New Notepad Win11 An error occurred trying to start process '"C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe"' with working directory 'C:\Users\mylogin\Documents'. The parameter is incorrect.

Kevin Jameson 21 Reputation points

In the past few days my Win11/x64 machine auto-rebooted after a midnight Windows Update operation.

After the upgrade, when I started Notepad, it showed me a ribbon notification "A new version of Notepad is available. LAUNCH (a button)."

I stupidly clicked the button, and it appeared to switch to a new version of notepad. At least, the offer to launch the new version disappeared.
I eventually ended up in a nightmare of installing the Microsoft Store notepad (which seemed to be "new version" that was being offered).
It installed but I think it trashed my old c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe installation.

Now my programs that start c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe give me this error message:

An error occurred trying to start process '"C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe"' with working directory 'C:\Users\kkkwj\Documents'. The parameter is incorrect.

After spending several wasted hours reading up on the errors and trying to debug it, uninstalling the notepad store app, checking all my disks (they are good), reinstalling some 2013 C++ redistributables, and otherwise wasting my time, I still get the error above. My code has been working for many months until this notepad headache started.

A prior error message said that it could not start because the side-by-side installation was incorrect. But I haven't seen that since I uninstalled the Notepad app.

What's going on? How can I (1) start notepad programmatically like I did for months before the "new notepad version" headache? Thank you.

Windows 11
Windows 11
A Microsoft operating system designed for productivity, creativity, and ease of use.
8,413 questions
{count} votes

3 answers

Sort by: Most helpful
  1. Ramesh Srinivasan 176 Reputation points

    Hi Kevin,

    Would you like to revert to the classic Notepad? If so, uninstalling the Notepad Store app should bring back the classic version.

    0 comments No comments

  2. Kevin Jameson 21 Reputation points

    Thank you for your suggestion, Ramesh.

    It turns out that the error message was WAY off the track on the real problem.

    The real problem was that MS changed the default value for UseShellExecute from true (in NET Framework) to false (in NET 6).

    I changed my NET 6 code accordingly (set it to true), and (touch wood) the problem has not surfaced for a few hours.


    I left the new app installed, too.

  3. Ramesh Srinivasan 176 Reputation points

    Hi Kevin,

    Glad you figured this out. Thank you for sharing this info.

    0 comments No comments