Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope
Microsoft Notepad

Notepad is a generic text editor included with all versions of Microsoft Windows that allows you to create, open, and read plaintext files. If the file contains special formatting or is not a plaintext file, it cannot be read in Microsoft Notepad. The image is a small example of what the Microsoft Notepad may look like while running.


If you need built-in features such as a spell checker, grammar checker, font sizes, multimedia (e.g., pictures), etc. you should be using a word processor and not an editor.

How to open Windows Notepad

Users who are using Microsoft Windows can run Microsoft Notepad (notepad.exe) by following the steps below.

Windows 10

  1. On the Windows desktop, find the Windows Search Box.
  2. In the search box, type notepad.
  3. Click on the Notepad option in the search results.

Windows 8

  1. Go to the Windows Start Screen.
  2. Type notepad and in the search results, click on the Notepad option.

Windows 7 and earlier

  1. Click Start
  2. In the Run box, type notepad and press Enter.


  1. Click the Start.
  2. In the Start menu, click Programs or All Programs, then click the Accessories folder.
  3. Click the Notepad icon.

How to create a text file using Notepad

Open Notepad and type the text you want in the file. Once done, save the file by clicking File and then Save. When saving the file, make sure the file is saved with a .txt extension.


On the Windows desktop or in any folder, right-click an empty spot. In the pop-up menu, select New and then Text Document. After this is done, a file should appear named "New Text Document". Double-click this file to open the text document, or rename the file to the name of your choice and then open the file.

Can you insert a picture in Notepad?

No. Notepad is a plaintext editor and does not support pictures. If you want to insert pictures, consider using WordPad instead of Notepad. Keep in mind that for a WordPad document to be saved with a picture, it must be saved as an .RTF (rich text file, and not a .TXT (plain text file).

Where is Notepad on my Apple Mac?

The Apple macOS does not include Notepad. Use the TextEdit program instead.

Notepad alternatives

Trying to create anything else other than a basic plain text file can be difficult in Notepad. If you are looking for a free alternative to Notepad, we highly recommend Notepad++, which is an excellent free and open source alternative. Notepad++ supports syntax highlighting, regular expressions, autocomplete, and much more.

Editor, Software terms, Word, WordPad