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Notepad++ is a great editor... The regular expression facility is stunted, but I can live with that. It is OK for most find/replace situations, and for the occasional others I'll just hop across to UltraEdit (Unicode) or TextPad (ASCII only).

However, I can't live without a hex editor on tap!

The Notepad++ HexEditor plugin seems to work fine... I use it frequently.

For some reason unknown to me, this plugin is forcibly disabled by Notepad++ whenever I upgrade to the latest version (of Notepad++), with a message something like ".. due to instability issues". HexEditor.dll gets moved into a "quarantine" subfolder: .\disabled.

This sounds a bit ominous. I have searched high and low, and I have found nothing which makes any reference to this mysterious "instability". The plugin is available on the Notepad++ plugins page (which lists third-party plugins, and is not, strictly speaking, a Notepad++ page), and there is no mention of instability.

What's going on? Does it randomly get it wrong and corrupt data? Does it crash Notepad++?

Can I trust this plugin?

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Interesting question? Could it be that the problem was fixed on plug-in side and the Notepad++ side wasn't notified of it? In the end, you could always ask developers why is the plug-in tagged incompatible. – AndrejaKo Jul 13 '10 at 11:48
A Google search for Notepad++ HexEditor instability finds a thread (number 2 only to this Super User question) which suggests HexEditor "can crash Notepad++ in some rare cases". – Bavi_H Jul 14 '10 at 4:04
...And here's a relevant-looking bug tracker search for open HexEditor bugs: Notepad++ Plugins - Tracker: Bugs - Open - HexEditor – Bavi_H Jul 14 '10 at 4:16
Thanks for the comments. I've been to Notepad++'s Sourceforge forum, and found some entries. 2009-12-09 HexEditor v0.9.5 vs N++ v5.6.1 2009-09-25 Hex editor 2009-09-11 Hex-Editor v0.9.5 available It seems safe data-wise, with some display bugs which they're working out.. Good enough for me, as my main concern was the question of data corruption. – Peter.O Jul 16 '10 at 16:49
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Hex Editor plugin was disabled for being unstable. This means that the plugin crashed Notepad++ in some situations. I encountered this problem myself when trying to save an edited file.

Earlier versions of Notepad++ don't have those problems with the plugin.

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Thanks for the comment... Perhaps I was using it in a way which didn't trigger the bug.... In the 10 months since I asked the question, I've worked around the issue by using Emacs as my "serious" editor... (actually I've shifted camps entirely to Ubuntu, where I can still use Notepad++; running in wine.. :) – Peter.O May 18 '11 at 15:16
Plugin is enabled and working again – Sean Houlihane May 27 '15 at 13:20

Just put it back in the plugins folder and it works fine.

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Bit of a pain every time Notepad++ upgrades. – Tom.Bowen89 Mar 9 at 11:27

Simply copying HexEditor.dll back from disabled to pluggins folder solves the problem. I haven't come across any crash.

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I too like the HexEditor plugin. I rolled back Notepad++ to an older version to be able to work with this plugin. Now I checked the latest version on Notepad++ (v5.9.2 Unicode) with the latest HexEditor plugin (v.0.9.5 Unicode), and it works! The plugin is no longer disabled.

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It's available but the Stability still says there are reported problems. – PPC-Coder Jul 22 '11 at 15:23

Some plugins are disabled by Notepad++ when you upgrade it :/. One of my favorite diff plugins got disabled a while back, and I have had to get a earlier version of Notepad++ to cope.

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There is only a problem the first time you launch Hexeditor plugin.

the settings of npp & plugins are stored in your userprofile (%USERPROFILE%\Appdata\Roaming\Notepad++)

I found that when the files are created correctly then npp starts perfectly but think its a combination of files as i tried deleting one by one but no result.

What i did was remove all plugins and add 1 Start npp, close npp add the next plugin until all your plugins are added.

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The Hex Editor plugin works for me without any hassles. I'm using Notepad++ 6.8.8 with Hex Editor 0.9.5.

I only found one issue, which is solvable, where Notepad++ fails to start correctly. Notepad++ can be seen in Task Manager and that it is consuming more and more memory. The reason for this behaviour is that the directory %APPDATA%\Notepad++\plugins\config is missing (e.g. for a newly created user).

To solve this:

  • End all the user's Notepad++ processes via Task Manager
  • Create the missing directory either via Windows Explorer or via the following command line
    mkdir "%APPDATA%\Notepad++\plugins\config"
  • After this Notepad++ will start normally again

Still it is a bug in Hex Editor with recent Notepad++ releases. But in my point of view nothing to call the Hex Editor plugin unstable.

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