Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to tail a file in Windows using Notepad++

Q: Notepad++ is great for viewing log files but the prompt that file has been updated gets old.  How can we configure it to automatically reload when the log file has been updated?

UPDATE: They have added this feature to the toolbar in Notepad++ (open the file then click the EYE in the toolbar)

Or use Baretail - which supports highlighting - https://www.baremetalsoft.com/baretail/

A: Install the Document Monitor Plugin.
  1. Open Notepad++ (Available here)
  2. Click Plugins / Click Plugin Manager / Click Show Plugin Manager
  3. Click the checkbox next to "Document Monitor" (Figure 1) then click Install (let it restart Notepad++ when prompted.
  4. With Notepad++ open, open the log file to be monitored
  5. Click Plugins, click Document Monitor, click "Start to Monitor"
  6. The file will automatically be reloaded when it is updated.
Figure 1: Install Document Monitor plugin

There is also a great application called Baretail for this.


  1. I am not sure why you don't even have one comment..This was very helpful for me..I had this plugin in my notepad but never used. Keep up the good work and the efforts. Thanks. Gautam http://www.swaratechsystems.com

  2. Hi,

    I totally agree with Gautam, the information is really very helpful. I struggled with reload problems in NPP forever.

    Thanks for sharing Jeff!

  3. Thanxxx much from Germany, Jeff. It is exactly what i am looking for

  4. Thanks very helpful & simple. Had it installed in 1 min

  5. Thanks. V useful. Wonder why Windows doesn't have it inbuilt.

  6. Document Monitor is only available for the 32 bit version. Any way to do this on the 64 bit version of NPP?

    1. I ONLY use BareTail now. With its highlighting feature it meets all my requirements.

      Or use Baretail - which supports highlighting - https://www.baremetalsoft.com/baretail/

  7. In 2022 you can just hit view and then click Monitoring (tail -f) at the very bottom