Yep, Microsoft is Updating Notepad for Windows 11 Too

Posted on October 9, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 32 Comments

After seeing the WinUI spit shine that it gave to Paint in Windows 11, it is no surprise that Microsoft will give Notepad a similar update.

“Notepad Windows 11 design leaked by Microsoft engineer then quickly deleted,” FireCubeStudios’ official Twitter account tweeted. “We can see a new Fluent Design windows 11 settings for the app and also a WinUI menu bar.”

This is acceptable to me, as I was worried that Microsoft might ruin Notepad’s simplicity with a toolbar or command bar of some kind and other extraneous UI. But it appears that the WinUI-based menu bar is simply a cleaner, more scalable version of the normal Notepad menu bar, its only real user interface, similar to what I created previously with the WPF and UWP versions of my .NETpad application.

Let’s hope that’s all that’s changing.

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Comments (32)

32 responses to “Yep, Microsoft is Updating Notepad for Windows 11 Too”

  1. sherlockholmes

    I think Mary Jo will not notice that at all :-P

  2. david.thunderbird

    and while I'm here, what is with the cookie thing on registered user pages?

  3. techm2

    I would love to see the AutoSave feature added. I lose a lot of notes for various reasons.

  4. kshsystems

    notepad shows as recently being updated in the Windows11 store, but i do not see anything different. Also no settings option... maybe it is not out yet?


    It irks me that they don't make it decently usable and fully configurable like choice of background and foreground colors so that dark mode users can also use it. It's like they have someone who does not use a notepad all day and night coding it like it were some unimportant program no one uses.

    • behindmyscreen

      it irks you that they kept it a basic text editor that does it's job very well?

      The last thing that irked me with note pad was the lack of handling Unix line endings and that was fixed.

      Maybe a plugin system would be nice fun but I think that defeats the purpose of the thing.

  6. oscar90

    Real men use Wordpad.

  7. jdawgnoonan

    Dark mode support is all that Notepad really needs (and has needed for years). I am happy to see that they aren't adding much else. I still say, it is amazing how much effort it evidently takes to update classic Windows apps. Hopefully during these refreshes they are making it so that it is easier to update them in the future. Otherwise, this update will be the last one that Notepad sees for another couple of decades.

  8. shark47

    Nice! I prefer Notepad to OneNote because of its simplicity, so this is good.

    • phil_adcock

      I'm in the opposite camp. I prefer OneNote because I usually take notes inside physical notebooks and then manually copy those notes over to a notebook inside OneNote. Rather than having several text files or having to create a document Indexed with chapters and the such. (Church Sermons and Bible study notes) I have a separate notebook for each physical notebook I have. Then when I'm searching in onenote and find what I want I'm able to also look back at the physical notes for any images or things I've stored inside the physical copy that accompany that lesson. I know it's a weird system but it works for me and I like it.

    • igor engelen

      yep! I used to write real notes on paper for years and at some point realised how much paper I was gathering and throwing away.

      For a couple of years now I use Notepad for an 'ongoing/todo' list and 2-3 separate textiles for the bigger/longer projects I'm working on.

      For me personally it's also a way to stop myself from going overboard with formatting and layout.

  9. rwtodd

    hmm... hopefully Word Wrap moved to the 'view' menu, since there's no Format menu depicted. Also the "enable classic editing experience" option makes me think they've replaced the ancient edit control. But I guess two screenshots is too little to go on.

  10. Username

    I’ve been listening to WW for a long time (way before MJF joined) and I can’t recall her calling out anything other that Notepad. Despite her Microsoft corporate and enterprise slant, I’d expected a Windows veteran to use more applications. Seems to me a Chromebook would suffice for her use-case. Is there a “what I use” article by MJF?

  11. ronh


    "Yep, Microsoft is updating notepad for Windows 11 too"



    Wait, what is different?"

  12. bschnatt

    You had to write this article, Paul? Are you *trying* to give Mary Jo a heart attack? Geez...

  13. hrlngrv

    Pardon the ill will, but why no ribbon UI for Notepad? Just because it's never had a toolbar? Or does as simple as possible mean only menus?

    Pity no discussion of the difference between Default and Classic file editing experiences.

    • jimchamplin

      Twofold I think. 1) Notepad really doesn't need that sort of UI. 2) I think the ribbon is on its way out.

      • hrlngrv

        I can hardly wait for the ribbon to die off. I used Excel 2003 with a vertically oriented menu toolbar on the left.

        To me, the quintecence of MSFT's design acumen is summed up by the ribbon eating too much vertical screen space as monitors gained horizontal pixels and lost vertical pixels. The nastiest laptop 'upgrade' I suffered through at work was when the 1280x800 Compaq was replaced by a 1366x768 Dell, and that was back in Office 2003 days. EVERYTHING with a ribbon SUCKS at 1366x768.

  14. matsan

    hmmm. Isn’t that ruined notepad called wordpad?

  15. polloloco51

    Notepad, is literally one of the very few apps that's never been updated since Windows 1.0 (except for UI).

    That's a great thing! 🙂

    Simplicity is everything!

  16. winner

    We need a Mary Jo seal of approval before we can accept this change.

  17. bschnatt

    A dark mode would be very welcome, but I won't be on Windows 11 for some time. I'd like to see it come to Windows 10...

  18. dougkinzinger

    I have to say - I am not a fan of the newly-redesigned Paint in Windows 11. It is slower to open and has much in the way of wasted screen space.

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