Large Text Files

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Notepad++ cannot process very large files

Older versions of Notepad++ may crash while opening very large files. Newer versions (5.2+) will deny opening the file and issue an error message. Why is that?

Notepad++ is based on a component (Scintilla) which is geared towards providing rich ext viewing, with syntax highlighting and code folding, as opposed to bulk text services. There are necessary trade offs. Loading a 200Mb file will require around 800Mb of memory, and the OS may balk at the memory allocation request.

There are basically two ways out:

  • Split the huge file into manageable chunks, and keep only one of them in editor;
  • Use another tool which is tailored to handle massive text files.

If you still manage to open a large file, performance may not be optimal. Here is a couple things to think about:

  • Plugins which analyse and scan text will slow down NP++, disable them if possible
  • Parsing for clickable links on loading the document is slow if the document is large; disabling the clickable links has been reported to significantly help.