RIP writing pad

WordPad, the rich text editor included with Windows 95, will soon be removed from Windows 11. Microsoft announced last year that WordPad would be removed, but we now have a concrete timeline: In a support article, Microsoft said that WordPad would be removed. Gone in Windows 11 24H2. Its name suggests that Windows 11 24H2 will be released in the second half of 2024 and will be the first Windows 11 version without the iconic rich text editor. "Starting with Windows 11, version 24H2, and Windows Server 2025, WordPad will be removed from all versions of Windows," Microsoft said in a statement. "As a result, Windows will no longer have a built-in default RTF reader. We recommend using Microsoft Word to process rich text documents such as .doc and .rtf, and use Notepad to process plain text documents such as .txt.”

Of course, the writing has been on the wall for years. The text editor is another application whose user interface has been stuck in the past and its functionality has not been updated in years. You probably won't miss it in any functional sense; we'll just share memories of times in the past when we might have used it.

However, Notepad still ships with Windows and will continue to do so, although Notepad is a text-only editor, which means you can't make text bold, italic, underline, or change the font size. After Windows 24H2, we will no longer use any rich text editor by default, and your best choice for a free rich text editor will be an online application like Google Docs or Microsoft 365 Online, or a free office suite like LibreOffice.