How to Replace Notepad with Notepad++ in Windows 10

Everyone has used the Notepad text editor that comes with all the versions of Windows including Windows 10. But it is rather limited in text-editing features and might hangup with you try to open a large text file in it. In a fresh installation of Windows, it is set as the default program to open TXT and LOG files. Many people choose to use Notepad++ instead of the Notepad for editing the TXT files. But even after you install Notepad++ in Windows, it is not set as the default program to handle the TXT or LOG files. If you want to be able to open and edit these files using an advanced text editor like Notepad++, then you can follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Notepad++ from
  2. Launch Notepad++ by right-clicking on its desktop shortcut and then choosing Run as administrator.Replace Notepad with Notepad++
  3. In Notepad++ window, open Settings → Preferences from the menubar to access the Notepad++ options.Replace Notepad with Notepad++
  4. Select File Association, Notepad and then move the extensions .txt and .log from the left to the right list using the right arrow button.Replace Notepad with Notepad++
  5. Click on the Close button to close the preferences window. Close Notepad++ window.
  6. Now try opening any TXT file by double-clicking on it. Windows will ask you to choose a default program. Pick Notepad++ from the list, select Always use this app to open .txt files and click on the OK button.Replace Notepad with Notepad++

After this Notepad++ will be set as the default program to open the TXT files. For the LOG files, you will have to repeat the last step just like for the TXT files. If you want to revert back to Windows’ Notepad then you can right-click on any TXT file and choose Open with → Use another app and then select Notepad from the list.

Update (October 2018): Notepad++ has now introduced another method to completely replace Windows Notepad using a registry hack : After using this method, even if you launch Notepad from its shortcut, or type notepad.exe in Run dialog, it will still launch Notepad++.


  1. at point 4 you can choose “customize” and enter the extensions you want to work with. I entered .prg and all files with .prg are now opened with Notepad ++

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