You can spin the gear in Windows 11’s Notepad app and it’s delightful
I’ve just spent an hour spinning the gear in Windows 11’s new Notepad app. Reddit users discovered this delightful addition to Windows 11 recently, and as a daily Notepad user I’m addicted. Not on the level of my 1990s Solitaire addiction, but I can’t seem to stop spinning this damn gear every time I open Notepad now. Spin, spin, spin.
I don’t know why Microsoft added this tiny animation that most people will never discover, but I love this little Windows Easter egg. It’s not limited to Notepad either. The latest test versions of Windows 11 include a new Task Manager UI, and there’s a gear you can spin there too. That means every time I go to force crash an app in Task Manager, I’m gonna spend more time than I should spinning the little gear in the corner.
I shouldn’t really be surprised that this exists, because Microsoft does love a good Easter egg. The company celebrated 20 years of Xbox last year with secret symbols on its limited edition controllers and Xbox Series X console. Clippy also replaced Cortana in a Windows Phone Easter egg, and a SkiFree-like surfing game made its way into Microsoft Edge a couple of years ago.
Some of Microsoft’s Easter eggs are so well hidden that they don’t get discovered for decades. A 20-year-old Xbox Easter egg was discovered last year, just weeks after another hidden prompt was found in Windows 95.
Now, if you email or tweet me and wonder why I haven’t replied… I’m probably busy spinning a gear in Notepad.