Windows 11 users, wave goodbye to WordPad - it'll likely be removed with the 24H2 update

If you're fond of WordPad, here's some bad news - it's going to be stripped out of existing Windows 11 installations going forward.

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Microsoft has given WordPad the chop, or what amounts to the final pulling of the curtain on the venerable app in Windows 11, after the software giant announced that the application was deprecated some time ago.

Windows 11 is slowly becoming more streamlined as Microsoft prunes away some default apps (Image Credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 is slowly becoming more streamlined as Microsoft prunes away some default apps (Image Credit: Microsoft)

If you recall, the announcement about the deprecation of the app happened some time ago, back in September 2023. Then after that, at the start of January 2024, Microsoft announced that WordPad (not to be confused with Notepad, of course, which is staying - and is being actively developed) was being removed from future installations of Windows 11.

That was in preview build 26020, but the latest build in the Canary channel, which is version 26040, represents the final end for WordPad, as not only is it removed from clean installs of Windows 11, but the app will be taken out whenever existing users next upgrade their OS.

Of course, this change is still in testing now, but with the feature already marked as exiting stage left, the move will surely come in for all users with the release of Windows 11 24H2 later this year. (Or indeed Windows 12, if 24H2 turns out to be a whole new version of Microsoft's OS - although the belief is that this won't happen, going by the latest from the rumor mill).

For those thinking they might be able to reinstall WordPad somehow, that won't be possible, Microsoft has clarified. So, the only way you'll be able to keep WordPad is to stick with the current version of Windows 11 and not upgrade to 24H2 when it emerges later this year (in theory). Eventually, you'll be forced to upgrade, though (when 23H2 runs out of road for support).

It's worth remembering that as well as WordPad, the People app has also been marked for removal, although this is somewhat different in that the functionality is being kept - sort of - and will be integrated into Outlook for Windows (the new email client for Windows 11).

Microsoft has been busy pruning other apps installed by default as part of Windows 11 in recent times, too.

That includes the Movies & TV app, although this is a bit different in that you can still opt to install it from the Microsoft Store if you want the app (unlike WordPad, which has been forever barred from Windows 11 as noted). This move happened back in November 2023, again in the Canary channel, but it's another part of testing that will surely be carried over to the release version of Microsoft's desktop OS.

For those who'll miss WordPad, Microsoft suggests using Word instead, but of course that comes with catches - including that you'll have to pay for it. Microsoft Word is obviously a far more heavyweight (resource munching) app, too.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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