Replacing notepad.exe in Vista

In his post, Omar directs us to a new version of Notepad2, which IMO is a must-have tool for anyone that does any heavy amount of text file editing.  Although he covers how to replace notepad.exe on a machine running XP, I had to search for the same instructions for Vista.  Courtesy of the HowToGeek, here they are:

1. Open up a privileged command line prompt

2. Take ownership of the old notepad.exe with takeown /f c:windowssystem32notepad.exe

3. Grant yourself full control with cacls c:windowssystem32notepad.exe /G <username>:F  (replace <username> with your username)

4. Open explorer and replace the notepad.exe file with a renamed version of notepad2.exe.

11 thoughts on “Replacing notepad.exe in Vista

  1. stalker mods

    you can find at sourceforge notepad ++ just try it and I hope you will like it. Imho most powerfullight editor

  2. http://

    I have used notepad++, editplus, and others out there and notepad2 is simply the best. You can assign the ESC to exit, it’s super fast loading which the other 2 I mentioned lags just slightly. The clipboard pasting and recording is a time saver. If you use something like Slickrun ( the clipboard recording is very handy!

  3. Aymeric

    Thanks for the console commands. It worked. Other solutions on internet didn’t work because I wasn’t able to change the permissions (even though I am an admin on the machine).

  4. http://


    For anyone who was wondering what the GUI instructions are:

    1. Right-click notepad.exe, then Properties->Security->Advanced button->Owner tab. Take ownership. Click OK.

    2. Reopen the Properties dialog, Security tab. Edit permissions and grant yourself modify rights.

    Aymeric, the owner of all the Windows components, including Notepad.exe, is TrustedInstaller. So even if your an administrator, you cannot change the permissions until you first take ownership of the file.

  5. http://

    this should do the trick:

    set SRC=notepad.exe

    taskkill /im notepad.exe /f

    for %%X in (%WINDIR%syswow64 %WINDIR%system32 %WINDIR%) do (
    echo Processing %%X
    takeown /f “%%X%SRC%” /a
    echo Y | cacls %%X%SRC% /c /G Administrators:F
    copy /V /Y “%SRC%” “%%X%SRC%”

  6. http://

    Hey cheers,, grumbly.. that was a bit more concise and proper for x64 :)

    I’ll edit that and whack in editlite as me thing. (the other instructions just make notepad in sys32 fail ‘damaged executable’ when using the accessories shortcut).


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