’m showing my age now.

      The school’s server had a hard drive with one whole megabyte of storage.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        I had a Windows 3.11 machine in Year 6 that I would write stuff up on Write. When I got to secondary school we got a brand spanking new eMachines with Windows ME on it. I was so annoyed when I couldn't find Write, but became increasingly impressed with WordPad when I had to use it.

        I see pictures of Write from time to time, never fails to make me smile.

      2. Angry Dad

        Not wanting to get into too much of a "Ah yes, but in my day competition", but ....

        What is this "server" you speak of?

        I took the first O-Level Computer Science, when it launched back in 198<cough>. The whole school's computing capability was a single Commodore PET with a very noisy floppy disk drive for storage.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          How about a single TRS-80 in a locked inner sanctum where only elite A-level science and maths students were ever allowed near. I caught a glimpse of its CRT shining through the smoked glass once, when they accidentally left a blind up.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            The concept of a TRaSh-80 locked up in a gilded cage anywhere, at any time, for any reason, makes me quietly chuckle....

            1. Mage Silver badge


              Better than a stock Apple II

          2. Gene Cash Silver badge

            I was in the same situation. Boy, did the school get PISSED when my mother bought me a TRS-80 for Christmas 1979.

            They actually tried to ban me from talking to the other kids about computers.

        2. LessWileyCoyote

          Oh darn, I can't resist it.

          Computers? Luxury!

          Up to about age 12 our school desks still had china inkwells in them, and a pupil appointed Ink Monitor, charged with filling them with Stephens Blue-black Ink (why in god's name not Royal Blue Washable? Would have saved so much grief). And struggling with the steel dip pens that went with them, while trying to learn cursive handwriting. Later I had to teach myself to write all over again, to get rid of the illegibility caused by cursive.

          Any hint of computers didn't appear until the later secondary school, wben a Physics teacher introduced us to binary addition and subtraction via a home made switch-&-light board.

          I valued Wordpad for its ability to leave simple formatted files alone, retaining formatting witbout adding anything unwanted. And as others have said, it could open almost anything - you could get useful clues from the opening bytes of a mystery file as to what it was infended to be - a sadly not infrequent occurrence with easily corrupted floppy disks.

          1. PhilipN Silver badge


            Filled from one of those less-than-a-pint-size bottles with the stopper + metal spout on the end?

            Blue-black - right! Sufficiently gloomy to presage immediate squashing of those ghastly nibs in the clumsy hands of kids for whom finesse was some years away.

            1. Tim Cockburn

              Re: Inkwells

              When I was about 12 in 1958 or so there was an eclipse of the sun. I poured a pool of Stephens best ink on the desktop and the class and I watched the image of the sun being eclipsed in the pool.Someone can probably tell me what year that was. Once a nerd...

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Inkwells

                That'd make a lovely scene in a period film. (Yes, I know, a mere 65 years ago. Ancient history for today's audiences. The Angel of History faces backward.)

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            I agree I could have done without the hours in primary school learning to write cursive. On the other hand, back in the day being able to read cursive was indeed very useful, sometimes indispensable.

            And I do occasionally wish I'd been forced to learn some sort of impressive script, like copperplate, in my formative years. Had an acquaintance in grad school who had, and his handwriting — just the everyday stuff he did taking notes in class or drafting papers — was a thing of beauty. I eventually developed passable calligraphic skills in Japanese (not that I remember a single kanji these days), but my English handwriting is a scrawl illegible to all others.

        3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          My school had a PET but no disk drive, until I won one for them in a competition. My maths (and also the computing) teacher was so excited that she kissed me. That's probably a claim for PTSD now, but I didn't mind.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            First machine I ever wrote code on was a PET with the built-in tape drive. I was in primary school, as I'm somewhat younger than some of the greybeards 'round these parts.

        4. Binraider Silver badge

          The state primary school I had a Beeb model B or a Master in more or less every classroom from the mid 1980s. They were swapping to Archimedes 3000's more or less as I was leaving that place. Nobody got any good at Virus, but there wasn't anyone in the building that didn't know how to play it.

          The secondary school was reasonably equipped; the electronics and physics classrooms had BBC Masters (lovely GPIO interfaces!) Maths had a network of RM Nimbus dumb terminals, so we could do fun stuff in GW Basic. Design & Technology got itself a shiny 486 in maybe 1993, though Windows 3.1 was ruined entirely by someone installing ALL the fonts from Corel Draw so the boot-time was ruinous and continuously swapping to disk.

          Much more entertainingly the chemistry lab picked up dozens of 8086 clones, which we made up our own null modem cables. Many hours burned on F16 Combat Pilot duels.

          All things considered I think I got pretty lucky having that variety of stuff. The local authorities were obviously big fans of tech, realising that it was the only way to recover from the ruinous unemployment levels that had emerged from the 1970's.

          Amazing what a bit of forward thinking investment in the future does.

          1. Ken Y-N

            "Donated" my granny's telly for the Beeb

            Previously the school only had a single CPM machine, but the maths department got a Beeb but no monitor, so I decided to help out by persuading my granny to let us borrow her telly, which she never watched, to the school.

  3. John Riddoch

    EOL characters

    Wordpad had the advantage that it managed with Unix newlines, so if you got a file from Unix/Linux, you could view it without having find unix2dos somewhere to fix it. I think that was my main use of it over the years.

    It's a passably usable word processor without any of the bells and whistles, but it's certainly capable of creating some simple documents with basic formatting. Hardly surprising they're ditching it, probably to encourage use of O365.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: EOL characters


      I used to use it on Windows 3.1x when I had files on a floppy created with RISC OS that Notepad completely choked on.

      I have a dim recollection that Notepad might also have choked on files over ~64K.

      Wordpad, on the other hand, didn't choke, supported basic formatting, and when your output was the sort of lowish quality lasers of the day, it was fast enough and good enough.

      1. Angry Dad

        Re: EOL characters

        It was also just about the only Windows editor that could be used to edit Cisco configuration files without making them unusable.

      2. MiguelC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: EOL characters

        For end users that had a T.IT.S.U.P. (Total Incapability To Start Unknown Programs) needed to analyse some files, Wordpad almost always saved the day

    2. K.o.R

      Re: EOL characters

      > managed with Unix newlines

      That reminded me of the most likely scenario of me using WordPad: "This file is too big for Notepad to open. Would you like to try opening it in WordPad instead?"

  4. Dr. Ellen
    Thumb Up

    Word Processor?

    I liked wordpad. For a short and simple (couple lines) job it worked without adding all kinds of extraneous formatting characters. But its main virtue was that it would try to open ANY file, and often come close to succeeding. If nothing else, you could probably figure out what the file was, and what programs worked with it.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Word Processor?

      Notepad++ does that and much more.

      I will not regret WordPad. I will not regret Notepad. Borkzilla has spent billions on pie-in-the-sky failures, but improving basic tools is not part of its preoccupations.

      Thank God for open source contributors who do a much better job.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Word Processor?

        As they do for entire operating systems.

    2. John Miles

      Re: Word Processor?

      Its predecessor, Write would not only open binary file, but it would save them again - there was a trick where you could load the Flying Windows Screen Saver, change the windows symbol character and save it again - then have whatever wingdings character you wanted flying at you

      1. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

        Re: Word Processor?

        Goodness, I'd forgotten about that - think I first read about it in Windows User, or some such. Thumbs up for the blast from the past!

  5. heyrick Silver badge

    the application will be removed on upgrade


    I get the idea of saying that it's no longer supported and won't be present on new installs, but to actively remove it?

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

      Probably to replace it with 'Wordpad Copilot' which requires an a PC with 32GB RAM, and min of 8 core CPU, plus a Microsoft account and an internet connection to to type a one paragraph document.

      1. romulusnr

        Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

        What no Wordpad 365 subscription option?

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

          It's coming or something like it. You can bet on it.

      2. Mage Silver badge

        Re:requires an a PC with 32GB RAM

        And HW TPM 2.0 or maybe later.

        Was looking at Win11 info after installing Win10 on a spare slightly broken laptop, Pleanty of good ones here with Linux. Why does MS think spamming Win10 users with apps you can't remove, ghastly flat UI with an insult to claim to have themes. And then have a world of pain with Win11. At least Win2K, XP, Vista and to an extent Win7 you could find stuff and change the appearance of the UI (though not as much as current Mate Desktop or Linux).

        A pile of poo. Though the 32G isn't needed (likely 8G works), the min specs here sound a bit like fantasy!

    2. johnandmegh

      Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

      I could see reasons both practical - reducing unmaintained lines of code that are out "in the wild" past a certain version number - and cynical - removing one avenue to creating and using data outside of the 365 ecosystem - why they'd want to.

      Not saying it's a good thing, just potentially understandable given a specific goal.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

      Because there is a risk in telling people that they ship this binary on everyone's installation but it's not supported. If, for example, a security vulnerability was found in it, would they really be able to claim that they don't support it, so that's not their fault? They would be blamed for that, so if they're no longer going to maintain it, they remove it. You can always put it back. It appears to be one executable, one DLL, and a resources file for each installed language, so it should be pretty easy to keep even after it's removed from preinstallation.

    4. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

      Well, because Micros~1

      To paraphrase Ronald McDonald Reagan: "Hi! We're from Microsoft, and we're here to help."

    5. CatWithChainsaw

      Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

      Especially since they'd be removing it off of Windows 10 systems that are going to be EOL 2025, but plenty of people will be holding onto it for a long time afterwards. That's a really low blow.

      (Unless, by some divine magic, Microsoft sees the light with Windows 12 and Makes Windows Seven Again.)

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: the application will be removed on upgrade


      (ESPECIALLY when "up"grades are *FORCED*)

      Dear Micros~1: ASK PERMISSION FIRST, at the VERY LEAST. Other kinds of things done WITHOUT PERMISSION like that can land a NORMAL PERSON in JAIL.

      But YOU *FEEL* as if you are GOD don't you...?

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

        Removing features when you install an update doesn't, in fact, send anyone to jail. It's the reality of software: if you choose to run someone's software, and you choose to install updates, then those updates can break things and they get the right from you having chosen to do that. If you don't want them to do that, you have to make other choices such as copying Word Pad and keeping it around, which looks to be pretty easy to do, or blocking the update, which we've known how to do since Windows 10 introduced the automatic updates feature. It's been around for ten years. Anyone posting here either knows at least three different ways of blocking Windows updates or can find them online. It's been pretty easy with a few minutes' effort since the beginning. You'll have to deal with the consequences of that choice if you choose to make it, which is why I suggest copying Word Pad if you use it and want to keep it.

        It's like asking what gave my distribution maintainers the right to remove Python 2 from their repositories, because now old scripts from 2008 which don't run in Python 3 (and might not run correctly anyway) can't be run unless I install Python 2 manually. I gave them the right by using their distribution, or rather they didn't need the right because they choose what they put in it and I choose to take it. If I don't like it, I change what I'm doing so it doesn't happen.

  6. The Velveteen Hangnail

    It's all crap

    The first thing I do on a new windows install is removing _everything_ that can be uninstalled. There is so much garbage installed by default and new garbage added all the time.

    1. Calum Morrison

      Re: It's all crap

      Not sure what you're using, but if it's better than O&O AppBuster (I think El Reg mentioned it a couple of years ago) then please let me know. OOAPB is the first thing that runs on any new PC that crosses my path. Just why each PC has so much X Box crud on it, I don't know...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's all crap

        Try the Citrix optimizer. Designed to turn off unnecessary cruft in desktop and server VDAs, but can be used on any windows install. Comes with preloaded templates for each OS version, but you can create your own or use community sourced ones.

    2. HereIAmJH

      Re: It's all crap

      Extra stuff on Windows, surely you jest. I mean, why wouldn't you want tablet functionality on your desktop computer, or Cortana on your servers? The stuff that is installed by default doesn't bother me so much anymore (we survived 20 years of IE being loaded as part of the core OS), it's the stuff that silently adds scheduled tasks or loads background services on startup that annoy me.

      OTOH, in the ever increasing locked down corporate world, if it doesn't come with Windows you might have to do without. It doesn't matter if it's free (to use) and open source, corporate IT sees it as a risk. I guess it's back to waiting an eternity for Word to load so you can view a simple RTF.

      1. ldo

        Re: in the ever increasing locked down corporate world

        I don’t understand this. They are supposed to do this for security, yet they let some third party (Microsoft) control what does and doesn’t go on their machines? Surely they would want to be the ones with that control. Clearly Windows doesn’t give it.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: in the ever increasing locked down corporate world

          It tells you more about the skill set of corporate IT than it does about the S/W they're trying to keep out or in.

        2. LessWileyCoyote

          Re: in the ever increasing locked down corporate world

          No, they don't want to take control, they want to not get sued. Thus passing responsibility over to their operating system provider.

          Remember, "security" is corporate-speak for "not getting sued".

    3. Lost in Cyberspace

      Re: It's all crap

      That's the second thing I do, too.

      The first is running a reg file, containing 20+ tweaks to turn off anything Bing, Copilot, Suggested apps, Search, News and other annoyances.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: It's all crap

        If you’ve figured out a way to remove the annoying “Microsoft Points” and “Use a Microsoft Account” nags from the main Settings window on 10/11, do let me know. There used to be a method using Vivetool but Microsoft conveniently “broke” that a couple of years ago, quite by accident of course.

        1. dc_m

          Re: It's all crap

          yep, got a solution for you there. Hit the button that says "I don't have an internet connection".

          Set the wireless up and run updates the old fashioned way, once Windows has already started.

    4. Grunchy Silver badge

      Re: It's all crap

      I use the “Ghost Spectre” edition of Win10 specifically because they streamlined most of the MS bloat out of there. But they never culled Wordpad.

      (Besides Notepad++ there’s another really interesting freeware app, and that’s Notetab.)

      I never liked Wordpad. Well it doesn’t open Word files and the “rich text” markup isn’t of any use.

      These days I’m using Libre Office, or else Ubuntu Edit.

      I don’t think I care about Microsoft anymore… they can do whatever they want in their abandoned mall. I’m not ever going back again!

  7. Cruachan Bronze badge

    WordPad's sole purpose for me was in ye olden days when you opened a text file that was too large for Notepad and got prompted to open it in WordPad instead.

    As for "removed in a future update", that message was on Snipping Tool for about 2 years and has now been removed so we shall see.

    1. K555

      I distinctly remember this when I was hacking about in the file in Red Alert that changed all the stats of the units (rules.ini?) - Not sure how big it could've been but I remember notepad wetting itself at the prospect.

    2. DJO Silver badge

      It's also a handy lightweight rtf editor. Admittedly the rtf it generates is a bit idiosyncratic (= completely non-standard) but it worked and for quick & dirty edit you could do the job in less time than it takes the latest incarnation of Word to load.

  8. Grogan Silver badge

    The only reason I used wordpad was that notepad had ridiculous size limitations... something like 64 kb for text file size. Other than that, wordpad was a crappy rich text editor. It wasn't long in Windows 95 until I switched to a third party editor called UltraEdit 32. Supported all text encodings you'd encounter, and it was also seamlessly a hex editor. You could right click and "open with UltraEdit 32"and it would open any file appropriately.

    I used UltraEdit (newer version) in Windows 7 too, right up to the end. (don't need Windows even for games anymore)

    1. GreenReaper

      45kb for editing, although you could open up to 54kb, per KB59578. It was based around a simple text box so there was a limit to what it could handle.

  9. t245t Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Word Processing in the Cloud

    WordPad .. didn't insist on having a connection to the internet for it to work.

    At a local place of education, I've noticed both WordPad and NotePad have disappeared. The only word processor provided is an online one provided by the place of education - in the cloud.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Word Processing in the Cloud

      I'm sure that, if this is true, it was done intentionally by the place of education. If so, they likely did it to prevent students from writing something locally, saving it to a disk which isn't meant for storage of student work, and either losing important work or claiming that they did to get out of turning something in. The same reason why I've been asked to prevent people from being able to save documents except to a network drive, because evidently just telling people is not working.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Word Processing in the Cloud

        It appears people disagree with my supposition. I'm curious if others have another reason they'd like to propose for why a school would intentionally remove both editors from a system? It can't be Microsoft doing it; Notepad is always there and Word Pad has been thus far as well. To actually remove them would take someone deliberately trying to do so. As much as we might try to blame Microsoft for it, can you actually name a version of Windows that has had them stripped out to push Office365, or for any other reason?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Word Processing in the Cloud

          It's probably not on the syllabus so the teachers don't know how to use it. It was very striking that after KCL had its big outage and lost goodness knows how much stuff they got all arsey about people saving stuff locally. I suppose it didn't look good if users were doing a better job about looking after their work then IT did.

  10. romulusnr

    It wasn't exactly the bees knees, but it was really handy when you had to deal with a .doc file on a system with no Word on it. I feel bad for the system installers and vendor maintenance techs who have to work on a fresh install who are given a .doc file for instructions and now have to download MSO365 just to read it.

    Renormalize lightweight tools!

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Renormalize lightweight tools!

      Lightweight tools aren't profitable.

      1. nautica Silver badge

        "Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better."-Edsger W. Dijkstra

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      It might not be lightweight but if your system installers and vendor maintenance techs don't know about LibreOffice or OpenOffice then you've got more to worry abut than them not being able to read .doc files.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        it's not not knowing about Open Office or Libre Office, but not being *able* to obtain Open Office or Libre Office. I've worked on some installations where any connection to the outside would was severed and without WordPad being already on the machine it was impossible to read anything other than plain text. Hell, I've had to (attempt to) do system admin on installations where my only access was a *user* account.

  11. Tron Silver badge

    Wait long enough...

    ...and Microsoft will destroy everything that just works and reduce every aspect of your computing experience to tortuous misery.

    There doesn't appear to be any reason to remove WordPad. It's like a sociopath pausing on their way to the shops and shooting someone's dog. Because it was there.

    1. GBE

      Re: Wait long enough...

      There doesn't appear to be any reason to remove WordPad. It's like a sociopath pausing on their way to the shops and shooting someone's dog. Because it was there.
      Except this particular sociopath owns the pet shop where everybody gets their dogs...

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Wait long enough...

        Yes, but now you have to pay for a kennel full of dogs of all kinds, to replace the now dead dog you used to have.

        And getting the kennel in place is painful and resource demanding.

  12. UncleDon

    WordPad was a sample ap

    What is lost in this discussion is that WordPad was distributed as a sample app with source code for the MFC C++ framework. Sure it's not as sophisticated as other word processors, but it was part of à great programming tutorial.

    1. watersb

      Re: WordPad was a sample ap

      Exactly! And the Macintosh standard editor at the time was called "TeachText" -- because it was used as a template for applications on Mac, used to teach us how to write applications for that platform.

      But the vast majority of TeachText usage was for reading the installation notes that came with that new app. README

      (Although the formatting in TeachText was just a demo for the Macintosh Toolbox library of GUI widgets, it could handle graphics and the results could be very sophisticated. The commercial word processor Nisus Writer started with the TeachText document format -- and is *still available for sale, in active development* nearly 40 years later. Which should be worth a vulture or two!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WordPad was a sample ap

        And TeachText has become TextEdit, which is still included with macOS today, and still being improved, with no plans to phase it out.

        And it's more powerful than WordPad or Notepad ever dreamed of being, while still being lightweight. It's only 1.8MB in Sonoma.

  13. frankyunderwood123

    Got the job done

    To this day, the functionality that Wordpad offered is really all I ever needed.

    Sure, I haven't used it for decades, but when it comes to office software, I use the absolute bare bones to get the job done.

    If it has paragraphs, bold text, italic text, underlined text, blockquotes and lists then what more do you really need?

    It did the job - and you can still use it now to create a perfectly acceptable document.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Got the job done

      No, it's a glass typewriter. no styles,

  14. aerogems Silver badge

    WordPad Was Great

    It was free, came bundled with Windows, and offered pretty much all the functions 90% of people using Word actually use on a regular basis. Namely, bold, italic, underline, changing the font face, and font size. Those five functions are probably the extent to which the vast majority of people use a word processor for. There's no need for "the kitchen sink is around here somewhere" apps like Word when you don't need 99.9% of the functions.

    I hope MS will open source it under an Apache style license or something if not GPL. Toss it up on GitHub and let people go nuts with it.

  15. jo so

    rtf files are smaller in size

    For new files for notes on a topic, I often

    - start it as a rich text format (.rtf) file

    - keep editing it for days or weeks for content, not style (finally grows to about 10K in size)

    - edit (refine) it with Micro$oft Word (ease of changing font styles, size, colors), ease of paragraph changes

    Word saves the file as 15K file (old ".doc" files used to be 40K in size)

    - edit it once more using Wordpad (add a space, delete the space) and save the file.

    I end up with a 10K file.

    I have been doing that process for over a decade both at work and at home.

    Your Mileage May Vary

  16. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    but not much of a word processor either.

    There speaks someone who uses a word processor professionally. For the vast majority of home users, WordPad was adequate for writing up a quick letter to send to the BBC complaining about a rude word broadcast before the watershed and other similarly less complex text formatting jobs :-)

    1. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: but not much of a word processor either.

      Which is basically what I used Wordpad for but in a work context.

      Ideal for quick memos and all.

      I used it for longer documents when drafting just the text on my ancient Compaq laptop on the way in on the train (Winders 95 era - no MS Office on that machine). Copy over to Word on the college PC and format to Corporate Standard (complete with the logo that made the resulting file 10 times larger). Good days.

      These days I suppose people would use Google Docs or something or install OpenOffice/LibreOffice/OtherOffice.

  17. Purple-Stater


    "WordPad was always an odd tool. Certainly not something one would want to edit text with, but not much of a word processor either."

    WordPad always was, and always will be, all that the vast majority of users actual need a word processor to do.

  18. Bebu Silver badge

    The right tool for all the ... tools.

    Wordpad always struck me as having just a few more features than the great unwashed could competently use.

    The number of users over the years that I have found lost in Word amongst feature or concepts they were never likely to understand let alone use.

    One proportional typeface, 3 or 4 font sizes, italic or oblique, underline, bold, justified text (on,off.) Done.

    Even an additional monospaced typeface would be an unneeded luxury.

    The reality was any documents more complicated than a standard business letter were very rarely required. (How many bright young things can now draft such documents?)

    I recall more than one older user drafting their emails in Wordpad and copy/paste into whatever ghastly mail user agent they were lumbered with (lookout express?) With Pine I could smuggly compose with Vi and spell check with Ispell but even that conceit has passed into history.:(

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: The right tool for all the ... tools.

      > Wordpad always struck me as having just a few more features than the great unwashed could competently use

      MS did bundle Works, until they decided it was competiting with Office…

      I suspect an assumption is that users can now read various documents such as .doc in Edge, however, like Adobe Reader and Acrobat (£), if you want to edit them you need to sign up for O365 (£).

  19. workrabbit

    Good riddance

    The alternatives are plentiful, free, more reliable and have more feature. Remove the old junk from Windows.

    1. Chris 239

      Re: Good riddance

      I agree, except a PC with only a bootloader confuses most users!

  20. Tim99 Silver badge

    For the many

    A very long time ago I asked our MS rep why there was no spell check in WordPad. He said that If there was, they wouldn't sell many copies of Word/Office. We did agree that (provided a user could spell) it was adequate for the many who wrote simple letters and reports. It became moot when we switched from WP 5.1/Lotus 1-2-3 and a variety of hardware proprietary WP systems like Wangwriters, DisplayWrite, and WPS to (heavily discounted) Office.

  21. fnusnu

    Should release it for Android

    They should move it to Android as a free piece of software for reading / minor editing of docx files on Android.

  22. xyz123 Silver badge

    First they came for a reasonable intuitive interface, and I said nothing

    Then they came for control panel and I said nothing

    Now they're coming for Wordpad, and I have no way to complain!

  23. dsoprea

    Gone from that awkward middle-place of implied RTF/Unicode text that's never appropriate for copying and pasting code, too lame a markup language to compete with LaTEX, and too limited to compete with [any version ever released of] Word.

  24. PaulHayes

    back in the mists of time when I used to actually use Windows, I used wordpad to open the odd RTF document that I needed to read or edit. This is back in the days of Windows 95/98/2000/XP. I didn't find any other uses for it.

  25. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge


    WordPad was unused anyway so it won't be missed. I bet most people didn't even know it was still on their Windows installation (neither did I, BTW).

  26. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    I still fondly remember Wordpad's predecessor - "Write".

    The old maxim was "Write will eat anything". Wordpad was but a pale imitation of a legend.

    The rumour was that Wordpad only existed because Micros~1 lost the source to Write. Somehow that felt fitting.

  27. Malcolm 1

    Unsurprising really, but from a historical perspective I think that WordPad (and its predecessor Write) were, at least in part, realistic demo applications for Windows' "Rich Edit control" (in the same way that Notepad was/is essentially a wrapper around the "Edit control").

  28. John Savard

    A Disaster

    I don't use Notepad. I found that Programmers' File Editor was better, and when I need a fancier text editor with things like Column Mode, there's Notepad++.

    But I do use WordPad, and have not seen the need for any replacement for it. Although I wish the Windows 3.1 application it replaced was still around: Microsoft Write.

    Not that a few extra features wouldn't be appreciated, like the ability to use modern font features provided by OpenType.

    I'll see if there is a good replacement around, since the last time I looked, I wasn't happy with what was available.

  29. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    What's the point?

    I'm sure WordPad is tiny compared to most junk in Windows.

    Just some manager type trying to do something, I suspect.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      When we all cry "BLOAT" about the state of Windows, they can say they removed something...

      Of course, this neglects that the features we actually want to dispose of are the ones they they most assuredly do not want to remove, and are much bloatier.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like