Tip: Notepad++ Shell execute failed (2) FIX

December 30, 2013

Past year I have experienced problem editing files via Notepad++ ‘s file context menu. Program throws error “Shell execute failed (2): Is this command correct ?”.

Notepad++ error

Today I made decision to fix this annoying thing. Previously I tried to uninstall whole Notepad++ and install again, but it didn’t work. So I asked uncle google, what he thinks about it.

I found two working fixes, but essentially both things do the same thing. notepad++.exe can’t be set to have admin rights . So fix is easy:

  1. Right click -> properties on notepad++.exe (in notepad++ installation folder)
  2. Switch to compatibility tab
  3. Uncheck “Run this program as an administrator”
  4. Done!

Admin rights


And you are good to go with editing via shell extension.


  • dizzy July 10, 2014 at 09:59

    Thank You!!!!

  • Jan August 4, 2014 at 13:48

    Thanks, worked like a charm on my Server 2012. A lot Folks were telling to check this box, because some files are write protected afterwards. Then I am starting Notepad++ first with admin rights and just leave it open.

  • Alex August 12, 2014 at 07:29

    Thank you !!! Works.

  • Sam August 13, 2014 at 16:07

    Another Solution make sure notepad++ compatibility set to your current operating system. I am running on Window 7 so I have made following actions:
    1) Right click on notepad++.exe(C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++)
    2) Click on Property
    3) Click on Compatibility tab
    4) Under Compatibility mode select your operating system (Window 7 in my case).
    5) Apply and OK

    • Jozef Culen August 13, 2014 at 16:12

      Thanks Sam for the tip, I have Windows 8.1 and setting compatibility to Windows 8 doesn’t solve Shell execute failed error for me. I will try to test it on Windows 7 later.

  • adam rothschild September 16, 2014 at 15:46


  • Derek Bartram September 30, 2014 at 14:28

    Brilliant, thanks, works like a charm.

  • FYI October 12, 2014 at 18:34

    Use the program here:

    and point it to your notepad++ folder. After that, disable the “Run as admin” setting for the notepad++.exe and you should be golden for saving files in admin-only areas (such as Program Files or Windows Dir folders for those of us who like to mess with Hosts file or video games settings .ini’s and the like )

    You’re welcome

  • FYI October 12, 2014 at 18:35

    the above info was found by reading through http://forums.auran.com/trainz/entry.php?115-Removing-the-security-restrictions-from-a-folder-in-the-Program-Files-folder

    hence why “you’re welcome” cause I had to do some extra research/plugging and testing myself 🙂

  • amitchell October 15, 2014 at 21:41

    FYI, if you upgrade from within the program (the dialog box that says ‘new version found, would you like to close and upgrade’), the upgrade will fail the first time because it doesn’t have admin rights, and then Windows will prompt you to run it with admin rights. However, instead of only running it that way once, that changes the compatibility settings for the executable so it runs that way every time…until you get tired of this error, Google it, and change it back.

  • freedrive November 6, 2014 at 09:33

    I use Windows 7 and It works. Thank you.

  • Grubby December 1, 2014 at 05:36

    praise you!

    just a note, I first had to do this to un-grey-out the option in your step 4:
    3.5) Push the “Change Settings for all users” button

  • Jason December 3, 2014 at 03:51

    Thanks for this tip. It worked perfectly for Windows 7 32 bit.

    I accessed ‘properties > compatibility’ via the program’s shortcut icon, not via the EXE, but it’s the same thing. 🙂

    At first I was unable to reach ‘properties > compatibility’ because an error popped up saying the shortcut’s ‘Start In’ folder didn’t exist. The fix was to replace the ‘Start In’ value with the location of my Documents folder. (Or you could simply delete the ‘Start In’ value, in which case Notepad++ defaults to saving new documents on the desktop.)

  • Abdul Basit February 11, 2015 at 13:16

    Thanks a lot.
    It works like charm.

  • Sara March 27, 2015 at 21:02

    This is by far the easiest solution that I’ve found, and it works! Others want registry changes or installation of programs. No need!

  • Aman May 29, 2015 at 10:29

    Thank You so much !

  • Luis August 25, 2015 at 16:59

    Thanks!! First time, Run as Admin does not work!!!!!

  • Kumar September 3, 2015 at 11:44

    Thanks, worked like a charm

  • Roel October 22, 2015 at 04:49

    Thanks 🙂

  • phenry January 25, 2016 at 22:56

    but I want to run it as admin (editing file needing this), how do I do that?

  • RAPOS April 30, 2016 at 06:47

    Thank YOU!!!!

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