In the process of troubleshooting a problem with mysqldump I was viewing MySQL backups using Notepad++. I typically view and edit large files using Linux with vi however in this scenario it was more convenient to view the files quickly from a Windows laptop using Notepad++. The first couple of backups were between 50MB and 100MB and while they were a bit slow to open with Notepad++ they did open without further issue and provided an easy method to search through the files.

Eventually I backed up a database file that ended up being 195MB of pure SQL such as mydatabase.sql. When attempting to open this file with Notepad++ I received the below error.

Notepad++ File Size Error: File is to big to be opened by Notepad++.

Error: File is to big for Notepad++

After clicking the OK button in the above error the second error below popped open as well.

Second Notepad++ File Size Error: ERR: Can not open file “C:\Documents and Settings\alex\Desktop\alextest.sql”

ERR: Can Not Open File "filename"

I assumed that there must be a setting or a Notepad++ plugin that would allow me to bend the rules to open larger files if I did not mind my Windows computer slowing down while I waited for the file to open and during the time that I was viewing the file. To my suprise I was unable to find a solid way to accomplish this goal using Notepad++ so I wanted to share a free alternative to open large files with Notepad++.

Notepad++ Opening Large Files Alternative: Wordpad

I chose to use Wordpad as an alternative to Notepad++ because I just needed a quick view of the large file to make sure that some blob fields from a mysqldump output to a .sql file were displaying properly. Sure enough the file which was 195 Megabytes in size opened up without issue in Wordpad and I was able to view the beginning part of the file to verify what I needed to verify. Wordpad is free and installed on Windows XP by default which makes it an easy alternative in a scenario like I needed it for however Wordpad is probably not the best solution if you needed to actually modify the file.

Other Possible Large File Alternatives to Notepad++:

::Windows

J-Write Text Editor: website – Thanks to David for recommending this application┬áin the comments section of this article! J-write has tons of features and currently costs 12 Euro.

UltraEdit: web site — Will handle files in excess of 4GB however it is not a free alternative and will cost around $50

Notepad2: web site — It appears Notepad2 is a free alternative that may handle larger files than Notepad++ however it will depend on the amount of memory you have installed on your PC since the entire file is stored in RAM.

vi: You could install “vi” via Cygwin. Both are open source items that provide a Linux CLI type of feel from the Windows DOS Command Prompt.

::Linux

gEdit: web site: A open source GUI editor for Linux Gnome.

vi: web site: A great open source text editor for Linux that is more powerful than any other text editor I have used and offers tons of features that take years to master because it can be so in depth. You can however pick up and use “vi” quickly because the basics are very easy to understand.

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10 Responses to “Windows: File Is To Big To Be Opened By NotePad++, Use Wordpad As Alternative”
  1. david says:

    j-write is a program I’ve used to edit very large files (7GB+). it is ~US$19.50, so not as cheap as an open source app, but not as expensive as ultraedit.

    LINK – ADDED TO ARTICLE

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello david,

    Thanks for this recommendation! I checked it out and it looks like it has as many features as Ultraedit and more. I removed the link from your comment to add it to the article so it didn’t appear on the page twice. Anyhow… thanks again for the recommendation. J-Write Text Editor looks like a great application to edit large text files in Windows!

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  2. Steve says:

    Either the current version has a different limit or it is the SQL parsing that caused the problem. I just edited a 268 MB CSV file without a hitch (I have 2 GB physical RAM).

    But anyway, changing the file extension each time wouldn’t be convenient.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Steve,

    Definitely possible. I will have to check this out to see if I can edit .sql or .csv files of that size. It is probably a new version that handles larger files better or something. Regardless I appreciate you taking the time to leave feedback to let me know it is possible to edit larger files. Once I actually test it I will try to remember to note the results here.

    Thanks again.
    alex

    [Reply]

  3. Steve says:

    I have also used a free application called “large file viewer” that works out pretty well.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Steve,

    Cool. Thanks for the recommendation and for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  4. A says:

    Hello,

    I tend to use EditPad Lite for this sort of thing. The program’s extremely fast and doesn’t use too much memory. But unfortunately, the free version doesn’t have support for searching with regular expressions.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello A,

    Thanks for the suggestion but since Notepad++ does regular expressions and everything else I need likely I personally won’t need EditPad any time soon. Notepad++ also is light weight and have a lot of plugins that offer everything I have ever needed to accomplish.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  5. Dirk Jan says:

    I tried to open a 969MB SQL file with Wordpad (XP, verison 5.1) , but it didn’t work as described before. At the bottom on the left, Wordpad show the progress as a percentage. It it increasing and then jumps back and start from 0%. This process is repeating itself. It looks like Wordpad is reserving memory, while loading it finds out that the file is too large and start again while reserving a larger part of memory. It also happens that the progress stops after the full jump back to 0%.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Dirk Jan,

    Try UltraEdit… it does cost money but it supports files over 4GB.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

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