I want to run Notepad++ twice. Like in this paint printscreen.

How I want it:

Enter image description here

Not what I want:

Enter image description here

Is this possible?

6 Answers 6


Hit Alt+F6. This opens the current tab in a new window.

If you don't feel keyboard-y, going to Run, Open in another instance has the same effect.

  • 1
    @JochemTheSchoolKid If you're lazy, like me, you can also re-map the shortcut in Settings -> Shortcut Mapper -> Run commands (tab) -> Open in another instance. I have mapped mine to simply F6. Aug 9, 2012 at 22:13
  • 2
    Or right click a tab and then Open in New Instance Sep 29, 2014 at 12:53
  • 6
    Note that Open in another instance (Alt+F6) does not open the current tab in a new window, but tries to open the current text selected (wether it is a valid file path or not) in a new window. If the selection is blank, it has the advantage of simply opening another instance with a new empty tab. It works - but it's not the initial function of this menu. See @Ochado answer for a more "proper" way of doing it.
    – Otiel
    Apr 7, 2016 at 13:45
  • 2
    PITFALL: tabs in the windows open with Alt-6 are not backed up. Only the method with -multiInst (see another answer) results in a window whose tabs are backed up (except tabs with the same name open within a second from each other -- such as a new tab automatically named "new 1" in two windows). In other words: do not use tabs named "new 1" when there are different instances of Notepad++; these tabs are likely to be lost when Windows reboots for updates. Mar 21, 2019 at 16:59
  • PITFALL: And even when you open the new instance with -multiInst, after a crash, only one windows is restored, though you possibly can find the backups of the files open in other windows manually in the Notepad++ backup filder. Mar 21, 2019 at 17:04

Other than opening another instance with Alt+F6 (as in @qweet's answer), if you already have the file open in the first instance of Notepad++, here are some alternatives:

  • Click on the tab for the file and then drag it outside the Notepad++ window and drop it anywhere outside; this will open a new instance with the desired file. For this to work, the first instance should not be maximized so that you have space to drop the tab outside of the window.
  • Right-click on the tab for the file and choose one of the following options:
    • Move to new instance: opens new window with the file in it; removes file from original instance.
    • Open in new instance: opens new window with the file in it; retains same file in the original instance.
    • Move/Clone to other view: opens split window in the same instance with the file in the split window.

The advantage of all of these approaches is that the new instance already includes the file that you had open in the original instance.

  • 3
    The new instance menus were greyed out for me, which is why i searched the web and found the Alt F6.
    – corsiKa
    Jul 7, 2016 at 3:03
  • 2
    If the tab is unsaved, then the move to new instance option in tab context menu is greyed out. So an alternate keyboard / menu / toolbar button to start a new instance is helpful @corsiKa
    – Jon Grah
    May 8 at 10:47

From Matt Refghi site How to Launch Multiple Instances of Notepad++:

  1. Right-click any Notepad++ shortcut.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Move to the Shortcut tab.
  4. In the end of the Target field, add ” -multiInst”.
  • The linked howto shows the ` -multiInst` being outside the quotes around the executable path in the Target field. This is working for me on Windows 10.
    – cp.engr
    Nov 4, 2016 at 14:28
  • 2
    -multiInst and -nosession opens a new instance with only one tab, if you want a completely separate instance. Aug 15, 2018 at 10:50
  • PITFALL: it seems that only the first window is restored at session restore after a crash (i.e., after each Windows update!). You might be able to find backups manually in the Notepad++ backup folder. In any case, avoid tabls with the same name in different instances: they may not backup properly. Mar 21, 2019 at 17:06

firstly you have to have the file saved and then use the right-click for the file tab and choose - Open in new instance show picture... otherwise use CTRL+F6 best regards

screen capture of the new instance


Converting demoncodemonkey comment into an answer:

On Windows Environment

I just did this:

  1. Normally created a short cut for Notepad++ on my desktop
  2. Right clicked on the shortcut > Properties
  3. Under the Shortcut tab in the "C:\Path\to\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" -multiInst -nosession
  4. Save the changes, close the dialog and use!

I needed a solution that integrated with Windows Explorer's rt-click popup menu. To accomplish this I edited the registry and used the -multiInst.

Added key to registry: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\Edit with Notepad++ (New Instance)\command

Then under the new key edited the (Default) field to be the desired commandline: C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" -multiInst %1

See image links (sorry, not enough rep to embedded)




windows explorer rt-click menu registry

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