Windows 11 bids farewell to WordPad as Microsoft axes longtime favorite (oh, and Cortana)

Microsoft finally gives its iconic WordPad app the chop as a new Windows 11 Canary build reveals that the long-time word processing app’s time is up. The Canary channel is one of four release channels in the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft’s community that gives testers, developers, and enthusiasts access to try out new versions of Windows and new features to gather feedback and improve them before releasing them to the wider user base. 

In WordPad’s place, Microsoft is directing users to use Microsoft Word to work with rich text files, which feels a little cheeky (more about that in a moment). 

We found out that WordPad was being deprecated a little while back, and now Microsoft is making good on its promises. The company elaborated that no new WordPad developments were being worked on at the time of the announcement, and that future Windows 11 releases wouldn’t include it – which is what has happened with the latest WordPad-less Canary build. 

Microsoft also revealed that the WordPad and People apps won’t be included by default upon a clean install of Windows 11, and you’ll no longer be able to reinstall WordPad at a later date.

Man typing on laptop

(Image credit: Chase Chappell/Unsplash)

Users react

This development comes with a tinge of melancholy for many Windows fans because it has been one of Microsoft’s flagship programs for a long time. For many users, it was their preferred choice for a basic and straightforward simple rich text editor, being included in nearly every version of Windows starting with Windows 95. 

Microsoft recommends “Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt” for users who would like to know what to use instead. 

Of course, the full version of Microsoft Word is part of the Microsoft Office suite, which isn’t free, so recommending a paid-for alternative to a free app they’ve just cut probably won’t go down too well. A much better alternative is LibreOffice Writer, which is part of the free, open-source LibreOffice suite – although I can imagine why Microsoft would be hesitant to send people to a free rival app.

The newest preview build, Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26020, also saw a move that was long expected from Microsoft – giving Cortana the chop. If you’ve already forgotten what Cortana is (or, rather, was), Cortana is Microsoft’s previous effort in its mission to create a personal productivity assistant. 

Now, it’s leaving Cortana in the past and trucking forward with Windows Copilot, its newer and fresher take on the all-purpose digital assistant that’s powered by AI. According to Tom’s Hardware, Microsoft is so keen to make Copilot a hit (unlike the rather unpopular Cortana), it is now requiring partner keyboard manufacturers to have a dedicated Copilot key. 

A final bow for WordPad – or is it?

To some, this move reminds them of when Microsoft wanted to ax Windows Paint. Many users were incensed, which is understandable, in my opinion, as I think Paint is one of the best apps ever made. In the case of Paint, Microsoft actually listened to users’ outcry and made the app available for download from the Microsoft Store. Since then, it’s been developed and upgraded for Windows 11, and even getting its own AI assistant named Cocreator

It’s speculated that if there’s enough uproar about WordPad’s departure, Microsoft might consider doing something similar for WordPad. WordPad is a quality, solid app that’s simple and straightforward, installed by default, quick to load and get going, and offers more features than NotePad for simple text editing. 

It’s safe to say many users are lamenting WordPad’s exit and are hoping it’ll be made available as an optional download. I guess we’ll have to see if Microsoft is actually interested in continuing to give users the option to work more simply and without unwanted AI features, or if it really is committed to dropping popular basic apps in pursuit of its vision of an AI-powered future.


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Microsoft axes Video Editor in latest Windows 10 Photos app update, and users aren’t happy

Coming in hot on the heels of a freshly updated Photos app in Windows 10, which has sparked discussion about its merit among users, Microsoft seems intent on stoking the fire. 

The new Photos app is missing some of the editing tools of its predecessor, has some new ones, and now no longer has a built-in Video Editor. Instead, the Editor will be replaced with a web-based app called Clipchamp.

According to Windows Latest, you may be able to open the old Video Editor, but if it’s been updated (probably through the most recent Windows 10 update), you’ll be met with a pop-up saying the following: 

“Microsoft Video Editor is no longer available in the Photos app. Your previous video projects can be accessed by downloading the Photos Legacy app in Settings. For new videos, unleash your creativity with Clipchamp.“

So, what can you do now?

You can still download the Photos Legacy app in the Microsoft Store, like the pop-up says, and restore the original Video Editor. Yet Windows Latest speculates that this might signal the beginning of the end for this generation of the Photos app and its editing capabilities. Eventually, we may not even have a Photos Legacy app at all (along with its Video Editor feature).  

The Photos Legacy app is similar to the Windows 11 version of the app, and it differs from the previous Windows 10 Photos app. Some of the changes that angered users are the removal of the Clarity slider and the Spot fix feature. This change was warned about shortly before it happened as Windows 10 users were notified ahead of the changes.

The move is presumably because Microsoft wants to usher users away from the Video Editor feature and over to the web-based Clipchamp, which was acquired by Microsoft back in 2021. Windows 11’s Photos and Windows 10’s Photos will still include video editing for now, as confirmed by an engineer at Microsoft to Windows Latest. 

Microsoft Store in Windows 10

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The new video editor in town: Clipchamp

So what’s Clipchamp? It’s a free video editor that allows users to make as many videos as they like in high definition (1080p). It’s a browser-based app that you can access at and to access it, all you need is a Microsoft account and to log in on the website. You can find our review of Clipchamp here.

This app might remind you of a relic of the recent past – Windows Movie Maker. Movie Maker is also no more – officially decommissioned back in 2017 – and Microsoft is propping up Clipchamp as a replacement for it. 

Clipchamp is a more capable video-editing app, and allows any user to make a video that looks pretty professional. It also has a user-friendly interface and quick setup process. However, many still liked the old Video Editor, perhaps for its even more straightforward simplicity. 


(Image credit: Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson)

What's the actual problem?

Not just known for its simple approach, Windows 10’s Video Editor could also encode much smaller-sized videos than those of Clipchamp. In Microsoft’s Feedback Hub, where users give feedback directly to Microsoft as outlined by Windows Latest, one user asked: “Why is the Clipchamp exported video 5 times the size of the photo “legacy” video editor?”


The user details their complaint and outlines their comparison between Clipchamp and Photos Legacy’s Video Editor, and they aren’t happy. I understand why; there's a big difference, especially if you’re making a video for personal reasons instead of commercial purposes. File storage isn’t free, after all!

It makes you think – does Microsoft have plans to present a repackaged Video Editor elsewhere? Maybe it could enjoy a new lease on life as a paid download if it still maintains such popularity.

If you have similar thoughts or your own opinion you’d like to share, Microsoft does often repeat that they’d like to hear users’ thoughts on the matter. The uproar was so loud when it tried to do something similar with Paint that the beloved app was brought back as a optional download via the Microsoft Store, so maybe the tech giant will listen to users this time around too. 

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