After returning to a computer I haven't used for some days and switching to an open instance of Notepad++, I generally find the following warning for every single file that had previously been open.

Reload - <file> - This file has been modified by another program. Do you want to reload it?

Clearly, either Notepad++ is forgetting something and assuming the file has been changed, or my operating system is, in some trivial way, changing the file enough that Notepad++ deems it worthy of a reload.

Does anyone know what might be happening here? I've seen this on multiple versions of Windows and multiple computers, but I can't find any answers online.

  • So, are the files actually changed when you reload them? Are the files possible under version control? – Der Hochstapler Mar 18 '13 at 18:22
  • Do you happen to be using NTFS and have the last-file access timestamp enabled? – Breakthrough Mar 18 '13 at 18:22
  • The files are not under version control and, as far as I can tell, are not in any significant way changed. The visual textual content is certainly the same. This happens even with files that are local on machines where I am the only user. – Ina Mar 18 '13 at 18:23
  • @Breakthrough I'm on NTFS, and I can't work out how to confirm but it seems default on Windows to have that enabled. – Ina Mar 18 '13 at 18:25
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    Well, there's really only 2 things possible in this case. Either it's a bug in NPP and it should be reported or the files are actually changed. I haven't checked how NPP checks for file changes, but something is changing something about the file. Maybe it just sets an attribute in the file system. – Der Hochstapler Mar 18 '13 at 19:12

This can be due to daylight saving - there's a long standing bug that when the OS changes the time due to daylight saving, all the files are marked as "changed" in N++. N++ uses just datestamps to check if a file has been altered, as the reported file time is different after a daylight saving change, it thinks the file has been modified.


Workaround: You can change this behaviour by either disabling file change auto-detection, or modifying Notepad++ to display the updated file automatically. This can be done by going to Settings -> Preferences, and under the MISC. tab, look at the area labelled File Status Auto-Detection..

You can either choose to disable the auto-detection (e.g. uncheck "Enabled"), or update the file silently (e.g. check "Update silently").

  • Useful workaround for some, but I'd prefer to keep the warning for when things do change (e.g. remote edits). – Ina Mar 18 '13 at 19:06
  • @Ina can I assume the files are on a networked drive then? If so, it's entirely possible this happens when the server archives the files, another user accesses them (possibly modifying their permissions), or any other file operations occur. Unless the files you're editing are constrained to your local system (and a local hard drive), this might be a side-effect of the network configuration and beyond your control. – Breakthrough Mar 18 '13 at 19:08
  • Some files are opened from FTP (thus I'd like to see the warning), and some files are simply open in another text editing program or modified programatically (e.g. log files). BUT this behaviour is the same for basic files stored on a local hard drive that are not touched elsewhere. – Ina Mar 18 '13 at 19:09
  • Unfortunately, @Ina, the "File Status Auto-Detection" does not detect changes made to the files on the server, so keeping this Enabled or Disabled doesn't matter. The files you are editing through NppFTP are actually duplicated onto your computer then edited from there. NPP actually has no way of detecting if the remote file on your server has been changed, that I know of. I am actually looking for a way it can, which is how I came across this post. – BillyNair Jan 24 '15 at 1:37
  • Oh, the for that last note is to let you know that you can turn that "File Status Auto-Detection" off and not affect your ability to detect remote files. (unless of course, you are using a 3rd party program to change the files in your \NppFTP\cache\ folder) – BillyNair Jan 24 '15 at 1:40

Open a DOS Command window and type subst. If anything shows and you are working on a substituted drive this can be a cause. Open the file directly from the original location and the problem will go away.

UPDATE: Actually the problem only occurs if you have the same file open twice. I.e. once from the original location and once via a substitution.

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