How to Fix Notepad Not Opening on Windows 11

Key Takeaways

  • Press Win+i to open Settings and go to Apps > Installed Apps. Find Notepad, click the ellipsis, and select “Advanced Options.” From the next screen, click “Repair.”
  • Try alternative methods to open Notepad, like accessing it through the Start menu, Run command, or File Explorer.
  • Use Task Manager to close unnecessary programs and uninstall any third-party text editors, as these may cause conflict.

While Notepad is a lightweight and generally bug-free application, sometimes it refuses to open on Windows 11. If this is happening to you, here are all the fixes you should try.

1. Restart Notepad and Your PC

The first thing to do is restart Notepad. Close any open Notepad sessions, then re-open the application. If this fails, restart your Windows computer via Start > Power button > Restart.

Windows 11 Start menu highlighting the Power menu options.

2. Use an Alternative Method to Open Notepad

There are plenty of ways to open Notepad in Windows, so try an alternative method if your usual way isn’t working. For example, you could access it through the Start menu, use a Run command, or open in File Explorer.

3. Remove Conflicting Applications

Conflicting applications can cause Notepad to not open, so you should close anything that isn’t essential. To do this, right-click the taskbar and select “Task Manager.” Select a program to close, click “End Task”, and repeat as necessary.

Also, if you have downloaded any third-party text editors, uninstall them. To do this, pres Win+i to open Settings, then select Apps > Installed Apps. Select the ellipsis next to an app and click “Uninstall.”

4. Set Notepad as the Default Text Editor

If you don’t have Notepad set as the default text editor, text files will open in another application. To set Notepad as the default, press Win+i to open Settings and select Apps > Default Apps.

Windows 11 Settings highlighting the Default Apps option.

Within the field beneath “Set a default for a file type or link type”, enter the file type you wish to adjust, like .TXT. Click the displayed default app.

Windows 11 Default Apps section highlighting search option.

Select Notepad and click “Set Default.”

Windows 11 Default Apps section with set default Pop-Up window.

5. Repair or Reset the Notepad App

An easy fix for Notepad not opening is to use Windows 11’s app repair and reset functionalities. Press Win+i to open Settings and go to Apps > Installed Apps.

Windows 11 Settings highlighting the Installed Apps option.

Locate Notepad, click the ellipsis, and select “Advanced Options”.

Windows 11 Installed Apps section highlighting Notepad ellipsis options.

Scroll down to the Reset section and click “Repair.” This initiates a repair for Notepad, with a progress bar indicating the progress.

Windows 11 Notepad app section highlighting Repair button.

Once the repair is completed, a checkmark appears next to the Repair button.

Windows 11 Notepad installed section highlighting Repair checkmark.

Try to open Notepad now. If you are still facing issues, return to the same screen, but this time select “Reset.”

Windows 11 Installed Apps Notepad section highlighting Reset button.

A pop-up warns you about the action, as it permanently deletes the data from the app. Click “Reset” in the pop-up message to confirm.

Windows 11 Notepad Reset warning pop-up window highlighting Reset button.

Now, hopefully Notepad is back to its default state and error-free.

6. Reinstall Notepad

If repair and reset actions fail to help you with opening Notepad, try reinstalling the app. First, you need to uninstall Notepad from your computer.

Press Win+i to open Settings and go to Apps > Installed Apps. Select the ellipsis next to Notepad and click “Uninstall.”

Windows 11 Installed apps Notepad highlighting ellipsis options.

A pop-message warns you about deleting the app data and related information if the app is uninstalled. Once again, click “Uninstall.”

Windows 11 Notepad Uninstall warning pop-up highlighting Uninstall button.

Next, reinstall Notepad on your computer using the Microsoft Store. Find and open the Store through the Start search.

Windows 11 Search window highlighting Microsoft Store app search result.

In the Microsoft Store, type “Notepad” in the search bar, and select the “Windows Notepad” result.

Windows 11 Microsoft Store app highlighting Notepad search results.

Click “Get” in the top-right to install the app.

Windows 11 Microsoft Store Notepad highlighting Get button.

The download should take only a few moments. Once done, try opening Notepad.

7. Run SFC and DISM Scans

Corrupted system files hinder the operation of Windows in many ways. If Notepad is not opening, run an SFC and DISM scan. These repair corrupted, missing, or broken files.

Search the Start menu for “Command Prompt” and select “Run As Administrator.”

Within Command Prompt, type the following command and press Enter:

sfc /scannow 

Windows 11 Command Prompt highlighting Disk Scan in progress.

Once completed, run DISM. Type the following command, followed by the Enter key:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Windows 11 Command Prompt highlighting Deployment Image Servicing in progress.

Close Command Prompt once the process is completed, and check if you can successfully open Notepad.

8. Perform a Clean Boot

Background services can interfere with Windows processes, causing Notepad to not open. To resolve this issue, perform a clean boot of Windows, which only runs crucial apps and services.

Once done, see if Notepad opens as usual. If it does, it likely means that an interfering service or third-party app is to blame. Boot your computer as normal, then disable your non-essential startup services and programs in turn to identify the culprit.

9. Use Another User Account

Notepad may be failing for your account only, so consider switching to another user account. If you don’t have one, it’s easy to create a new account. Press Win+i to open Settings, go to Accounts > Other Users, and select “Add Account.”

Windows 11 Settings highlighting Other Users option.

10. Use Notepad Alternatives

If Notepad is still not opening, it might be time to try a different text editor. There are plenty of great Notepad alternatives, including Sublime Text, Vim, and Notepad++.

Despite its age, Notepad remains an excellent tool for note-taking. Microsoft has been consistently updating Notepad for Windows 11 with many useful features to aid productivity, such as automatic file save and the addition of tabs.

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