Microsoft is Killing WordPad — After 3 Decades: Here’s 3 Free Alternatives (2023)

Microsoft is Killing WordPad

Microsoft announced that it will stop updating WordPad and it won’t be available in future versions of Windows.

After nearly 30 years of service, the WordPad has been added to Microsoft’s freshly-updated Windows deprecated features list. Along with Cortana in Windows and Microsoft Edge legacy version will no longer be updated.

Why is Microsoft killing WordPad?

So, you might have heard that Microsoft says goodbye to WordPad, and honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised. I mean, have you taken a good look at WordPad lately? It’s like a blast from the past with its outdated interface and limited features. It’s no wonder people often confuse it with NotePad, which is more suitable for plain text documents. Let’s face it, WordPad simply just couldn’t keep up with the ever-evolving world of word processing.

WordPad free alternative to Microsoft Word

WordPad is a free rich text editor  that was launched in 1995 as part of Windows 95 to Windows 11 operating system. For the last 28 years, it has not received any major updates since then. RIP, old buddy. It’s unfortunate to witness your departure. You may not have been the best, but you were there when we needed you. 

But, here’s my theory – Microsoft is probably doing away with WordPad so they can push their subscription-based Microsoft 365 suite which includes Microsoft Word. 

What are the Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Word?

Google Docs. A web-based word processor that is part of Google’s free cloud-based office suite. Allows users to create, edit, and share documents online from any device. However, it requires an internet connection for most functions. 

WPS Office Writer. A word processor that is part of WPS Office, a free office suite for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. It offers a variety of features like PDF conversion and is compatible with most document formats, including .doc and .docx. However, it requires downloading the whole office suite to use Writer. Moreover, it has ads and pop-ups that may be distracting.

Libre Office Writer. A word processor that is part of LibreOffice, a free and open-source productivity office suite. It has a large community of users and developers who provide support and regular updates. However, it is less stable on Macs than on Windows or Linux, and may crash or freeze occasionally. 

WordPad vs Microsoft Word: 5 key differences

Compatibility. WordPad is compatible with .doc, .docx, .rtf, and .txt formats. Microsoft Word is compatible with many formats including .pdf, .html, .xml, etc.

Functionality. WordPad offers basic text editing and formatting features. Microsoft Word offers rich functionality such as text effects, glowing outlines, translation, spell check, and more powerful features.

Usability. WordPad has a simple interface that is quite easy to navigate. Microsoft Word has a complex interface that is customizable, supports online collaboration and web-based versions.

Cost. WordPad is free and comes with Windows OS. Microsoft Word requires a Microsoft 365 subscription or purchase from Microsoft.

Popularity. WordPad is less popular. Microsoft Word is one of the most popular word processors in the world.


As a longtime Windows user, I rarely used WordPad, and that too was when I was still in school. So, I don’t find any significant impact on Windows and Microsoft. When at work, I regularly use Word for contracts, projects, and proposals. I use NotePad for simple plain text documents. For personal, I use Google Docs for writing my content.

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Article by Jayson
Hey! I’m Jayson, I help find solutions to any tech-related challenge. I specialize in SCM, WMS Software, and Data Analysis.

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