How To Change Visual Studio Default Editor


How To Change Visual Studio Default Editor

Yes I know this sounds strange, but some times this can be very useful, For example, let say we are .NET developers but really addicted to NotePad++, and each time I click on File.CS file I want notepad++ to open it…

There are two ways to do it:

The Ugly Way – Registry

Under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0 find the “Default Editors” key (create if doesn’t exists).

Create another Key with the name of the File extension (Example :cs) you want to allocate to a custom editor, inside that key create:

  1. String Key called “Custom” with the name of the Custom Editor (You can choose..)
  2. DWORD called “Type” with value of(Default)


Below the File Extension Key create another key with the custom editor name and add String Key with the path to the Custom Editor.


You can use below script to easily create massive amount of custom editors for different extensions.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Default Editors]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Default Editors\cs]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Default Editors\cs\Notepad++]
@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Notepad++\\notepad++.exe\""gb
[Update 08/08/10 11:05] Download Reg File

The Normal Way




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  1. Yaron Shahrabani08/08/2010 ב 10:40

    Why not adding the contents of a .reg file?

    Only requires the REGEDIT4 Header or something like that (to complete what you already wrote).

  2. shair08/08/2010 ב 11:28

    Hi Yaron,

    I’ve add the Reg file for download.

  3. Rob Erwin06/01/2011 ב 04:44

    Registry method also works under version 9.0 also (just go to 9.0 instead of 10.0 and make entries there)