Monthly Archives: October 2020

How To Stop Windows 10 Notepad From Saving Find Settings

Windows Notepad is a simple workhorse text editor. It’s nothing fancy. It just gives the bare basics, with a clean session each time it’s opened.

At least it did.

Get Windows 10 Notepad to start with a clean session each time it is opened.

In 2019, Microsoft decided to have Windows 10 Notepad remember its last used settings. That change isn’t a big deal for most people, but when I open Notepad I’m not looking to tweak settings before getting to work. I just want to open Notepad, enter a snippet to find with ‘ctrl-f’, hit ‘enter’, and confirm the text is present (or not) before moving on. But now, I have to step out of my workflow to first confirm text search is clear, set its direction, and then perform my search.

Again, not a big deal for most people. But if you are as annoyed by that change as I am, you understand why it’s a pain.

It would be fantastic if Microsoft provided a ‘do not remember last settings’ option in Windows 10 Notepad along with that extra functionality to remember find settings, but they didn’t. So, now we have to work a little magic with the registry editor to fix that and get Windows 10 Notepad to start with a clean session each time it is opened.

Like it used to.

Quick Side-Note:

The changes made here use the Windows registry edit tool.

If you are already familiar with the registry editor, you know how to tweak registry settings and are aware of how dangerous those changes can be.

If you are not familiar with the Windows registry editor, please familiarize yourself with the ins-and-outs of that tool and back up your full windows registry before proceeding
Disclaimer and Warning:

Changes made in your Windows registry editor can destroy your computer. That is not an exaggeration. Be certain you have a full registry backup and know what you are doing before proceeding with any windows registry edits.

These instructions have been left deliberately vague and may be confusing to anyone not familiar with the Windows 10 registry editor. If these instructions are not perfectly clear to you, please take a bit of time to familiarize yourself with your Windows registry editor.

To Prevent Windows 10 Notepad From Saving Its Find Settings:

First, perform a search in Windows 10 Notepad to place your settings in your preferred default search direction (“Direction (*) Down”, right?) then close Notepad.

Next, open your editor to the branch:
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Notepad

Select the key:
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Notepad\searchString

and clear its contents.

At this point, you have Windows 10 Notepad set to its traditional defaults. Now, we are going to lock those defaults in place:

Click the registry branch:
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Notepad\

then right-click on that item and choose the “Permissions…” pop-up menu item. The “Permissions for Notepad” dialog box will be opened, with its “Security” tab displayed.

In the displayed list of “Group or user names:”, select the user account you would like to fix Notepad for (that will almost always be the user account you have signed in with). With that user account selected, toggle on the “Deny” checkboxes for the “Full Control” and “Read” permissions (the “Allow” checkbox items are read-only and cannot be changed; setting those items to “Deny” will serve to disable them).

With “Deny” toggled on, click “Apply”.

A security dialog will appear, warning that you are going to deny a permissions entry (yes, that is exactly what we are wanting to do). Click the “Yes” button on that warning dialog to apply your change, then click “Ok” on the “Permissions for Notepad” dialog to close that box.

You’re done. You can now close your registry editor and go about your business, with Notepad now clearing its find preferences after every session.

What a pain.

Microsoft, please don’t mess with Notepad. If I want a text editor with text editor functionality, I’ll use one. Windows 10 Notepad is a notepad for quick scratch notes and text reference, please keep it that way.