Fix: Wordpad won’t open on Windows 10/11

by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
Aleksandar's main passion is technology. With a solid writing background, he is determined to bring the bleeding edge to the common user. With a keen eye, he always... read more
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Even though most journeyman users won’t mind missing WordPad, it’s still a valuable asset for small text processing needs. There are various documents and formats WordPad can’t open (partly because Microsoft wants you to use Office), but it still does a fairly well and can come in handy. Since it’s a built-in part of the Windows platform for a long time it barely has any issues. Nonetheless,  some users experienced some, as they were seemingly unable to open WordPad in Windows 10.

We made sure to find a few solutions to the problem at hand. If you can’t open text files with WordPad, you can try out our suggestions and, hopefully, resolve this.

How to fix WordPad error in Windows 10

  1. Scan for malware and run SFC
  2. Try starting WordPad from the installation folder
  3. Use an alternative

1: Scan for malware and run SFC

As we already said, the WordPad text processor is a built-in desktop application. A reminiscence of the past Windows iterations. It’s stored with other installed programs, in WindowsNT folder. That means that it’s, to some extent and in comparison to system files, vulnerable to malware infections or misuse. Even some applications for cleaning the system can delete one of its files and that’s rarely a case. A virus, on the other hand, can affect it.

That’s why we need you to perform a deep scan and look for possible malware presence. This can be done with any third-party antivirus. We’ll show you how to do it with the pre-installed Windows Defender, so follow the steps below:

  1. Close all applications you were working on.
  2. Open Windows Defender from the notification area.
  3. Choose Virus & threat protection.wordpad won't open windows 10
  4. Click “Run new Advanced scan“.
  5. Choose “Windows Defender Offline Scan“.wordpad won't open windows 10

Also, we recommend running the System File Checker utility in Command Prompt. This tool deals with the system errors quite efficiently and here’s how to run it:

  1. Open Command Prompt as admin. Search for Command prompt and run it as administrator.
  2. In the command-line, type sfc/scannow and press Enter.wordpad won't open windows 10

2: Try starting WordPad from the installation folder

If the WordPad won’t start or open files when chosen from the contextual menu, you can try running it directly from where it’s installed. If you manage to open WordPad, it might get repaired (in case some registry inputs got misconfigured).

The executable we’re looking for is found by following this path:

  •  C:Program Fileswindows ntAccessoriesWordPad.exe

Double-click on the WordPad.exe and run it. You can also try running the WordPad as an administrator. Just right-click on the WordPad.exe and choose “Run as administrator” from the contextual menu. If you’re still unable to open it, move to a step 3.

3: Use an alternative

Now, we know this isn’t a solution but a mere workaround. But, if you’re in dire need of a text processor, but not willing to reset your system to factory values, we recommend looking up for alternatives. We ourselves have a personal list of the best tools for the job, so make sure to check it out here. You can also try an open-source free text editor like Open Office or even use Microsoft Online.

If you have any alternative solution or recommendation, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.


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