I would like .txt files to open with Notepad++ by default in Windows 10. I have found the options to change file associations but there is no option to specify custom programs. Here's a screen shot:

enter image description here

How can I make Notepad++ default program for .txt files?

  • 2
    Are you sure that Notepad++ has been installed using setup.exe and was not just extracted from .zip archive which is a.k.a. "portable installation" ? You can associate file type only to the applications installed using setup.exe
    – maoizm
    Oct 25, 2018 at 13:04
  • 1
    @maoizm I use portable versions of Notepad++ and I have no problems associating it as the default for .html, .css, .js, etc. filetypes Nov 1, 2018 at 20:08
  • 1
    @InterLinked well, thanks, this is really helpful as I use a lot of portables and for sure last time I tried it didn't work
    – maoizm
    Nov 2, 2018 at 6:10
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of SSMS wont give up file associations Nov 11, 2018 at 17:46
  • @maoizm Not true, you can associate with any .exe you can point to. I have done so and continue to do so on occasion.
    – kettlecrab
    Dec 31, 2018 at 6:53

6 Answers 6


Follow the below steps

  1. Right click any .txt file and click

Open With > > Choose another app

  1. In the opened window click

More Apps

enter image description here

  1. Scroll to bottom and click

Look for anther app on this PC
enter image description here

  1. Navigate to install location of Notepad++. Default is

C:\Program Files\Notepad++

  1. And select "Notepad++.exe"
  • 5
    Its strange that you can't do this through the settings panel. Seems like a mistake to me... Thanks for the info. May 20, 2018 at 11:06
  • 15
    Just don't work, it changes back to notepad immediately. Oct 16, 2018 at 14:46
  • 1
    I had to install Notepad++ Fork from Windows 10 store: microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/notepad-fork/9plhc123mqwt to make all mentioned methods work:/ Oct 16, 2018 at 14:59
  • Sadly, it only works for most - but not all - files. I can, for example, not re-associate *.log files. Which is incredibly annoying...
    – Structed
    Dec 7, 2018 at 20:00
  • 3
    I'm trying to set vim as my default editor for .txt files. I've been using this exact method for ages, but for some reason it seems to be broken on 17134 of Win10.
    – JBarberU
    Dec 11, 2018 at 16:56

How can I make notepad++ default program for .txt files?

  1. Run Notepad++ as an Adminstrator

  2. Menu > Settings to open the "Preferences" dialog

    • Click "File Association"

    • Click "Notepad", then

    • Click ".txt". then

    • Click "->" to register notepad++ as the program to edit .txt files:

    • Click "Close"

enter image description here

  • 11
    Doesn't work in Windows 10. Not sure why.
    – user477799
    May 20, 2018 at 10:50
  • 5
    @EUserNameError You have to run as Admin. Answer updated.
    – DavidPostill
    May 20, 2018 at 11:51
  • 2
    Tried that. Doing so even prompts the other non-admin users if they want to update their file association. But the very first time that non-admin user visits the Preferences dialog box, his/her choice gets null and void. And I really hate being called by each of the 133 computer users when they want their admin to update their file association, especially when it is to no avail. So a -1 for needing admin privileges.
    – user477799
    May 20, 2018 at 11:56
  • 4
    Unlike the chosen answer, this one actually works! I'm betting this got broken in a Windows 10 update, because I always used to open txt files with notepad++. Nov 3, 2018 at 15:35
  • 2
    @pzkpfw - while true in general, something in a recent windows update appears to have broken the "normal" OS methods, for some users (including me). Hence this answer is a useful alternative. Nov 4, 2018 at 11:18

With Windows 10 (Oct 2018) this worked for me:

  • Open Notepad++ as an administrator and then follow the steps posted by DavidPostill above


  • Go through the normal Windows process of right click "Open With >" > "Choose another app" and click the "Always use this app to open .txt file" box.
  • 1
    this worked for me. Double clicking on the file in Windows Explorer works as well instead of "Open With".
    – fpiette
    Oct 29, 2018 at 8:49
  • 1
    only this worked for me (WINDOWS 10)
    – T.Todua
    Nov 23, 2018 at 12:24
  • 4
    As of 12/4/2018 this method worked. One part or the other did not on its own, but together it did the trick. I'm guessing the most recent Windows update broke the Default Apps thing, which is kind of obnoxious. NOTE: Once the steps are done, your txt files should take on the Notepad++ icon, so you don't actually have to run n++ as admin again after you're finished.
    – Ari Roth
    Dec 5, 2018 at 4:09
  • There is a file association issue that exists in Windows 10 April 2018 Update and Windows 10 October 2018 Update. Which has been fixed, the solution is simple, update your system.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 8, 2018 at 4:56
  • You genious! Thanx Dec 14, 2018 at 0:06

This took me a minute, but this should help.

  1. Find a .txt file
  2. Right click it
  3. Select "Open with..." --> "Choose another app"
  4. Scroll down and select "More Apps" on the popup
  5. Select "Look for another app on this PC..."
  6. Find and select notepad++.exe

If nothing of the above works, try using this:


and then Right click on the file > Open With > Choose another app and select Notepad++


Okay, here is a work around:

  1. Create a dummy file with the extension you wish to default to your program. The file can be empty.
  2. Right click on the dummy file and select Properties.
  3. On the General tab there is a section that states: Type of file: Opens with and a button that says . Click Change.
  4. How do you want to open files from now on? Choose .
  5. Scroll to the bottom and select Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++ and select and select
  6. Close Properties and your done!

Credits to Kent Lasley from : https://notepad-plus-plus.org/community/topic/13051/set-notepad-as-default-app-in-windows-10

  • 1
    @SherylHohman - There is a file association issue that exists in Windows 10 April 2018 Update and Windows 10 October 2018 Update. Which has been fixed, the solution is simple, update your system.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 8, 2018 at 4:56

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