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How to Open Multiple Instances/Windows of Notepad++

By November 22, 2016Tutorials


Never heard of Notepad++?


In this video, I’ll be showing you how to open multiple instances of Notepad++. That is, multiple windows. By default, when you double-click on the shortcut, you’ll get one window. Double-click again, still one window. The reason is of course that there are tabs, so the program doesn’t the logic in opening multiple copies of itself. But of course there are cases where this could be useful.

In this particular case, I have two files, list a, list b. To view one, I have to hide the other, so naturally, there is a benefit to having both open at the same time, and I might actually want that. To get that done, I simply need to click Run, and select the option “Open in another instance”. That will pop open another Notepad++ instance, another window, that is. But… it does give me a weird prompt, it says “Create new file”, Notepad++ list doesn’t exist, it’s, gon – whatever it says, just click No.

Okay. So now it’s kinda tricky visually, but there are two windows. So if I drag this away, you’ll see, hey, there’s actually two. Now, the next step involves dragging – you can either open a file straight through here, just like I did before in the other instance, or you can actually drag the tab, so left-click hold and move the tab into the other instance of Notepad++, and, drop it. And then when you visit that instance, there’s your file. And then you can do cool stuff like Windows 10 the ability to snap windows, you can like drag this one here, and then select this one here, and there you go, list a, list b, you can compare them very easily.

So this is one you can do when you’re just running Notepad++ already. Now, let’s say you didn’t have it open already. Or let’s say you need these windows to open separately all the time. Well, there is a way around that. It’s a bit trickier, I’ll show you that now. Quite simply, you have to be aware of this particular command: multiInst. Now, don’t worry, this is actually a one-time fix. So notice how there’s a Notepad++ shortcut on my desktop. Alright, let’s say I wanted to transform the shortcut to actually have multiple instances, which is what this multiInst thing means, multiple windows. Okay. So to do that, I would right-click this, select properties, okay. And in here, notice how it says “Target”? I’m gonna just zoom this in for you guys. So there’s some text there. You don’t need to pay attention to exactly all of it here, all you need to know is that at the end here, you have to copy this text, and you have to put a space after the quote, and then paste the text. I’ll show that up close. There you go. So “exe”, quote, space, -multiInst. Okay, now you click Apply, click OK.

Alright. So, the next time you use the shortcut, it pops open Notepad++. Use it again, another Notepad++. And again, another one. So, if you’re into that, this is a good way to have that happen. Now, what if you wanted both? Instead of actually modifying the shortcut you already had, you could have simply made a copy, so, ctrl c, ctrl v, and you could have done it to this shortcut instead, and then kept the normal shortcut around.

And that’s how you do it.

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