Windows 11 may get default command line text editor

Microsoft plans to add a default CLI text editor to command shell on Windows 11.

Linux Nano opened in Terminal
Linux Nano opened in Terminal
  • Windows 11 doesn’t have a CLI text editor by default, so Microsoft is planning to make some changes.
  • The company may bring back the CLI Edit tool, but it could integrate others like Nano or Vim.
  • Another solution could include adding an error handler to prompt you with a command to install a specific editor as needed.

Microsoft is planning to build a new text editor that you could use on Command Prompt, PowerShell, or through the Windows Terminal app. According to a report from Windows Central, Microsoft’s product manager, Connor Plante, has started a new thread on GitHub requesting feedback from users about a potential new implementation on Windows 11.

In the thread, Connor notes that the 32-bit version of Windows comes with the legacy “Edit” CLI (Command Line Interface) editor installed by default. However, the 64-bit version of the operating system doesn’t include an application. As a result, the company is now exploring the idea of adding a default command-based text editor to Windows 11.

The solution that Microsoft offers is not necessarily to build another tool. Instead, the company wants to install one of the many already available text editors, from Microsoft’s Edit to those you probably have been using on Linux, such as Nano and Vim.

The ability to have a default CLI text editor will give you quick access to edit different files, such as configuration files and scripts, without the need for workarounds.

On the other hand, the company is also proposing to include an error handler that will recognize that you’re trying to open a text file when you don’t have the editor installed and offer the command to install the tool through the Windows Package Manager (winget).

On Windows 11, personally, I use Notepad or Visual Studio Code to edit configuration files, edit scripts, and other text-related content, so I really didn’t notice that “Edit” was gone on Windows 11. However, my work also requires me to use Linux, so I’m used to editing files with the “Nano” tool since it’s super easy to use.

I believe having a CLI version of Notepad would keep things consistent, but the “Edit” tool was also a great tool since it also included mouse support, a window-like interface inside the command line interface, and support for many of the shortcuts you already using with the operating system.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].