Replace Notepad with Metapad on Windows 7 (64-bit)

Metapad! I love this tiny bit of freeware.

It’s a notepad replacement, and I’ve been using it for years. One stitches it into Windows and it out-performs Notepad. I’ve inserted it into every copy of Windows I’ve used over the years, but it keeps getting harder to replace a “system file”.

The Metapad website has some instructions for inserting it into Windows 7, which work perfectly on a 32-bit (x86) OS. Trouble is, the 64-bit (x64) Windows 7 behaves a bit differently.

I’ve rewritten the instructions (originally provided by Brian Scott) to reflect what works on the x64 system. (I also emailed this to the author of the software, of course, but I figured I’d make it available right away in case others have this issue and need the code.

Download the software here:

– Elaine

1. Rename the downloaded metapad.exe file to notepad.exe as usual, then copy it to Drive C (not inside a folder). Open an Elevated Command Prompt by clicking All Programs (in Start Menu) and Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt and click Run as administrator.
2. Copy the following and paste it into the Command Prompt box, where it should run automatically. Close the box when finished and delete C:\notepad.exe.

takeown /f c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe
icacls c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe /grant administrators:f
copy /y C:\notepad.exe C:\Windows\System32
takeown /f c:\windows\SysWOW64\notepad.exe
icacls c:\windows\SysWOW64\notepad.exe /grant administrators:f
copy /y C:\notepad.exe C:\Windows\SysWOW64
takeown /f c:\windows\notepad.exe
icacls c:\windows\notepad.exe /grant administrators:f
copy /y C:\notepad.exe C:\Windows

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5 thoughts on “Replace Notepad with Metapad on Windows 7 (64-bit)

  1. Awesome. Thanks for this. Thought I was losing my mind trying to get this work. I, too, have been using metapad since Windows 98, and just got a new x64 laptop. Thanks for your help!

  2. Thank you so much for you help, Elaine. I had been doing this for years but it had stopped working on more recent versions of windows. This works perfectly! It even launches metapad when a text file is opened from another app.

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