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Notepad++ plugin to replace system notepad.exe
C++ C Shell


This tool designed as a Notepad++ plugin by Yonggang Luo, when it installed as a Notepad++ plugin, it's will automatically replace the system default notepad.exe application with Notepad++ (Without need for removing anything from the windows system.). It's tested under Windows 7, but Windows XP should also works.

This tool is based on the sources from npplauncher by [Stepho,2005] and npplauncher at sf by Mattes H. Mattesh,2013.


NotepadStarter make use of a debugger feature in Windows the system will call a hooked process with appended parameters to allow debugging the intended application. This hook application will be call whenever the correct application was resolved.

notepad.exe receives always only one parameter which is now just deferred to Notepad++. Because notepad.exe is a blocking executable, so NotepadStarter behaves blocking as notepad.exe. Notepad++ have multiple tab page, so NotepadStarter will terminated when the corresponding tab page closed or the corresponding Notepad++ application is closed.


Use Plugin Manager to release NotepadStarter


Comments, issues and contributions can be done at Github|NotepadStarter

NotepadStarter.exe parameters

  • NotepadStarter.exe :install-registry Install the NotepadStarter as notepad.exe Image File Execution
  • NotepadStarter.exe :install-replace Replace the notepad.exe under %WinDir%, %WinDir%\System32 and %WinDir%\SysWOW64 with NotepadStarter.exe
  • NotepadStarter.exe :uninstall Uninstall NotepadStarter
  • NotepadStarter.exe valid-windows-file-path Open the file valid-windows-file-path by notepad++ with blocking mode


Downloading the from NotepadStarter releases Extract the content into ${Notepad++InstallDir}\plugins\, running Notepad++, then it's will prompt a window how two installing the NotepadStarter. There is two mode:

  • Yes: Install NotepadStarter as notepad.exe Image File Execution
  • No: Install NotepadStarter to replace the system notepad.exe completely(backup the original notepad.exe as notepad.NotepadStarter.exe)


Running the script ${Notepad++InstallDir}\plugins\NotepadStarter\NotepadStarterUninstall.bat

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