Monitor Log or Text File Changes in Real Time with Notepad++

I am a big fan of Notepad++ and there is no need to use other text editing tools once you have Notepad++ because it is packed with features and most importantly it is free. Once you’ve gotten used to it, you may not even want to use the built-in Windows Notepad anymore. In fact it is even possible to replace the Windows Notepad with Notepad++ so that even if you type notepad in the Run window, Notepad++ will launch instead of the Windows Notepad.

One big limitation on the Windows Notepad is it cannot refresh the opened text files which is very useful to view log files generated by a software in real time. Closing and reopening the text or log file just to check on the update can be very troublesome. Unlike in Linux, it comes with a tail -f command where you can view the log files in real time. If you didn’t know, we are able to monitor for changes in real time on text or log files with Notepad++ as well. By default the Notepad++ will not automatically refresh or reload the text file if it has been modified. If you’re viewing a log file with Notepad++ and the log file is updated, then Notepad++ will prompt you that “This file has been modified by another program. Do you want to reload it”.

This file has been modified by another program. Do you want to reload it

This could go into a loop if you’re viewing a live log file that is constantly being updated. To disable the reload window in Notepad++ so that it automatically reloads the modified text file, click Settings on the menu bar and select Preferences. Go to MISC. tab, check “Update silently” and optionally “Scroll to the last line after update” and click the Close button.

Update Silently Scroll to the last line after update

There is a plugin for Notepad++ called Document Monitor which I would consider it as obsolete because it basically does the same thing as the built-in option in Notepad++ except that it updates the opened documents in Notepad++ every 3 seconds. The only problem with using Notepad++ as tail to monitor the log files in real time is it has to be on top because for some reason it won’t update or refresh when the program is in background.

Download Notepad++

5 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. rmck 4 months ago
  2. wpkf 2 years ago
  3. Guest 5 years ago
  4. Kevin Grech 5 years ago
  5. Guest 5 years ago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: Your comment is subject to approval. Read our Terms of Use. If you are seeking additional information on this article, please ask in our forum or contact us directly.