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How to Launch Multiple Instances of Notepad++

By November 25, 2010Tips & Tricks

Update Nov 22, 2016: I added a video tutorial for this! The written blog post remains available below.

Notepad++ is my primary text editor, as it offers a huge amount of features, and yet remains fairly simple to use.  After months of using it heavily both at home and at work, I began to wonder if I could launch multiple instances of it at one time. Given that I have two monitors in either case, I thought it would be interesting to have one Notepad++ window per monitor.

The best approach I found makes a new copy of Notepad++ launch every time you use a shortcut. To make this work on your machine, simply do the following:How to configure Notepad++ to launch a new copy of itself every time

  1. Right-click any Notepad++ shortcut.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Move to the Shortcut tab.
  4. In the end of the Target field, add ” -multiInst”.
  5. Click OK.


  • Target: “C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe” -multiInst

You might be wondering at this point, what if I’m already using Notepad++, do I still have to use the shortcut to launch another? Thankfully, no. To launch another instance when already using the editor, you can simply press ALT + F6, or Click Run -> Open in another instance in the menu bar.

How to open another instance of Notepad++ once you're already within it


  • Thy

    Great tip!

  • Guest

    AWESOME!!!! Thanks!

  • Hedonplay

    It works

    • Simondeford

      Your user name caught my eye, do you live in East Yorkshire?

      • TriCurious

        Is it important?

        • Probably not to everyone, no – but I see no harm in it. Perhaps the username is a very indirect reference to East Yorkshire. I can see why he’d be curious to find out if he was right, especially if it wasn’t something anyone could figure out.

  • Sly

    Simply great !

  • Simondeford

    Nice one, cheers.

  • Mathieu901

    Ok, thank you man. It gonna simplify my work :)

  • Spout

    Groovy! Thanks

  • Pradeepb89


  • Thakurnp

    Thanks for great tip, unfortunately many plugins simply refused to work in second instance, for example NppFTP

  • Paphlagon

    Or, if you want to spread out your work but only use one instance of Notepad++, try right clicking on the tab and select, “Move to Other View.” I like to spread it out this way across 2 monitors when working between two (or more) files.

  • xyz

    good info, thanks.

  • samersultan

    Great blog post, I have been using notepad++ for a few years and am just now now learning about this :

  • Thank you!!

  • Ayesh

    Nice tip! Thank you.

  • Great tip, thanks!

  • John Skrotzki

    Thank-you for sharing!

  • Excellent!

  • Robert Lohr

    Thank you!

  • sumi

    Awesome tip! Thank you very much!

  • Ade Mahendra

    thanks… that’s great and really helpful

  • raja

    it helped me

  • Nathan


  • Zen StandFastForTruth

    Very helpful, but can we go a stage further? I use .BAT files to load .TXT files, thus:- …. Start notepad++ filename.txt ……. ///////////////// Is it possible to direct a file to be opened by a specific instance of N++? :-)

  • A few other ways around this, without making any modifications to shortcuts:
    1. You can simply drag a tab out of the current instance and it will open a new instance.
    1b. Right click on the tab and select “Move to New Instance”.
    2. There’s a setting in Settings>Preferences>Multi-Instance where you can choose the behaviour for multiple instances in Notepad++.

    Admittedly, I’ve never tried using the Multi-Instance setting, so I’m not exactly sure how that works, but the other two are tricks I use constantly.