External Editor

How do I get GitHub Desktop to recognize external editors to add them to the dropdown in File>Options>Advanced?  I have notepad++ installed and in my path but it says I have no editors installed and should install Atom.


Hi @linnorm ,

Does this article help you out: https://help.github.com/en/desktop/getting-started-with-github-desktop/configuring-a-default-editor ?

@mpboom, I know how to get to the screen for setting an external editor. The problem is that nothing shows up in it. As I mentioned, I have notepad++ installed and it’s not showing up. I’m sure that Atom will show up if I install it, but I don’t need another text editor. Thanks,


Hmm okay, thanks for the clarification. Well, I don’t have an installation of GH Desktop ready right know.

Maybe someone else recognizes the problem?

+1 to this. Did you end up figuring it out?

I seem to remember on a different laptop, my installation recognized both my VSCode and IntelliJ, but I can’t seem to get GitHub Desktop to recognize them on my new machine.

using macOS

Nope, I just updated to the latest version, 2.1.3 I think, and get the same thing.

I’ve got the exact same problem on version 2.1.3, which is the latest update at this time.  The only thing that I can add is that the instructions reference a dropdown box, as in the shell option right below it, except for the external editor there is no dropdown box.  It appears that it isn’t being populated.  Notepad++ is installed in my path as well.  When I run config --list, it returns

 core.editor=‘C:/Program Files (x86)/Notepad++/notepad++.exe’ -multiInst -nosession

Which is the correct address, so it seems that it knows the appropriate address, but it just doesn’t want to fill the dropdown box.  No love.

I just updated to the newest version and apparently out of Atom(which is what it was locked too), Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio, Notepad ++, it only recognizes VSC

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Anything new on this? Still getting this problem in March 2020 with a first-time install. Only choice it gives me is Sublime which I haven’t used in ages. I have 3 other editors installed, why did it pick that one only?


Still looking for a solution for this.  I’ve installed GitHub Desktop on my mac and already had Sublime Text 2 instlalled.  It doesn’t find any editors to add to the dropdown box and suggests downloading Atom.

I’ve edit the config file with “editor = subl -n -w” but it does not add the option to the dropdown.

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I’m having a similar issue with GH recognizing Pycharm as an external editor. Any updates on this?

Ditto. I’m on Mac OS running Catalina. I’d like to set Apache NetBeans as my editor. The popup is offering me Atom and BBEdit. Perhaps the question should be for Apple. How do we register our apps as text editors?

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Adding a +1 to this issue. I own a repository and my friend who would like to contribute is having the exact same issues as described here. Has anyone figured it out?

Same here. I’m trying to use SlickEditPro2019 on OSX 10.15.6. I have XCode installed, and it’s the only thing that shows up in the dropdown box. I also tried using “git config --global core.editor SlickEditPro2019” with no luck.

According to https://docs.github.com/en/desktop/getting-started-with-github-desktop/configuring-a-default-editor SlickEdit is a supported editor.

@admins @github-employees This seems like something that should come to GitHub’s attention, so I am mentioning you.

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Have problem with this too. I have Sublime Text installed, but GitHub doesn’t see it, only Visual Studio Code :confused:

I figured out how to set the path to SlickEditPro2019 on OSx from the git command line interface. It does not work from the GitHub Desktop app!

git config --global core.editor /Applications/SlickEditPro2019.app/Contents/MacOS/vs

The git cli will now invoke SlickEdit when needed.

The problem still persists apparently after 9 months, given the first post in March. I had a fresh install today of the Desktop on Catalina (Mac). CodeRunner is installed but not recognised.

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Indeed. It is now Jan 12th 2021 and opening Github on my Macbook the only editor it sees is Xcode. I have others I wish to use as Xcode takes forever to boot up in regards to quick code edits or browsing… We need this issue fixed. Has anyone else had any success in finding a way to force Github to ‘see’ our preferred editor or IDE?

In the meantime, i’ll see if I can come up with a way to force the issue. Might be ‘‘hacky’’ but at this time, anything is better than nothing.

Cheers, and hope you all had a safe and happy New Year.


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March 16th fresh install all i get is notepad++ nothing else shows despite various ide’s being installed