Three of the apps we’ve all come to expect (and rely on?) as part of a fresh installation of Windows look set to switch to being optional in future versions of Windows 10.
As Windows Latest reports, the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build, known as version 20H1 Build 19041, contains three new entries in the Optional features app list. They are Notepad, Microsoft Paint, and and WordPad.
None of the apps are set to disappear from Windows 10, but users will have the choice to not install them assuming they remain optional features when 20H1 ships. While the decision may come as a surprise to long-time Windows users, just take a step back and consider when you last used each of the three apps being made optional.
I haven’t used WordPad and Paint for as long as I can remember, but Notepad remains a very useful app. Even so, there are alternatives out there people prefer, with the free-to-use Notepad++ being high on the list, Paint.NET is also a much more feature rich free alternative to Paint.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard talk of Microsoft Paint potentially disappearing. Back in 2017 we thought Microsoft was preparing to kill the drawing app, but it was soon clarified that Paint was set to become optional and available through the Windows Store. That never happened as Microsoft granted it a reprieve last year and it remained a standard Windows 10 feature. Back in 2018 Microsoft also spent time updating Notepad to fix one of its longest running problems: garbled text files.
The version of Windows 10 with these apps as potential optional features isn’t due to launch until the spring (March 20 at the earliest), so there’s a chance they could revert to being standard features before then.