Yesterday Notepad++ was runnable, but today it doesn't. In spite of the notepad++.exe (with its 13 process) presence is the tasks manager, Notepad++ window doesn't launch.

I tried to uninstall and re-install the sofware (and the first launch works), notepad.exe is present in C:\Windows and C:\Windows\Sytem32 folders.

The last file opened with notepad++ was a xml file which isn't readable by other softwares because of the following error message :

The '<' caracter can not be used in a value attribut

What can I do please ?

  • 1
    "notepad.exe is present in..." What does this have to do with Windows Notepad? Make sure never to touch that. It's a system application.
    – BoltClock
    Aug 11, 2011 at 8:52
  • Do you configure Notepad++ to remember the files you had open before closing it? Is that XML file one of those files?
    – BoltClock
    Aug 11, 2011 at 8:54
  • On the internet the first response to this problem is to check the process software presence on the taks manager, that's why I specifies. And it's my own XML file
    – Dsandre
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:01
  • Does it appear in the taskbar? If so, the program may be displaying itself off-screen. In that case, immediately after starting, press Alt-Spacebar followed by X which should show it maximised. (Or Alt-SpaceBar, follwed by M (for Move) and then use the arrows keys to move the windows around. (Of course, you don't know which direction you have to move it or how far).
    – sgmoore
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:46
  • @sgmoore : No it doesn't. Notepad++ window isn't present in the taskbar, only in the task manager. I'm using a double screen
    – Dsandre
    Aug 11, 2011 at 10:01

14 Answers 14


Try removing the file from C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++\session.xml which reopens the file when you start the program.

If that does not work, maybe you should try a complete uninstall/reinstall if you haven't already.

EDIT: Workaround found (thanks to sgmoore): Install standalone version of Notepad++ (notepad++ portable).

  • thank you for tracking ;) But I tried this solution thank's to "Revo-Uninstaller" to do a full re-installation of notepad++. All temp/conf files have been remove after the second/third installation
    – Dsandre
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:44
  • 1
    If you try the uninstall make sure, make sure you remove all the files it leaves behind too. Just in case.
    – Windos
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:44
  • 1
    the username should go in the path as well. had written it between tags, so it was removed :P C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++\session.xml
    – Allman
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:45
  • @Window, how can I be sure that all files have been remove ? I use Revo to precisely remove all files I can't find by myself.
    – Dsandre
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:47
  • 1
    You could try running a portable version of NotePad++ (see portableapps.com/apps/development/notepadpp_portable ) which should not use any of the settings from the previous install.
    – sgmoore
    Aug 11, 2011 at 10:04

I encountered the same problem as you. Do the following:

  • Go to C:\Program Files\Notepad++\plugins
  • Move LightExplorer.dll to C:\Program Files\Notepad++\plugins\disabled.

If you cannot find LightExplorer.dll then move Explorer.dll to C:\Program Files\Notepad++\plugins\disabled

The problem should be solved with this method.

  • the mystery is all, since this problem I used the portable version of NotePad++. In order to test your solution I reinstalled the standard version of Notepad++ , gold today it works. it is not understandable. The computer in which I met this problem is professional, someone could corrected this worries in my absence. Thank's you
    – Dsandre
    Sep 15, 2011 at 8:00
  • 1
    +1 - 3 years later and this solution was the only one that worked for me. Thanks.
    – Reactgular
    Oct 30, 2014 at 13:30
  • I wouldn't call it a solution. That's like answering the question "How to fix a blown tire?" with "Remove the wheel.". Of course, if you remove any of those DLLs, you will lose the explorer window feature. Aug 12, 2016 at 13:48
  • thanks, it was plugin issue latter i found explorer plugin had problem, solved and working fine. thanks alot @jawa Aug 19, 2016 at 6:53
  • Thanks for your solution. I'm using Notepad 6.9.2 and I had the problem with two other extensions Explorer.dll 1.8.2 and WindowsManager.dll 1.2.2 Aug 20, 2016 at 12:07

I sometimes get this problem too, all I do is:

  1. use task manager to kill those np++ processes
  2. Find np++ shortcut in the start menu, right click and chose "Run as Administrator" (window appeared)
  3. Close this np++ window, then reopen it normally (without Administrator) and it works.

I assume it is something like the session file, or a plugin, that gets locked up, or refuses access, and running as administrator clears that issue - but I could be wrong.

Hope my solution works for you, and anyone else who experiences this issue.

  • Thanks @Glenlku, I tried Allman's suggestion (which had worked for me in the past), but it didn't do it. I tried your's after removing the session.xml and it allowed np++ to start. Feb 12, 2013 at 1:56
  • This worked for me and after running as administrator, I also got a "Windows Security" login prompt too. It's as if Notepad++ was trying to access something on the network or Internet. I'm on a WIndows network with Domain login. Also, I have the notepad++ feature turned off to open the last file I had open when I closed it too. Hmmm
    – Eric
    Nov 24, 2015 at 14:46

In spite of the notepad++.exe (with its 13 process) presence is the tasks manager...

Forgive me if I miss understand this statement but you're saying there are 13 notepad++ processes running?

If so I'd say one of them (probably the first/original) is stuck/unresponsive/otherwise occupied.

Kill all of your notepad++ processes and restart the application. Restarting your computer should have the same effect.

One final note, notepad.exe has nothing to do with notepad++ and is Windows' built in text editor, screwing with it won't fix this third part app.

  • Thank's @Windos, I killed all notepad++ preocesses and restarted application, but there is again the task only. I tried to re-install notepad++ 5.9 and 5.6.4, the problem still
    – Dsandre
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:24
  • It's very strange because after the installation notepad++ window launch automaticaly, but when closed it's impossible to restart
    – Dsandre
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:27
  • @Dsandre, have you done a full restart of you PC after all this installing?
    – Windos
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:29
  • Yes I did, but I also tried to do this without restart the computer
    – Dsandre
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:30

I would recommend you to do the following:

  • Open task manager
  • Terminate all instances of Notepad++. (Not to confuse with Notepad.exe)
  • Open command prompt (cmd)
  • (If necessary) navigate to your notepad++ installation directory
  • Start Notepad++.exe using the following command: Notepad++.exe -nosession.

If it is the problematic file that you have previously opened and it was preventing notepad from starting up, the -nosession argument should resolve it.


I located the folder containing notepad++.exe (in my case C:\Program Files\Notepad++), I then right clicked on the parent folder (C:\Program Files\Notepad++) and chose Windows' Restore Previous Versions. Luckily I had a version from a few hours back, and restoring that fixed the issues. I suspect some file in there became corrupt.


Same problem. I find out that notepad creates DropboxExt.40.dll file in my dropbox bin folder just after lightExplorer loaded. I disabled any access to DropboxExt.40.dll file and now NP works fine. Maybe LE plugin is in bad hands now.


Notepad++ v6.9.2 Won't Run Solution

How I fixed my non-starting Notepad++:

  • Using Windows Explorer, I navigated to C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++.
  • Right-clicked on 'session.xml'.
  • Selected 'Edit with Notepad++'.
  • In Notepad++, closed/saved all open files.
  • Exited Notepad++.
  • Re-opened Notepad++ normally.


But this is what helped me with v7.5.6:

Go to Preferences, File Associations, select Notepad and move txt and log associations to the right pane using button with arrow.

Editing File associations for Notepad


Two Options:

  1. Try closing Notepad++, then delete config.xml (e.g., %AppData%\Notepad++\config.xml). A new instance of config.xml will be created when you re-start Notepad++

  2. Alternatively, you can also open the existing config.xml, then find and delete long file/folder paths. In my case, the last file path, within the tag, was 233 characters long (including beginning and ending quotes). Once deleted, Notepad++ started working as expected.


In my case it was a problem with the plugin "NppSaveAsAdmin". First, I removed all plugin folders from C:\Program Files\Notepad++\plugins, then I readded them one by one and checked in between if Notepad++ starts.

I am using v7.9.3 (build time Feb 14 2021)


I found that my AppPosition setting had become corrupted in my config.xml so I was not able to find the running window. I renamed:

 C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++

and then restarted Notepad++, which complained, but opened. That created a new version of the folder. In the new folder, I found the "AppPosition" in the "working" config.xml:

C:\Users<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++\config.xml

GUIConfig name="AppPosition" x="your x value" y="your y value" width="your width value" height="your height value" isMaximized="no"

I modified that line to match in my original Notepad++ folder, closed Notepad++, renamed my original Notepad++ back to:

 C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++

Started Notepad++, and everything was back.

(Please excuse any bad formatting, this is my first post.)


For my case, it was caused by a setting I recently changed.

From menu: Settings - preferences - MISC tab - at right bottom corner, I put "xml" in Session file Ext field for save session file convenience.

I did not realize this would cause the xml file to be unable to open in Notepad++.


I just ran into a similar issue where Notepad++ would launch, show in the taskbar, but not display on screen. This happened after I had logged into my computer through remote desktop from another PC.

I was able to fix it by alt-tabbing to the process and then use [windows key]+[left arrow] to move the window to my main monitor.

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