The Edit option pops up in Windows after right-clicking a file in Windows Explorer or another location on the system. If you select it, the file is opened in the associated program, e.g. Notepad if you right-click on a plain text file.
For image files it is usually Microsoft Paint while text documents are usually opened in Notepad.
Update: If you are using a newer version of Windows, you can perform a different operation if you don't mind association open with the program as well.
The easiest way to do that is to right-click a file of the file type you want to edit in a different program, select Open With from the context menu, and pick "choose another app" from the context menu afterwards.
Windows displays a list of programs that you can associate with the file type. Simple select one from the list or use the browser to pick a program from the system not listed by the operating system.
Setting a new program to open the file type will not only open it directly if you double-click on it but also open it if you select the edit option. Update End
Those applications are set in the Windows Registry where they can be changed so that Edit will open a different application.
It is actually pretty easy to change the default edit application in Windows to another one providing you know where to look for in the Registry to make that change.
Now, to change the default Edit application open the Windows Registry by pressing [Windows R], typing [regedit] and hitting [enter]. Locate the following Registry key:
You find all the different file types Windows knows about and their association.
The order is filetype > shell > edit > command. Not every filetype has that chain but the most common ones do. To edit the default text editor in Windows you need to locate the text subkey and follow the path mentioned above until you reach the command key. There should be only one Default entry in there:
To change the program that opens when clicking on the Edit option in the right-click menu simply change the path so that it leads to the application that you want to use, for example
"c:\program files\notepad++\notepad++.exe" "%1"
Repeat the process for other file types that you want to change the edit option for. Restart the PC afterwards once you are done to apply the change.
Tip: Backup the Registry setting before you make changes so that you can restore the previous state if things go wrong. Do so by clicking on File > Export after selecting the SystemFileAssociations key as the root key.Advertisement
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