Many users have replaced Notepad with Notepad++ as the default text editor on their computers. Those who haven’t completely replaced Notepad but use Notepad++ only when needed, usually launch it via the Open with menu and choose Notepad++ from the list of options.
This post tells you how to add the Open with Notepad++ command to the right-click menu for text files in Windows. This tip is especially helpful for those who use Notepad++ portable edition.
Add “Open with Notepad++” to the right-click menu
Download open-with-notepad-plus-menu.zip to a folder, and unzip it. Run the appropriate .reg file (Windows 32-bit vs 64-bit) by double-clicking on it. Click Yes when asked for confirmation.
This adds the Open with Notepad++ context menu option for all file types.
Path to Notepad++.exe
Note that the .reg file above assume the following default paths for Notepad++.
Windows 32-bit: C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe Windows 64-bit: C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe
If you have Notepad++ located in another directory, you need to edit the .reg file and update the correct path to notepad++.exe. Alternately, you can apply the original .reg file and then edit the registry to update the path for notepad++.exe. Registry edit method is provided below.
Using the Registry Editor
To manually add the Notepad++ to the right-click menu using the Registry Editor, follow these steps:
- Start the Registry Editor (
- Go to the following key:
- Create a subkey underneath, and name it as
Open with Notepad++
The key name you type here will show up in the right-click menu. You may also use Edit with Notepad++ if you so prefer.
- Under Open with Notepad++, create a subkey named
- With the command key selected, double-click the
(default)value in the right-pane.
- Type the full path to Notepad++.exe, followed by a
Examples: "C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" "%1" "D:\Portables\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" "%1"
- Optionally, you can assign an icon for the context menu item. To do so, select this parent key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\Open with Notepad++
- In the right-pane, create a String value (REG_SZ) named
Iconand assign an .ico file or point it to a resource which contains a valid icon.
- To use Notepad++ ‘s official icon, assign this value data:
C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe,0 or C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe,1
Of course, you’ll need to type the actual path to notepad++.exe on your computer.
Tip: You can use any other valid icon index inside you’d like. To view the list of icons in an .exe file and know the icon index # of your preferred icon, see section Icons From DLL/EXE Files in article How to Change the Default Icon for a File Type in Windows?.
Hope you find the Open with Notepad++ context menu useful and a little bit more easier to access than using the Open with menu.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in Windows — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP (2003-2012) who contributes to various Windows support forums.