There is -multiInst launch parameter that lets you open more than one instance of Notepad++, but how to make it launch a new window every time when I click on "Edit with Notepad++" or "Open With..." shell context menu?


create a totally empty file called 'asNotepad.xml' and put it in the Notepad++ directory at the same level as the notepad++.exe file

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    Thanks, that worked. Why not just put it as an option... – serg Oct 22 '10 at 18:25
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    no idea as I am not the developer just a pro at Googling, perhaps there was some legal issue with having it act like Notepad? That seems unlikely though.. – CloudMeta Oct 22 '10 at 18:42
  • most open source developers add features based on what the user base requests or what they feel is most important for usability and stability. If you want it as an option, request it from the developers. – MaQleod Oct 22 '10 at 18:58
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    This is still not quite what I want. This totally obliterates the tabs. I still want documents to open in tabs when I go to file->open, I just want a new window when I open it from the explorer. – Matthew Scouten Feb 8 '11 at 18:37
  • @MatthewScouten: would sourceforge.net/projects/notepad-plus/forums/forum/331753/topic/… help? – VonC Oct 13 '11 at 6:22

I was just looking for the same thing.

You can change the shell's file type settings to make this work. My computer still has XP on it, so here's how to configure XP.

Windows Vista/7 will be different but similar.

  • Open Explorer Menu Tools | Folder Options...
  • Tab File Types
  • Scroll and select TXT Hit Advanced... (If missing, hit Restore and the button turns into Advanced.)
  • (Edit File Type Dialog)
  • Select action 'open', hit Edit...
  • "Application used to perform action" is the command line that is used to open the file.

Screen Shot

"C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" "%1" -nosession -multiInst

I added the switches -nosession and -multiInst so that when I open up Notepad++ from the start menu, it re-opens my session files. But opening a file from explorer opens in a new window, and doesn't get added to my session.


Another way to get multiple windows is to simply drag a tab onto the desktop and a new instance of NP++ will start, with that tab in it (you can drag as many as you want).

Clicking on a file associated with NP++ will open that file in the last active NP++ window.

Also there is a tab context menu, right click a tab and you will see 'Move to new instance' and 'Open in new instance'. Both start a new instance of NP++.

'Move...' closes the tab in the current instance and opens file, that was in that tab, in a tab in the new instance (i.e. a 'move'). 'Open..' starts a new instance but keeps the file open in both instances.

  • Excellent, that saved me a lot of troubles :) – FarhadA Jun 11 '13 at 10:33

Settings -> Preferences -> Multi-instance

Right click on filename in tab, choose “Move to other view” for split screen.

  • Do you know the difference between the settings "Always open in mulit-instance mode" and "Open session in a new instance"? Official help file not really clear and real-world behavior not any clearer. – JoelAZ Feb 21 '18 at 20:18

Noticed in v6.6.9 that it's possible to set shell options when installing the extension:

 regsvr32 /i nppshell_06.dll

enter image description here


I like to reuse a Notepad++ window only explicitly by dragging a file over one of the existing Notepad++ windows. Otherwise, every time I click on the Notepad++ icon or open a file, I want a new window.

Here is how I do this: I've added -multiInst to the Notepad++ shortcut, so a new window pops up every time I open Notepad++.

Then I've also added -multiInst to the (Default) value under the following regkey:


...so that every time I open a file, it opens in a new window.


recently I got same problem.

As I think the easiest way is to write simple .bat file something like this:


SET var1="C:\Users\churaev.s\Desktop\a01_strt.bat"

SET var2="C:\Users\churaev.s\Desktop\b02_code.mat"

SET var3="C:\Users\churaev.s\Desktop\c03_data.txt"


START "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" %var1%

START "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" %var2%

START "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" %var3%



Rather then modifying existing functionality I created a new right click command 'Edit with Notepadd++ in new window' for any type of file.

notepad++ separate window right click

Create a new key as per below export, or copy the context into a blank.reg and double click it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Edit with Notepad++ in new window"

@="C:\\Program Files\\Notepad++\\Notepad++.exe %1 -multiInst -nosession"

Another option that I discovered looking at the Registry Editor on windows:


There should one of the following folders:

  • ANotepad++64
  • Notepad++64

Now, on both of then the "Default" key should have the GUID of the registry to run, copy this value and search for it, select the "Settings" subkey: Notepad++ RegKey values

Edit "Custom" to have the same options as the image, if you wanted with session, don't add the "-nosession" flag.

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