The default method of opening unknown files forces you to go through a list of known applications and is generally a pain to deal with. That’s why I like to have a context menu option for “Open with Notepad” so that I can quickly open up files without having to go through a lot of trouble.
This registry hack is nothing new, it’s been around forever… think of this as a refresher course. Also note that you can use this same technique to substitute any other application that you’d like by adjusting the path in the registry to point to the different editor.
Manual Registry Hack
Open regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:
Right-click on “shell” and choose to create a new key, calling it “Open with Notepad”. Create a new key below that one called “command”. Double-click on the (Default) value in the right-hand pane and enter in the following:
The change should take effect immediately… just right-click on any file and you’ll see the next menu entry.
Download Registry Hack
Just download, extract and double-click on the OpenWithNotepad.reg file to enter the information into the registry. There’s also an uninstall script included.