How to Make Notepad++ Default in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to install and make Notepad++ the default text editor in Windows 11. By default, Notepad is the default text editor in Windows 11. If you prefer another editor, including Notepad++, this post will show you how to replace Notepad with your preferred text editor in Windows 11.

Notepad++ is an source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. There are also so many features available in Notepad++ that are not in Windows’ Notepad.

If you’re a serious developer or someone who needs a great text editor and features that are not available in Windows’ Notepad, then Notepad++ is a great alternative. There are several other text editors that one can install, but Notepad++ is a leader in this space.

The steps below will show you how to install Notepad++ and make it your default text or code editor so that it automatically opens when you want to read or edit text, code and other file type. This post can be applied to other text editors, not just Notepad++. If you have other text editor other than Notepad++, use the steps below to make it the default in Windows 11.

To get started with replacing Notepad with Notepad++ in Windows 11, follow the steps below.

How to install Notepad++ on Windows 11

As mentioned above, one can use Notepad++ as a replacement for Windows’ Notepad to enjoy great features and support for multiple languages not available in Notepad.

First, go to the link below to download Notepad++

Downloads | Notepad++

Once downloaded, go to your Downloads folder and run the executable. Follow the installation wizard to complete the setup.

By default, Notepad++ will install in C:\Program Files\Notepad++ folder. To install in a different folder, click Browse and select another folder.

Next, check the components you want to install and uncheck the ones you don’t want to install. The default selections should be good in many situations. Click Next to continue.

Next, click Install to finish the installation wizard.

How to make Notepad++ default text editor in Windows 11

Now that Notepad++ is installed, you can make it Windows default text editor by following the steps below.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

windows 11 settings button

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Apps, select Default apps on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

windows 11 default apps

When Default apps settings opens, use the search box and type Edge to search for the default app for applications.

Microsoft Edge will appear in the result below. Click on Notepad.

The next page will list all the default file types and file types that Notepad is the default for. Simply select each types and switch from Notepad to Notepad++.

When you select Notepad, a pop out window will prompt you to select the app that you want to always open this type of file.

Click on More apps link as highlighted below.

Next, select Look for another app on this PC link.

By default, it will open the C:\Program Files directory. Open the Notepad++ folder and select Notepad++ app

Select Notepad++ app and click Open to always open this type of file with Notepad++.

Do for each file type until Notepad++ is chosen as the default to open these files.

How to completely make Notepad++ default in Windows 11

Additional steps you can perform to completely make Notepad++ the default in Windows 11 is to run the commands below as adminitrator.

First, open the command prompt as administrator. Click the Start menu, then search for Command Prompt, then right-click and select Run as administrator.

Once the Command Prompt opens, run the commands below:

REG ADD “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\notepad.exe” /v “Debugger” /t REG_SZ /d “\”%ProgramFiles%\Notepad++\notepad++.exe\” -notepadStyleCmdline -z” /f

To undo the commands above, run commands below:

REG DELETE “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\notepad.exe” /v “Debugger” /f

That should do it!


This post showed you how to install Notepad++ in Windows 11 and make it the default text editor. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.