Why does my registry editor default to notepad?

by on November 21, 2010

Q: I’ve got a problem that I cannot solve. I’ve googled it to death and find no answer.

I have an H-P notebook, Pavilion dv6t-1200 running Vista Home Premium 64. Suddenly the registry editor has defaulted to going to Notepad rather than merging and editing the registry like when I download your tweaks, etc. I assume that this is a relatively easy matter to solve but I just don’t know how to do it or where to find the solution. I contacted H-P and you know they don’t know anything so that is futile.

You’re a genius with the computer so I know that you are exactly aware of the situation and how to toggle it back to merge default.

Thank you for your attention to this inquiry and request.

8 Responses to “Why does my registry editor default to notepad?”

    I will assume that vista commandline runs like xp pro. if not, there may be a workaround. sorry I dont have much experience in vista, but hopefully this idea works. go to start, select “run” and type in regedit and press enter. hopefully it brings up the registry editor with the tree and leaf system. thats the best advice i can give.


    Right click on the .reg file you want to add to your registry, see if the Merge option is shown there, if not, go down to Open With… and select the Registry Editor.


    Thank you all for trying to help me and I hope I can continue to enlist your help until we get this repaired.
    Yes, merge remains where it always has been at the top of the right context menu.
    My command linde window is permanently set for run in elelvated privilege.
    Merge used to work up until I don’t know when, perhaps a day of three ago. I ran a boot restore [F11] today and that didn’t resolve it either. I downloaded regedit.reg and that didn’t resolve the problem. I just don’t get it. I’ve tried it on several different registry files. Here’s just one:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    @=”Take Ownership”

    @=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”
    “IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”

    @=”Take Ownership”

    @=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” /r /d y && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F /t”
    “IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” /r /d y && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F /t”Save the file with the name Ownership.reg and close Notepad.

    Double-click your Ownership.reg file to apply it to the registry.

    You will have to grant access, click Continue: (unless you Disable UAC)

    The registry editor will give you a security prompt, click Yes.

    You will be greeted with the following message from the registry editor, click Ok:

    When you hold shift and right-click on a file or folder you will have the option of changing the ownership.

    Please note that before the ownership will be changed, you must grant access, click Continue.

    In order to verify that the “Take Ownership” dialog successfully processed, you can right-click on a file, choose Properties and then choose Details and you will see the “Owner” section changed to COMPUTERNAME\USERNAME.

    Same way it previously worked except it doesn’t work anymore. When I did this sometime back it put the feature on the context menu.


    Strange, if your interested I can do a remote session to assess and repair the problem. Session costs nothing if I’m unable to repair the issue.

    E-mail me at mark(at)askageek.com if you’re interested.

    Picked as best answer

    To reset the Registry to use the .reg files:
    1. press windows key.
    2. type “default programs.”
    3. Then “select a file type or protcol with a program.”
    4. browse\scroll down to .reg
    5. double click on .reg
    6. browse to c:\windows\regedit.exe
    7. click ok and it will restore registry editor to the default program to use registry files.

    (Remember to always backup your registry before making any changes.)


      You are absolutely correct, that did it. Why do you think this is happening, a selection in CCleaner or System Mechanic perhaps?


        It may have been due to CCleaner. IT is a very useful and powerful tool. It may also sometimes have unwanted results.

        It may also have been due to malware or a virus on your PC, Have you recently had any threats found and removed?

        There are many variables as to why this can happen, so I cannot say for certain why it happened.

        I am glad that was helpful to you.


          I haven’t had any virus problems because I have two good anti-virus programs and perform online scans as well but in regard to the file/registry cleaners, I’m not always clear on what files to select and CCleaner is very powerful. I’m not really clear on what .dat and .dll files are. I understand more what .dll files are than .dat files.
          It’s okay now though because I can easily repait the problem when it occurs.
          Thank you, and thank everyone else for being so generous as to share your greater knowledge and experience with me in your efforts to help me resolve my problem. I love the computer and the internet. It provides me a lot of comfort, practical convenience and entertainment in my final days.
          I wish there were some way I could send a photograph of the computer stand that I built for MACHINE [this is the name of my computer] when I was still well enough to do so. It’s pretty cool. I knew I would need it as I became more and more symptomatic so I could use MACHINE both sitting up and lying down when I needed to. It swivels around an aluminum column and the platen tilts and rotates with places for all of MACHINES periferals, e.g. USB Harddrive, powered hub, mouse pad, etc.