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Add “Open with Notepad++” to the Right-Click Menu

Many users have replaced Notepad with Notepad++ as the default text editor on their computers. Others use Notepad++ only when needed, and 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 the Notepad++ portable copy.

Add “Open with Notepad++” to the right-click menu

  1. Download to a folder, and unzip it.
  2. Run the appropriate .reg file (Windows 32-bit vs. 64-bit) by double-clicking on it.
  3. 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++.

Notepad 32-bit on Windows 32-bit:
C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe

Notepad 32-bit on Windows 64-bit:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe

Notepad 64-bit on Windows 64-bit:
C:\Program Files\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. Alternatively, 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:

  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.
    "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 a .ico file or point it to a resource that 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

    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?

Is Notepad++ missing in Open with dialog?

After installing the 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 resolve 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 notepad++.exe manually:

I hope you find the context menu addition useful and a little bit easier to access than using the Open with menu.

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