This post shows students and new users the 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 as your default text editor.

Notepad ++ is a source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports multiple languages. There are also so many functions available in Notepad ++ that they are not in Windows Notepad.

If you are 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 can be installed, but Notepad ++ is the leader in the space.

The steps below will show you how to install Notepad ++ and make it your default text or code editor so that it opens automatically when you want to read or edit text.

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

How to install Notepad ++ in Windows 11

As mentioned above, Notepad ++ can be used as a replacement for Windows Notepad to enjoy great features and multi-language support that are not available in Notepad.

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

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Downloads | Notepad ++

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

install notepad on windows 11

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

notepad default install 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. Press next to continue.

notepad components to install

Then click Install to finish the installation wizard.

notepad install button

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 most of its settings. From system settings to creating new users and updating Windows, everything can be done from your System settings crystal.

To access the System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click Start ==> Settings as shown in the following picture:

windows 11 settings button

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

The Windows settings panel should look similar to the image below. In Windows settings, click Applications, Select Default apps on the right panel of the screen shown in the image below.

windows 11 default apps

When the default apps settings open, use the search box and type Edge to find the default app for apps.

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

windows 11 default apps notepad

The next page will list all the default file types and the file types that Pad is the default for. Just select each type and switch between Pad for Notepad ++.

Notepad with switch windows 11

When you select Pad, a pop-up window will ask you to select the application you want to always open this type of file.

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Click on More applications link as highlighted below.

windows 11 change more notepad apps

Then select Look for another app on this PC Link.

Windows 11 searches for another application on this PC

By default, it will open the C: Program files directory. Open the Notepad ++ folder and select Notepad ++ application

Windows 11 notepad open

Please select Notepad ++ application and click Open to always open this type of file with Notepad ++.

open with windows 11 notepad app

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

open with notepad windows 11 1

How to Completely Make Notepad ++ Default in Windows 11

Additional steps you can take to make Notepad ++ the default in Windows 11 is to run the following commands as an administrator.

First, open the command prompt as an administrator. Click on the Start menu, then search Symbol of the system, then right-click and select Execute as an administrator.

windows 11 command prompt manager

Once the command prompt opens, run the following commands:

REG ADD “HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Optionsnotepad.exe” /v “Debugger” /t REG_SZ /d “”%ProgramFiles%Notepad++notepad++.exe” -notepadStyleCmdline -z” /f

You should do that!


In this tutorial we have seen how to install Notepad ++ on Windows 11 and make it the default text editor. If you find any errors above or have something to add, use the comment form below.

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