I am not a programmer, just a user who finds Notepad++ very useful.

I want to open Notepad++ twice for separate projects. Each would open with different shortcut (icons). I've read about opening separate instances of Notepad++ using -multiInst and/or -nosession and have not figured this out. I either open the original instance or a blank instance (with no obvious way to open the first, much less the second).

Someone had suggested loading Notepad++ twice, but all that happens is an over-write. I tried creating a sub-directory in Notepad++ with the same results as above.

I am using Windows XP and Notepad++

What am I doing wrong?

  • 5
    My recommendation if you want to have two notepad++s open at the same time: Open two windows inside of one notepad++ and drag one of the those windows by clicking the tap (what separates the two files) and drag it outside of your notepad++ application. This will open two windows of Notepad++
    – Zero
    Feb 12, 2013 at 0:36
  • I tried both of these with basically the same results. Where is the second instance/window? My current shortcut icon is: Target: "C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" with or without various combinations of -multiInst -nosession Start In: "C:\Program Files\Notepad++\localization" It would seem to me that my shortcut icon should point to my original set of .txt files and that a second shortcut should point to my new set of .txt files, but this does not seem to be the case. At least not as far I can determine. (If I'm wrong, please reveal behind which curtain the Wiz is.
    – David
    Feb 16, 2013 at 0:16
  • NB For some reason Zero Stack's suggestion doesn't work if you drag a new tab, even if you type text first. But save as a temp file and it works. Sep 29, 2014 at 14:09
  • If you're looking for an easy solution, IMHO ZeroStacks advice is surpassed by the answer on the existing (duplicate) question
    – Crowie
    Dec 18, 2014 at 13:05

2 Answers 2


I tested some options from the Notepad++ wiki, and this one worked for me while others didn't.

I know you already mentioned -multiInst. But maybe you are doing something wrong? I just added a detailed description:

  1. Create a new shortcut to your notepad++.exe
  2. Go to Properties of the shortcut (right-click on it)
  3. Append -multiInst to the target line. It should look like this Enter image description here

    Notepad++ v6.2.3.

Since Notepad++ v6.4.3 a new option was added which enables multi instances:

Enter image description here

  • Except it would make a difference because your using a totaly different version v5 vs v6
    – Ramhound
    Feb 12, 2013 at 12:32
  • 3
    I tested his version and its working with -multiInst.
    – nixda
    Feb 12, 2013 at 12:50
  • I tried both of these with basically the same results. Where is the second instance/window. My current shortcut icon is Target: "C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" -multiInst Start In: "C:\Program Files\Notepad++\localization"
    – David
    Feb 16, 2013 at 0:02
  • @David I can't tell you what went wrong on your system. The -multiInst method is a widely accepted method. But I have searched once more and stumbled up this. please try the method with that empty file called asNotepad.xml
    – nixda
    Feb 16, 2013 at 0:09
  • 2
    Wanted to add that in Windows 10, after you've enabled the multi-inst, you can right click the notepad++ icon in the taskbar and hit notepad++ to open new window. Took me a second to figure it out, so wanted to share.
    – John Lee
    Aug 22, 2018 at 17:58

In version 6.6.9 just right-click on the file tab and choose open in new instance.

  • 6
    Beware that this appears to only work with "clean buffers", i.e. a file that is unmodified since last save. If I just "randomly paste some stuff", I can't move to new instance. (This was mentioned over on StackOverflow. Maybe this behaviour is the source of the downvote?)
    – Cornelius
    Feb 24, 2015 at 13:23
  • Another gotcha is it doesn't work on Ctrl+N new files (not until they have been saved at least). The option is grayed out. Otherwise this is the correct answer for me.
    – fiat
    Sep 27, 2016 at 5:41

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