Add “Open with Notepad++” to the Right-click Menu in Windows

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 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.

    Notepad++ right-click menu in Windows

Path to Notepad++.exe

Note that the .reg file above assumes 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:

  1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Go to the following key:
  3. 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.

  4. Under Open with Notepad++, create a subkey named command
  5. With the command key selected, double-click the (default) value in the right-pane.
  6. Type the full path to Notepad++.exe, followed by a %1 with double-quotes.Notepad++ right-click menu in Windows
    "C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" "%1"
    "D:\Portables\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" "%1"
  7. 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++
  8. In the right-pane, create a String value (REG_SZ) named Icon
  9. Double-click Icon and assign an .ico file or point it to a resource which contains a valid icon.
  10. To use Notepad++ ‘s official icon, assign this value data:
    C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe,0
    C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe,1

    Notepad++ right-click menu in Windows

    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 back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

Leave a Comment