How to compare two files in windows

If you are working on windows and you want to compare two files or you want to find the difference between two files, you can do that using a built in feature in notepad++.

Open notepad++, a free alternative to notepad in widows. It has a built in feature to compare two files or to find difference between two files. Let us see how to do that.

  1. Open notepad++.
  2. Open file1 through File->Open
  3. Open file2, it will open automatically in a new tab.
  4. Go to Plugins – > Compare -> Compare or use Alt+D to compare file1 and file2
  5. Use Ctrl+Alt+D to get the normal view

Comparing two files using notepad++ is very simple, and this really helps if you coder/programmer.


  1. I use Arax Merge for comparing files… It is also a good tool and free…. :)

    Anyways, thanks for sharing…

  2. Sounds cool! So it hilights the difference between the two files?

  3. Thank you!!!!

  4. Vandalf says:

    I had to enable this feature in Notepad++ first. Though this was easy, I thought I’d oughta share the simple procedure:

    Go to Accessories (may translate differently, I’m using Norwegian N++) -> Plugin Manager -> Show Plugin Manager
    Might have to wait a bit for the list of available plugins to show, then choose “Compare” by ticking of the little box next to it. Press “Install” and wait for the installation to finish.

    Then the rest should be as described above. Thanks for a very easy-to-follow howto, anewtab! It really helped me out! :)

  5. Thanks! nice trick… no need to download other applications, such as windmerge, windiff, etc…

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