Leaked images show revamped Notepad app that fits in on Windows 11

Windows 11 Start Laptop Razerbook
Windows 11 Start Laptop Razerbook (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Leaked images show off what appears to be an updated Notepad app.
  • The app has Fluent Design Windows 11 settings and a WinUI menu bar.
  • The images were reportedly shared by a Microsoft engineer and then quickly deleted.

Microsoft's Notepad is a classic app that's loved by its enthusiasts. Soon, it could have a new look that fits right in on Windows 11. Screenshots briefly appeared that show what people claim to be an updated Notepad app. According to reports, the screenshots were shared by a Microsoft engineer and then quickly deleted. FireCubeStudios managed to save the screenshots before they were taken down.

As these are leaked images, they may not reflect what the Notepad app looks like in the future. If the photos are accurate, Notepad will have a settings section that follows Fluent Design and a WinUI menu bar.

Microsoft redesigned several of its apps to line up with Windows 11, including Paint and the Photos app. Generally, Microsoft's apps that have been refreshed have a new look that follows the design language of Windows 11 and some new features.

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The leaked screenshots show options to customize Notepad's theme and fonts.

Notepad is one of Microsoft's oldest apps. It's almost 30 years old and largely remains unchanged. Notepad entered the Microsoft Store in April 2020, allowing Microsoft to update it separately from its operating systems. We'll have to wait to see if these updates roll out to the Notepad app.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

  • Give me dark modeeeeee! 😃
  • Do we know? Is that what "App theme" would let us select? I'm with you -- for me, lack of a Dark Mode is the biggest problem with Notepad.
  • Why? Revamp WordPad and get rid of notepad. WordPad can open text files. I don't see why there are two of these. It's a vestige from Windows 2.0 or something... maybe even 1.0.
  • They do different things. WordPad stores everything as RTF format by default and holds a lot of metadata, has a ruler, etc., meaning you can't (as easily) use it to see raw, unformatted text. I use Notepad all the time to convert formatted text to plain text. For those with Office, WordPad, which is sort of a scaled-down Word, brings nothing new to the table. Notepad remains useful as the only pure text editor included with Windows.
  • WordPad can open and save Plain Text Documents. Are you daft? The Ruler can be toggled, Word Wrap can be toggled. When was the last time you used WordPad? Have you... ever used it?
  • You don't see why two unrelated products exist? One is a Text Editor, One is a Word Processor (technically). I can open Text files in Excel but I wouldn't want to. People use Notepad, a lot. No one uses WordPad, it can't even open Word 97 .DOC files.
  • What does Word 97 .DOC have to do with anything? No one should be saving in those formats, and Word still exists. Read my comment above. Notepad does nothing that WordPad doesn't already do, so I don't see why they're wasting resources on Notepad. Just remove update WordPad and move on. WordPad needs to exist, because it opens and edits ODT, as well. Without it, Windows has no Rich Text Editor. It's basically the TextEdit of the Windows OS. Apple is not wasting their time maintaining TextEdit and a separate Notepad app, because it's wasteful.
  • I guess notepad is simply for quick write, note and store and wordpad is little pro version of notepad
  • Umm no? Notepad is a power tool for extensive, no-frills drafting of longform text, which I can them move into Word for formatting, or into an email body, and so on. It also opens super fast and is not affected by system lag in that respect so great for getting quickly into doing some text work. I never used Notepad much, until I watched Mary Jo Foley talk about how she uses it a lot for her writing work and I got intrigued and decided to pay it some attention. Now it is embedded in my workflow everyday, at work or on the weekends. I may have 3 or 4 Notepad instances open holding different drafts and just random pastes of text from different documents and sites over the course of the day. WordPad? I have no use for that. Someone else might swear by it though.
  • Notepad is a power tool? Umm... What?
  • Meh, doesn't effect me either way. I haven't used notepad in years. I always replace it's use with Notepad++.
  • I like Notepad++ too, but Notepad is a lighter-weight app. There's something nice about an app that opens in a fraction of a second and takes up virtually no RAM. If it has dark mode, I may shift back it as my default text editor for those times I don't need the code formatting options of Notepad++.
  • Goes to person's PC, fires up Notepad++, gah I have to install it. Opens Notepad, done.
  • This would be great for consistency. Now finish importing all of Control Panel to Settings. Sure understand it's there for 3rd party apps but a tonne of Microsoft settings are still in Control Panel. Oh and kill of WordPad already. It doesn't enhance the product, it cheapens it.
  • Nice! Finally it here with dark mode. I wish they will add just line number and tabs support and it will be a nice modern text editor app, but without too much fuss. Line numbers is actually pretty helpful and tabs allows to organise opened text files without cluttering the desktop with too many windows. Of course I'm not asking Notepad to have compilers or extension support. That's why we have apps like VS Code for that. Linux default text editors managed to add some more modern features but they are not as bloated or complicated as VS Code. They are still simple text editor apps, just some added features.
  • Just add dark mode and auto save feature. We don't need Fluent design for the fastest stock app.