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Get Classic WordPad for Windows 11

Here is how to download WordPad for Windows 11, the original classic app that Microsoft has removed from Build 26020 and onward. You will get it back again with all its shortcuts and features restored.

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Microsoft first announced their intention to get rid of the classic WordPad app in the beginning of September 2023. The company said it is outdated, so they deprecate it in flavor of Word and Notepad.

Many did't agreed. It offered more features than any plain text editor, and supported several widely used formats, such as ODF and RTF. Without having to install anything, it allowed you to quickly compose a rich formatted document with little to zero efforts.

The app existed in Windows since its third version, Windows 3.1 under the name Write. It survived many releases and has got nice improvements over time, such as the above mentioned ODF support and a nicer UI. So the app has a strong fan base who miss it a lot.

Starting with Build 26020, if you clean install Windows 11, you won't have WordPad. It is no longer shipped, is not available as a feature on-demand, and in the Store. It is not even listed in the Start menu.

Microsoft Has Removed The App

That's why a custom package has been created for everyone who miss the app.

To get WordPad back in Windows 11, do the following.

Download WordPad for Windows 11

  1. Navigate to the following website and download the WordPad installer.
  2. Run it and follow the simple steps of the setup program.
  3. Specify the desired folder where the app files will be stored. By default it installs to Program files\wordpad.Setup Directory
  4. Now choose to create a desktop shortcut for either current user or all users, and finish the setup.Desktop Shortcut Option
  5. Finally, you can launch WordPad from the desktop shortcut or from the Start menu.Windows 11 Wordpad Installed

You are done.

The package is built with original app files, of the latest version released by Microsoft. They are not modified or tampered with.

Wordpad Is Back To Start Menu

The package supports all multi-lingual resources and installs them when needed. So the app will always be in your operating system's language, e.g. in an OS with the German MUI it will be in German, in Finnish Windows it will be in Finnish and so on. Here's the list of all supported locales:

ar-sa, bg-bg, cs-cz, da-dk, de-de, el-gr, en-gb, en-us, es-es, es-mx, et-ee, fi-fi, fr-ca, fr-fr, he-il, hr-hr, hu-hu, it-it, ja-jp, ko-kr, lt-lt, lv-lv, nb-no, nl-nl, pl-pl, pt-br, pt-pt, ro-ro, ru-ru, sk-sk, sl-si, sr-latn-rs, sv-se, th-th, tr-tr, uk-ua, zh-cn, zh-hk, zh-tw.

The installer uses a smart detection of locales and won't fill your drive with MUI files that you have no use for.

The installer will also register wordpad.exe and write.exe aliases, so if you used to launch it from the Run dialog (Win + R) with these commands, they will continue to work.

Finally, you can uninstall the package like any other app.

Uninstalling

For that, right-click the Start menu button and select Installed apps.

In the list of apps, scroll down to WordPad, click the three dots button, and select Uninstall. This will remove all traces and files of the app.

Uninstall Wordpad

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

5 thoughts on “Get Classic WordPad for Windows 11”

  1. Thanks, Sergey. I have been using WordPad principally as an intermediate stage when dealing with pictures, because Word is just too big and clumsy.

    QUESTION 1: Suppose that I email someone a Wordpad document. Suppose that either he has a new PC and has not installed your software, or Microsoft has removed WordPad sometime in the future. Will he be able to open the file?

    QUESTION 2: If Microsoft does decide, in their lack of wisdom, to remove WordPad from PCs where it is installed, will your package be removed also?

    1. 1) Opening a WordPad document is possible with Word, LibreOffice, and other similar apps. The recipient must have one installed. Alternatively they can upload the document to OneDrive or Google Drive and open it online from there, as both support opening.
      2) It depends on their implementation. If they want, they can remove anything installed on your PC.

  2. Thank You!
    Hopefully MS comes to its senses and brings this back.
    I use a combination of Word, Notepad and Wordpad depending on the documents I am working with.
    So all three are essential in my daily workflow.

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