Here's a simple question. Is there an easy way to add "Edit with Notepad++" to the Windows 7 context menu?

I want the option to appear any time I right click a file in Windows Explorer. I don't have administrator access on this laptop, as this is an employee workstation provided by my job.

It's worth noting that I am using the desktop version of Notepad++, as opposed to the portable version.

  • 1
    Notepad++ is generally accepted as software that is okay to be used in a business environment. Ask your IT people if its okay if they install it for you. They likely will, and it beats any workaround. – LPChip Aug 17 '17 at 18:49

Registry Method

You can try to create a new key under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell in the registry as detailed in this tutorial. But it is likely you will not have the permissions to do so and will encounter this error:

enter image description here

Send To Method

I found an alternative method in your linked question: add a shortcut to Notepad++ in the SendTo folder. Access the SendTo folder by typing shell:sendto in the run dialog. You may then right-click any file and open it in Notepad++ under the Send To menu:

enter image description here

  • Just an additional note that plugins' .dlls should be copied as well or else you'll get a warning when you send to – Fueled By Coffee Mar 14 '18 at 13:47
  • @FueledByCoffee , I don't have that issue on my PC. Did you create a shortcut within the SendTo folder or did you copy the executable? – davidmneedham Mar 16 '18 at 14:38

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT provides a merged view of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes which makes it possible to achieve your goal by editing the latter. For instance, here's a reg-file that would add an entry called 'Hulk Smash' to the right-click context menu of any file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\*\shell\Hulk Smash\command]
@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Notepad++\\notepad++.exe\" \"%1\""

Simply create a new file, paste the above text into it and save it under whatever name you please. Now, you can't use regedit.exe to import the file because it requires admin privileges even though not all hives actually need admin permissions to access. To work around that, you can use reg.exe like this:

reg.exe import <nameofyourfile.ext>

The new entry should appear immediately.

If you want to remove the entry from the context menu again, just use the following file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\*\shell\Hulk Smash]
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    thx for answer, it partially solved my problem: using this method, notepad++ is run in background. I mean, it does not become the active window after opening that file. Can you find any fix about it? – Oğuzhan Kahyaoğlu Sep 6 '17 at 21:56

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