How do I uninstall the Notepad application from a Windows XP Professional system?

It clearly is not listed in the 'Add or Remove Programs' applet from the control panel. I have also checked the 'Add/Remove Windows Components' applet from the previously mentioned screen, but the program is not listed. Is there a way to uninstall this application from a machine?

  • 1
    Out of curiosity, why do you want to get rid of Notepad so badly?
    – Weegee
    Jul 23, 2009 at 18:50
  • 1
    Perhaps to replace it with something better? Jul 23, 2009 at 19:05
  • 1
    You are unable to uninstall Windows also. At least via "Add/Remove programs" dialog. Jul 23, 2009 at 19:13
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    Notepad is a integrated part of Windows. I recommend you don't delete it. Jul 23, 2009 at 19:34
  • @Jared; But you can replace it (e.g. with the excellent Notepad2) quite easily without removing it altogether
    – Jonik
    Jul 23, 2009 at 19:43

4 Answers 4


Windows automatically restores notepad if you copy over it or delete it.

One possibility is

1) Change Explorer view options to show system files

2) Delete Notepad.exe from:

  • C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache
  • C:\WINDOWS\system32

3) Now you'll need to stop the file being copied again by excluding it from the restore\filelist.xml.

attrib -s -h -r %windir%\system32\restore\filelist.xml

edit the file %windir%\system32\restore\filelist.xml

now add the following lines to the excludes node of filelist.xml


change the attributes back to hidden and read only.

attrib +r +h %windir%\system32\restore\filelist.xml 
  • I copied and pasted this from a forum, so good luck :D.
    – xxl3ww
    Jul 23, 2009 at 18:36
  • 1
    Yeah it's something like that... I remember ages ago when I wanted to replace Notepad with Notepad2... It was a pain in the rear!
    – Blixt
    Jul 23, 2009 at 18:59
  • I love notepad, but I really want to try this to see if it works. Wish me luck.
    – xxl3ww
    Jul 23, 2009 at 19:13
  • This solution works. Just tested
    – xxl3ww
    Jul 23, 2009 at 19:28

You can't. It is a core program. If you really don't want it to exist, you could delete the .exe

  • 1
    Simply deleting notepad.exe doesn't actually work (though there may be a work around). I opened a command prompt, navigated to c:\windows\system32, deleted notepad.exe, and then confirmed that it was deleted. Next I opened Notepad from the start menu successfully, and going back to the command prompt notepad.exe has reappeared.
    – Mark Roddy
    Jul 23, 2009 at 18:28
  • 4
    Notepad is under Windows File Protection, so can't be just deleted.
    – Ben Lings
    Jul 23, 2009 at 18:36
  • Thank you for correcting my misinformation. I've updated my post.
    – Frank V
    Jul 23, 2009 at 19:04

You can actually REPLACE notepad.exe with another editor if that's what you want. You have to make sure to remove ALL copies of notepad.exe on the drive (such as the DLLCACHE) then replace the file. Windows will tell you about the problem but you can tell it to ignore and keep the file. I've done that before with editor2.exe.


I've actually replaced Notepad on my machine with AkelPad.

The installation asks if you want to use it as your text editor. It renames itself notepad in place of the real one and somehow disables/out-smarts the protection Windows put on it as a core program.

You may be able to search for some documentation on how they achieved this.

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