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 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. The registry edit method is provided below.
Using the Registry Editor (Option 2)
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 a .ico file or point it to a resource that 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 a .exe file and know the icon index # of your preferred icon, see section Icons From DLL/EXE Files in the article How to Change the Default Icon for a File Type in Windows?
Related Issue: Notepad++ missing in Open with dialog
After installing Notepad++ 64-bit version, the program’s icon may not show up in the “Open with” context menu or Open with dialog.
When you right-click on any file and go to Open With → Choose default program
In the resulting dialog with suggested applications, Notepad++ may not be listed. Even though you browse for Notepad++, locate, and select notepad++.exe, the dialog still may not show Notepad++ and you can’t open a file with Notepad++.
To fix the issue, you have two options:
- Re-register Notepad++ with Open With dialog using the OpenWithAdd utility. (or)
- Start the Registry Editor (
regedit.exe), go to the following key and fix the path to
Hope you find the Open with Notepad++ context menu useful and a little bit easier to access than using the Open with menu.
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About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com 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.