In a shift to its software offerings, Microsoft has confirmed the removal of WordPad, the longstanding rich text editor from Windows 11. This decision is part of a broader initiative to streamline the operating system, though it has left some users searching for alternatives to the classic application. Microsoft initially confirmed its intentions to kill off WordPad back in September.
Removal Implemented in Latest Canary Build
The deprecation of WordPad became effective with the roll-out of build 26020, where it was noted that WordPad would no longer come pre-installed with Windows 11. Microsoft has explicitly stated that post build 26020, WordPad will not be re-installable – a departure from its usual practice of allowing users to add back deprecated features.
During clean installations of the OS, both WordPad and the People applications will be absent. Furthermore, when existing systems are upgraded in the future, WordPad will be removed as part of the process.
Alternatives and Third-Party Solutions
Despite Microsoft's position, enthusiasts and third-party developers are anticipated to devise methods to reinstate WordPad into Windows 11. Similar efforts have been observed in the past with the return of stock games from Windows 7 and other legacy components into newer versions of the operating system. When considering such unofficial installations, users are cautioned to ensure the trustworthiness of the sources from which they are obtaining executable files.
For text editing, there is a plethora of options available on the Windows platform, ranging from the free Office Online to various premium software offerings. Microsoft suggests its Microsoft 365 subscription service for tasks typically handled by WordPad, but alternatives extend to a myriad of third-party text editors catering to diverse user needs.
Steps Recorder Also Marked for Deprecation
Accompanying the update about WordPad, Microsoft indicated a similar fate for the Steps Recorder (psr.exe), another Windows feature slated for a phase-out. Although not yet removed, the presence of a notification banner within the application signals its end of active development.
As a replacement for the utility provided by Steps Recorder, Microsoft recommends the Snipping Tool, Xbox Game Bar, or Microsoft Clipchamp. However, these tools may not fully cover the functionality offered by Steps Recorder, prompting users to explore other solutions to meet their requirements.