Change the Default Editor for Batch Files in Vista

Have you ever noticed that the File Types option was completely removed from Vista, and there’s no built-in way to change the editor for many file types? Sure, you can change the default application used to open the file, but you can’t change what happens when you right-click / edit.

You can either directly hack the registry, or there’s a freeware utility that adds the functionality back… we’ll show you how to do both methods.


Using the Registry Hack Method

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:



Double-click on the (Default) key to open it up, and then replace the path for notepad with the full path for your preferred editor, making sure to leave a space and then the %1 at the end (which inserts the current file name into the path)

Using the Easy Method

Using the freeware and open-source Types utility, you can easily change file types… just find the “bat” extension in the list, or filter by the “batfile” class, then open up the properties. You can easily replace the editor by just using the yellow icon next to the drop-down and choosing your preferred editor.


Of course, you can use this application to change the default editor for any file type, not just batch files.

Download Types from

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.