I am running into speed-issues for big files, whose extension is recognized by Notepad++ which will be syntax-highlighted.
Is there a Shortcut or option to assign keys to toggle Syntax-Highlighting in Notepad++?

  • If the file is so big that opening it with syntax highlighting is slow, a hack is to rename the file, so that its extension doesn't match any language. I would to this by adding a dummy extension to the end (filename.ext.aaa), so it is easy to remove, to restore the correct filename. BTW, for a huge file, you'll want Word Wrap OFF (unchecked). Jul 13, 2021 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


The only work around I know of is to click on Language from the context menu and select the last option User-Defined (assuming it's not in use). This will remove all highlighting. Then, to put it back on, you can select the language again. All of this is with the mouse though.

To use the keyboard, the 'shortcut' would be alt + L + U (so, not really a shortcut). Then, to put the language back you'd have to do the same but for your language. For example alt + L + H + HEnter would reset it to HTML

  • Thanks. There seems to be a bug though. Removing the highlighting takes several seconds for the large files. Contrarily, opening the syntax highlighted file is almost instant though - unless you scroll... Sep 2, 2013 at 9:29

You can create a macro with the commands presented by @daverook and assign a keyboard hotkey to it and enable/disable that way too. Let me know if you need help with that.

UPDATE: I filed a request with the developer to make this an included feature in the application and hopefully will be implemented in next version.

  • I thought about that but unfortunately Notepad++ macros are saved in a rather user unfriendly manner in the shortcuts.xml file so it would not be very helpful to see the reserved codes it uses, its not human readable or intuitive. I am trying to see if I can do a better solution and create a plugin to do this right now. Sep 2, 2013 at 9:00
  • Its using a very old style C++ with many deprecated functions, its going to be a mess for me to update it and make it backwards compatible with the current NP++ plugins dll so going to see if I can find another solution. Sep 2, 2013 at 9:06

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