Add "Open With Notepad" to Your Vista Right-Click Context Menu

I’m a big fan of right-click context menu choices. I use Enqueue/Play In Winamp, Send To -> Compressed File, and Copy This Path almost every day.

This little registry hack adds an Open With Notepad option to your right click context menu. As Zeus attests, you don’t know blankity-blank about computers unless you open notepad at least five times a day.

To do this hack, copy and past the following into Notepad. Next you need to save it as a .reg file and then import it into the windows registry by clicking on it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*shellOpen with Notepad]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*shellOpen with Notepadcommand]
@=”notepad.exe %1″

I picked this up from Tweak Vista.

Update: There is a way to do this using the Send To sub-menu that doesn’t require a registry edit, see comments below.

Categorized as vista


  1. If you’re still using XP, you can do something similar by placing a shortcut to Notepad into the directory C:Documents and SettingsUserSendTo. Then, right click on any file and select Send To > Notepad.

  2. For Vista, All you need to do is drag the notepad or any other application into the following location of the new SendTo folder location. Users/>/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/SendTo, just be sure you can view hidden files.

  3. I did that hack to the registry, and it works for some file types. But it didn’t work for all files. I want to open a subtitles file *.srt by right click and open with notepad, without associating it to notepad, but it doesn’t seem to work. When right clicking the *.srt file, the menu is limited to Open-Cut-Copy-Delete-Properties. This is a big drawback in Vista for me. I don’t like that Vista is limiting the menu for me, when it has this negative effect, there is even no “Send to” option.

  4. Found the weird fault already. The limited right-click menu, is when the file is located in the Download folder.

  5. Stupid stupid me. It was because it was in a zipped file. It is hard to tell if you are working within a zipped file with explorer. Excuse me, I will retire now, and stop commenting.

  6. If you want it to only show up when holding shift, you can do the same process with the text below, or add the lines as necessary.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    @=”notepad.exe “%1″”

  7. James said:
    “For Vista, All you need to do is drag the notepad or any other application into the following location of the new SendTo folder location. Users/>/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/SendTo, just be sure you can view hidden files.”

    That would be redundant. Instead, create a shortcut for notepad, drag it to the folder mentioned (and thank you for identifying it, I was going nuts trying to find it), and change its target property to “C:Windowsnotepad.exe” (the shortcut initially shows up targeting the SendTo folder).

  8. To get a fully functional Open with context menu, go to and download the free program OpenExpert. Then use the same tweak as mentioned here except replace @=”notepad.exe%1″ with @=”openexpert.exe%1. You can then create your own customized Open with choices.

  9. I keep getting this error after adding the Open with Notepad reg entry.

    “this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel.”

    Is there any way to solve this error? I am using Windows Vista home premuim edition.



  10. Thanks alot!! 😀 Needed that…

    Gurbinder at first I had the same problem, but that was because I noticed afterwards that when I copied the script into a text document

    @=”notepad.exe %1″

    ended up being

    @=”notepad.exe %1?

    Other than that, the quotation marks were always a bother in registry stuff.. soo just rewrite all the open and closed quotation marks as normal ”

    (you’ll see they look different)

  11. Hey there,

    Yes, you should be able to put the system path towards your image program where it says notepad.exe.

    Probably something like c:program filesmy program path…

  12. ok so it would look like
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*shellOpen with Photofiltre]

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*shellOpen with photofiltrecommand]
    @=”photofiltre.exe %1″

    ok does it matter if its in a folder on c drive?

  13. Hey, ya–like i mentioned you will probably need to specify a path. A path is like “c:program filesetc” or “c:windows”. Experiment and see, though you may want to back up your registry first just in case.

  14. where do i put the path?sorry iam new to the reg thing.

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*shellOpen with photofiltrecommand]
    @=”c:program filesphotofiltrephotofiltre.exe %1″

    ok i did that and tried right click but it said i have to set the accosstion file . i dont wanna make it always open with this bc its a image editing software and can not scroll thro pics like windows pic view if iam showing of my photos of a vaction. waht can i do ?


  15. You shoul change the double quotes in the example to normal ones instead of the Word matching quotes.

    Also, the %1 should be surrounded by its own set of double quotes … otherwise, files/folders with spaces in them will not work.

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