This year's 24H2 Windows 11 update will wave goodbye to Cortana, WordPad, Steps Recorder, and more

A screenshot of Windows 95, with WordPad running on the desktop
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Regarding big updates for major operating systems like Windows 11, news stories generally focus on what features have been added or which bugs have been squashed. But software companies often like to giveth with one hand and taketh with the other, and Microsoft will be completely removing quite a few of the old features in the 24H2 update, expected to hit in the Fall.

Microsoft keeps a list of what aspects of Windows it plans to depreciate, though not all of the entries have a confirmed date for removal. However, now that a release candidate for the 24H2 update has been issued to folks on the Windows Insiders program (via Sweclockers), it's now clear as to what will be gone for good.

Not that many of us will miss some of these, mind. Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana has been on the way out for a good while now but it'll be fully gone in 23H2 (replaced entirely by Copilot, of course). Joining it will be WordPad, a basic word processor that first appeared nearly three decades ago as part of Windows 95. I can't say that I used the former, but I've always had a soft spot for the latter, despite its limitations.

The Tips application is also going the way of the dodo, along with Steps Recorder and Windows Mixed Reality. In the case of the latter, this includes the Mixed Reality app and WMR for SteamVR, though HoloLens will remain untouched. WMR will get security patches and bug fixes until November 2026, though only for users still on the 23H2 version of Windows 11.

Other than Cortana being replaced with Copilot, I suspect the rest of these are all going because Microsoft simply feels that not enough people are using them to warrant dedicating staff to maintaining the software.

I can understand the case of Steps Recorder because it never once helped me solve any kind of issue with Windows, but it's a shame that WordPad will be no more. Microsoft obviously wants users to sign up for its 365 subscription service, rather than giving you something for nothing, but at least there are free, open-source alternatives such as LibreOffice and FreeOffice.

Now, does anyone fancy taking a guess as to how long it will take Microsoft to depreciate Copilot?


Windows 11 review: What we think of the latest OS.
How to install Windows 11: Guide to a secure install.
Windows 11 TPM requirement: Strict OS security.

Nick Evanson
Hardware Writer

Nick, gaming, and computers all first met in 1981, with the love affair starting on a Sinclair ZX81 in kit form and a book on ZX Basic. He ended up becoming a physics and IT teacher, but by the late 1990s decided it was time to cut his teeth writing for a long defunct UK tech site. He went on to do the same at Madonion, helping to write the help files for 3DMark and PCMark. After a short stint working at, Nick joined Futuremark (MadOnion rebranded) full-time, as editor-in-chief for its gaming and hardware section, YouGamers. After the site shutdown, he became an engineering and computing lecturer for many years, but missed the writing bug. Cue four years at and over 100 long articles on anything and everything. He freely admits to being far too obsessed with GPUs and open world grindy RPGs, but who isn't these days?