First look at Notepad's Spell Checker: surprise, it is not as bad as it sounds

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 8, 2024
Windows 11 News

While Microsoft continues to kill some apps, including WordPad and Cortana, it is giving other classic apps some love.

Notepad is one of these. After enabling tab-support and auto-saving, the Redmond-based company is now working on spell checking and AI features.

The current status of the feature exists since April 2024. Microsoft rolled out an updated version of the Notepad app to Beta and Release Preview channels of Windows 11. Not all users have received the functionality by now, but it appears that the company is preparing for a release to the stable Windows population.

The initial spell checking version was 11.2402.18.0, but Microsoft released new versions since then.

Notepad's spell checker

Spell checking in Notepad
The latest version of Windows' Notepad app with spell checking

The best way to check if spell checking is available is to click on Settings and see if a Spelling section is available. Spell checking is supported if you see it listed there.

Good news: The spell checker does not require an active Internet connection. This means that your data is not transferred to Microsoft when spell checking is enabled or used. It is interesting to note that Notepad will spell check multiple languages, including those not installed as a language pack on the system.

The feature works as expected. Notepad highlights words that it believes are misspelled. A right-click and the selection of spelling from the menu displays suggestions.

There are also options to add a word to the dictionary, ignore the word or all words that Notepad highlighted as incorrectly spelled, and to turn off spell checking entirely.

Notepad Spelling Settings
All Spell Checking settings of Notepad

The spell checking settings are basic. You can toggle the functionality for specific file types --- txt, md, srt, ass, lrc, and lic individually.

There is also an autocorrect option, but this did not work on the test machine at the time of writing.  The feature supposedly auto-corrects typos when Notepad detects them.

WordPad, the app that Microsoft removes never supported spell checking. Other apps, including Notepad++, Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Write, and numerous others support this already, however.

Closing Words

Notepad's spell checking feature seems to run locally. This will appeal to users who do not want their data submitted to servers on the Internet for basic operations such as spell checking.

The feature can be turned off easily in the settings, which is welcome. Not everyone wants or needs a spell checker in Notepad.

There is no ETA on the feature. It is likely rolling out in the coming months, maybe as part of Windows 11 version 24H2.

Do you use Notepad? What is your take on the introduction of spell checking capabilities?

First look at Notepad's Spell Checker: surprise, it is not as bad as it sounds
Article Name
First look at Notepad's Spell Checker: surprise, it is not as bad as it sounds
Microsoft plans to roll out a spell checker in the plain text editor Notepad of its Windows operating system. We take a first look.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. John G. said on July 9, 2024 at 3:59 pm

    These options should not be enabled as default, yesterday I opened an script file *.bat and today the same file has a lot of corrections that I didn’t even notice while closing it. I still don’t know how the corrections were done, I don’t remember now what I touched to make them possible. Thanks for the article! :]

  2. 45 RPM said on July 9, 2024 at 8:11 am

    And once more Microsoft “updates” something nobody wants or asked for while ignoring the flaming pile of garbage that is Windows 11.

    1. Stacie said on July 9, 2024 at 1:26 pm

      Notepad will no longer be used by me once this happens. More crapola added to simple lightweight programs, while removing the very useful Wordpad.

  3. Anonymous said on July 9, 2024 at 1:53 am

    such a nonsense.

  4. chesscanoe said on July 9, 2024 at 12:00 am

    When I loaded Notepad today, it optionally updated to 11.2405.13.0 . It’s been fun playing with every option but of course I want a little more, such as word count.

  5. Anonymous said on July 8, 2024 at 11:43 pm

    Still USA-centric!

  6. eWaste11 said on July 8, 2024 at 10:47 pm

    Notepad is now bloatware. Thank goodness there are alternatives like Zufu Liu’s Notepad4. I wish they put as much care into what is truly important, such as the taskbar, start menu, and right-click menu. Why are all updated elements of Windows still inferior to versions prior to 11?

  7. Nonya said on July 8, 2024 at 8:37 pm

    To be completely honest, the inclusion of Spell Checker and any hint of AI in Notepad is one of the final reasons we started the shift over to Linux. Complete over-reaction if that was the only reason, however after years of spending 10-15 hours minimum, every month to unhose MS updates or reset user config the update changed we were no longer putting up with it.

    Minor change that forced everyone to accept that any trust we had in Microsoft was broken.

    The reason we used notepad to begin with was specifically to edit files with sensitive data while minimizing the possibility of a leak to occur. Sure, doing a quick updates to source code, json or docker file occured too, but never the primary reason. It was there when we wanted nothing else to get between text and typing.

    What this update did was remove the certainty, however misplaced, that nothing else was touching the file. Given Microsoft’s habit of telemetry and ignoring user configuration preferences during update, keeping it “on-device” is just marketing speak until the next telemetry upload unless proven otherwise.

    If we wanted a tool that could spell check or use anything related to AI there are a ton of other options available. Visual Studio, VS Code, Neovim, Sublime, Notepad++ were all there.

    Long story short is that this update didn’t improve Notepad for our use case; it killed it completely.

  8. Tachy said on July 8, 2024 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve been forcing myself to get used to using win 11 notepad. I prefer the win 10 notepad as the new version has mangled all my saved .txt files.

    As for spell checking, FFS M.$ stop already! It’s a “notepad” not a forking word processor!

    I use notepad to take simple notes, if I want other features like spell check I use office. (Libre Office)

    1. Paul said on July 9, 2024 at 7:58 am

      (Libre Office) very funny

  9. bruh said on July 8, 2024 at 4:51 pm

    Adding random stuff nobody asked for counts as “giving love” to an application nowadays?

    I am a heavy notepad user, it’s just a temporary place for me to dump stuff from memory, sometimes it produces something worth saving, usually just something like a plan or strategy to reference for a couple of days, then delete. But if I am working on something, usually notepad is open.

    There’s only one useful feature Microsoft added to Notepad since the Vista/older days, which came either in W8 or W10, and it’s the little asterisk you get on an unsaved version – it’s not a game changer, it just means you don’t have to try closing a document to find out whether it’s been saved or not. That’s the only thing I’ve ever seen which maybe adds value – all the rest is just fluff and time-wasting, this is no different, unfortunately.

    What’s next? Auto correct for obvious typos, like in Outlook/Word? Where does it end?

    They already had it all worked out: sticky notes for little reminders, notepad for more extensive notes, readmes, etc, wordpad if you want some readability of big texts, and word if you want to write something of value which looks nice.

    Notepad’s strength was that it was incredibly lightweight and opened instantly, no matter the weather, next time i’m at a W11 machine I’ll test if this is still the case…

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.