Some staff use Notepad++ for editing plain text documents and quick review of XML or JSON files. These instructions were written for Notepad++ v.7.5.8.


Disable auto-open of previous files

By default, Notepad++ reopens all the files that were open in the last session. To disable that behavior, go to Settings -> Preferences -> Backup and uncheck 'Remember current session for next launch'.

Make Notepad++ the default text editor in Windows 10

Method A

In Notepad++, go to Settings -> Preferences -> File Association. Select Notepad and then move the .txt and .log extensions to the Registered Extensions column. Close Settings. Close Notepad++. Go to any .txt file - or create a test one if needed - and right-click on the file. In the Open with.. option, select Notepad++.

Method B

Right click on a .txt file. (Create a test one if needed for this purpose.) In the context menu, select Properties. In the General tab, there is a section that identifies the type of file and the program that is currently the default for opening it. Click the 'change' button. Choose 'more apps' and scroll to the bottom for the 'look for another app on this PC' option. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++ and select notepad++.exe. Select open. Close the properties box.


Here are a few plugins we find particularly useful.

Plugin Manager

The Plugin Manager should be installed first, because it makes the installation of additional plugins easier. Follow the installation instructions at the link.

To add additional plugins, go to Plugins -> Plugin Manager -> Show Plugin manager. Check one or more plugins that you would like to install and then click the 'install' button. Notepad++ will have to restart. Once a plugin is installed, it will appear in the Plugins menu.

XML Tools

Adds a few XML tools to Notepad++, including tag auto-close and pretty print.


Allows for automatic saving of open files on a timer schedule and/or when the application loses focus.


Allows for the comparison of two files side by side.

JSON Viewer

Displays the JSON string in tree view.


Add Windows 7-style jumplist support. This makes it possible to 'pin' the most frequently used files to the Notepad++ icon in the taskbar.


Users who wish to use Notepad++ for jotting quick notes are able to designate a folder and filenaming scheme so that every new note in Notepad++ is already saved according to the naming scheme in the folder of choice. Couple this with the AutoSave plugin for the best functionality. Once the plugin is installed, go to Plugins -> Take Notes -> Options to adjust the filenaming scheme, the folder location, and other settings.