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Notepad++ - can't add or update plugins, steps I've done and questions I have

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Notepad++ - can't add or update plugins, steps I've done and questions I have

I installed Notepad++ (NPP), possibly, by copying it from another computer and pasting to my PortableApps folder on this one, although it may have been by direct install. If copied, it came from a Vista Business machine and this one I'm trying to add an update to is an XP Professional Service Pack 3.

At some point, I have installed the Compare and SessionManager plugins, so it's definitely been possible to install plugins at some time. The Vista machine doesn't have those plugins, so that's proof I installed Compare and SessionManager on this XP computer directly. They were installed before I updated to a later version of NPP.

It was originally version 6.8.6 and I updated to 7.3.3 trying to sort out the plugin problem. I haven't been able to update DSpellCheck or PluginManager either, before or after the update. Following the update, the order of my plugins in the Plugin dropdown list (from the toolbar) has changed, mostly a shuffle, it seems. This doesn't bother me but I would prefer that the line for SessionManager wasn't blank! - another effect of the update. However, when I choose the blank line, the submenu opens to give me access to 'Session' so that's I can live with that. SessionManager used to be at the bottom, perhaps it's because it's blank that it moved to the top; there does seem to be some sort of alphabetical order to the list.

I'm currently trying to install TextFX Characters and that has failed, as has another plugin I tried a week or so back. (Can't remember what but it was trying to contact Github.)

I've added NPP to the Windows firewall as an exception.

I've tried adding allowAppDataPlugins.xml as a blank file but I'm not sure if I got the right folder. I've tried:
To be honest, I'm not sure what folder it's supposed to be put in, if the portable version needs to do that, too. Most help on the internet is assuming you aren't using a portable version so I'm just guessing on which is the correct folder. So a two-part question: do you need that file in the portable version of NPP and if so, where should I put it?

I've tried opening NPP from my Portable Platform it as an admin, but that's where one of my questions comes in - do I need to close all instances of NPP before running as admin?

Hopefully, someone can help me figure out what I'm supposed to do or what is wrong.


John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Last seen: 52 min 21 sec ago
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
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You need to close all instances of Notepad++ Portable before running it as admin. The N++ updater isn't really designed to run portably whether within our package or as their zip version. That's why it requires admin (portable apps should not unless they are system apps).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2017-05-12 12:23
Hi John,

Hi John,
(Why is it duplicating the first line... at least in Preview - I'll see if it's still there when I submit!)

Thanks for the answer but I'm a bit confused by your last comment: "portable apps should not unless they are system apps."

Portable apps should not _____ what? Require admin? Could you explain further, please?

I found a workaround to get TextFX into N++, useful because I actually needed it a project then and there without closing N++ (the delete duplicate lines feature).

I'd seen a suggestion last time I went searching for information about downloading and manually installing the plugin manager update so decided to try that.

I googled for and found the site to download a zip file for TextFX ( and when I opened the zip file, I saw it was a dll file. I managed to figure out where the dlls are and pasted a copy into the folder, (in my standard PortableApps installation, C:\PortableApps\PortableApps\Notepad++Portable\App\Notepad++\plugins. I know you probably don't need this much detail but if anyone comes across this post looking for help, I figure they might.) Then I started up a new instance of N++ and it was there and working, although at first I couldn't find it because I was looking in the Plugins menu, not for it being its own top level menu item.

I've tried closing all instances of N++ and starting it as admin from the PortableApps menu - that didn't work. No updating, no installing new. (If I leave the box marked 'Protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity' ticked, N++ doesn't even start, I assume that's a standard response from Windows.)

Is there anything other than the main Notepad++ exe that I should add to Windows firewall?

Are there any settings in N++ that I might need to change? (Maybe I changed something I shouldn't?)

Is there any reason that N++ trying to use Github to get updates won't be working? (I saw something somewhere about Github moving, I think.)

If all else fails, I'll have to do manual installations and updates but it would be nice to get this working properly.

Thanks! Not just for your help here but all your hard word with PortableApps. Yours is one of those internet names that I know. Smile

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