How to: Replace Notepad.exe with Notepad2.exe

We all love notepad.  Love Struck   It’s a familiar useful tool you can rely on every Windows machine to have.   However, it really hasn’t kept pace with the rapid change on the web.   XML, JavaScript, JQuery, and even our old friend HTML just are too hard to read.    Maybe I’m behind the times but I’ve finally upgraded all my machines to have a newer version of our old trusty friend.

Notepad 2 – Create Web pages and text documents with this color-coded no frills editor.

Download Now >>

To make it really helpful you’ll want to replace “C:WindowsSystem32Notepad.exe” but Windows NTFS security doesn’t make that too easy.    Here are the steps to take ownership and replace the EXE.   Be sure to include the last step for the INI configuration file too.

  1. Download Notepad 2!   Open-mouthed
  2. Browse to “C:WindowsSystem32”
  3. Right click on “Notepad.exe” and open Properties, then Security tab
  4. Click the “Advanced” button, then Owner tab
  5. Click “Edit” button to take ownership of this file
  6. Click OK
  7. Locate “Administrators” local group (or the effective line for the logged in user)
  8. Grant Full Control
  9. Click OK
  10. Rename “Notepad.exe” to “Notepad1.exe” to keep a backup nearby
  11. Copy “Notepad2.exe” to “C:WindowsSystem32Notepad.exe”  
  12. Copy “Notepad2.ini” to “C:WindowsSystem32Notepad2.ini”

(NOTE: renamed to preserve file associations and Edit context menu shortcuts)

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