Recover Sticky Notes on Windows 10

How to Recover Deleted Sticky Notes on Windows

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Written by Alejandro Santos Alejandro Santos Staff Writer • 53 articles Alejandro Santos is a staff writer for Handy Recovery, covering a broad range of topics with a particular focus on data loss issues on macOS and data management for Apple devices. Alejandro joined the team at the end of 2021, and since then, he has continually been scaling new heights and refining his skills as a technical writer and data specialist. LinkedIn Approved by Andrey Vasilyev Andrey Vasilyev Editor Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team. LinkedIn

Just like any file, you can easily lose Sticky Notes from corruption, faulty OS updates, and even accidental deletion. But because Sticky Notes are actually stored both locally and in the cloud, you have a pretty good chance to retrieve them as long as you act fast and don’t overwrite them by downloading or saving new data.


In this article, we’ll explore the different ways to recover deleted Sticky Notes on Windows 10 using the cloud and even directly from your computer’s local storage. Read on.

Are Microsoft Sticky Notes Backed Up?

When you sign in with your Outlook account in the Sticky Notes app, it creates copies of your notes to the cloud. You will find them under the Notes folder of your Outlook account. When deleted, it then goes to the Deleted Items folder.

However, Windows also stores Sticky Notes locally. Specifically, it’s saved as a database file called plum.sqlite-wal; however, recovering that file isn’t going to be enough. You’ll also need to restore the plum.sqlite file, which is what opens the database file and and gives you access to its contents. To find your sticky notes’ location, open this path using Windows Start Menu > Run:


In earlier Windows 10 releases, Sticky Note app data is saved as a Stickynotes.snt file that you can find in


In either situation, you can restore sticky notes on Windows 10. Check the table below to find the best solution for your case:



My Sticky Notes are synced with my Outlook account

Check Your Outlook Account

I want to recover my Sticky Notes manually

Restore Previous Version of Your Sticky Notes Archive File

I know that my Sticky Notes were deleted permanently

Recover Permanently Deleted Sticky Notes With Data Recovery Tool

How to Recover Deleted/Disappeared Sticky Notes

If you backed up your data before your sticky notes disappeared, recovery is straightforward. But if not, don’t worry – there are still a few options you can try. You can do it manually, from a cloud-based service, or with the help of data recovery software.

We wrote step-by-step instructions for every single method below, along with screenshots. Read on.

Step 1: Check if Your Sticky Notes Actually Disappeared

It may appear that your sticky notes are gone when you minimize or close the app or when it fails to show up on Start after a reset or reboot of your computer. To verify whether your notes are still there or not, check the Notes List of your Sticky Notes app.

You can access it by doing either of the following:

  • If the Sticky Notes app launched automatically but only a single note popped out, click the ellipsis button (…) on the upper-right corner of the note. Then, select the Notes list button from the drop-down menu; or Notes list button in sticky notes app
  • Manually launch Sticky Notes in the Start Menu. You can also right-click on its icon and select the Notes list button. Notes list button in the right-click menu of the sticky notes app

Step 2: Check Your Outlook Account

When synced, Microsoft Outlook saves a copy of your sticky notes under its Notes folder. This makes them accessible on any device as long as you log into your account. But in case you delete one, Outlook moves the deleted note to the Deleted Items folder.

To undelete Sticky Notes in Outlook, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch your Microsoft Outlook application on your device (or login via the Outlook website). Then, sign into the same account you used to log into your Sticky Notes app. sign in dialogue box in Microsoft Outlook
  2. On the left sidebar, click the Deleted Items folder. Check if your lost notes are in the list.Deleted Items folder in Microsoft Outlook
  3. Select the sticky notes you want to recover. Then, click the Restore button.Restore button in Microsoft Outlook

If you’re subscribed to Office 365, chances are it saved a copy of your sticky notes to its cloud-based storage. You can then access this to restore your deleted notes.

Step 3: Restore Previous Version Of Your Sticky Notes Archive File

If you enabled your File History before the notes were deleted, then this method is for you. File History is a Windows backup utility feature that creates incremental saves of your data. Not only can you restore lost files backed up with File History, but you can also choose a specific version of that file to recover.

While it is powerful enough to recover deleted files on Windows 10, it has its own limitations. Maybe none of the previous versions contain the specific note you want to recover. It’s also possible that you created and deleted the sticky note before File History was able to save a version. But it doesn’t hurt to check!


This method only works if the AppData folder (located in the path shown in step 1 below) was manually added to File History’s selection of backed-up folders. It’s not included by default.

To use File History to recover sticky notes on Windows 10:

  1. Locate your Sticky Notes folder. If you’re using Windows 10 (version 1607 or later), open Run (Windows key + R). Then, type the following autosave folder location path and hit OK: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\ sticky notes file location path in Run tool
  2. Right-click on the plum.sqlite file. Then, click the Restore previous versions button. This will open the list of previous versions, which you can restore to get back the deleted sticky notes. You can also browse previous versions in the file’s Properties menu.Restore previous versions button in right-click menu
  3. Select the version of the file that contains the lost notes. Then, click Restore.sticky notes file version in Properties

You can also use File History to recover deleted files on Windows 11.

Step 4: Recover Permanently Deleted Sticky Notes With Data Recovery Tool

If none of the previous methods worked, you can still recover your deleted Sticky Notes file using data recovery software. Data recovery software can scan your drive and recover files directly from the file system – it can even recover entire folders on Windows.

For this article, we’ll be using a tool called Disk Drill. It has an easy-to-use interface that even a complete beginner can operate.

To use Disk Drill to restore deleted Sticky Notes:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.
  2. Launch Disk Drill by double-clicking on its app icon.
  3. From the list, select the drive where the autosave folder is located (by default, it should be in C:/ drive). Then, click Search for lost data to begin the scanning process. Disk Drill HDD scan source selection menu
  4. Once the scan is complete,  click the Review found items button in the upper-right corner of the screen. Review found items button in Disk Drill's scanning window
  5. Locate and select the Sticky Notes file. Most of the time, Disk Drill can restore the original folder structure (for example, you can recover your desktop files from the Desktop folder). However, we recommend inputting plum.sqlite and then plum.sqlite-wal in the search bar (one by one) so you can find the files faster. Once you locate the files, mark the box next to them and click Recover. Recovered Sticky Notes in Disk Drill
  6. Choose the destination folder where you want to save the recovered file. Once recovered, don’t forget to move it to its original location to restore the Sticky Notes. Disk Drill destination selection menu

For macOS users, you can also use Disk Drill for Mac to recover deleted notes on Mac. As of this writing, CleverFiles (Disk Drill’s developers) is offering a 2-for-1 license that gets you licenses for both Windows and Mac versions for the price of one. If you want to know more about this app before downloading it to your own machine, check out our Disk Drill review.


You can also use Disk Drill to recover deleted OneNote files in the similar manner.

Tired of Sticky Notes Inconveniences? There ARE Alternative Options to Consider!

Bugs, glitches, and app limitations can ruin the user experience with Sticky Notes. If it’s no longer serving you, you can check out other alternatives.

If you prefer a similar-looking app, Simple Sticky Notes is a free, intuitive, and lightweight alternative that lets you customize colors, titles, and opacity, among others. It also stays on top of all windows. More importantly, you can access your notes across your devices when you share your notes via email.

For a more robust note-taking app, try Evernote. It’s a cross-platform program that can sync on all your devices and can be used offline. It’s great for clipping webpages and media files quickly and has loads of organization features. Evernote is also 100% free to use with up to 3 devices.

If you want to stick with Windows but you miss the fast and minimalistic Classic Sticky Notes app from Windows 7, you can just reinstall it on your Windows 10 machine. It works with Windows 10 version 1809 or later.


The data of your Sticky Notes is stored in a database file called plum.sqlite-wal, which is located in your AppData folder with the following path:


For recovery purposes, you’ll also need to locate the plum.sqlite file, which is required for opening the database and accessing its contents.

No, Sticky Notes don’t go to the Recycle Bin when deleted. This is because all data related to Sticky Notes are saved in its database file, which you can’t interact with the same way you do with files in Explorer. If you delete a note within the Sticky Notes app, the database will be updated to reflect this change – in other words, that note will no longer exist.

Windows 10 stores sticky notes in two locations: the local autosave folder or to the Microsoft cloud (if you logged into the app using your Outlook account).

To recover permanently deleted sticky notes on your computer, you can use a data recovery software tool like Disk Drill:

  1. Download, install and launch Disk Drill.
  2. Select and scan the drive where the autosave folder is located.
  3. Select the deleted Sticky Notes file and click Recover.
  4. Save the file to a safe folder.
  5. Move the recovered file to its original folder.

To backup your Sticky Notes in Windows 10, try these options:

  • Use your Outlook account – If you use your Outlook account with Sticky Notes, your notes will automatically be saved on Outlook’s server. You can find them in the Notes folder in the Outlook app.
  • Copy the Sticky Notes AppData folder – You can copy the data in this folder: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\ to save your Sticky Notes database in its current state.
  • Export your Outlook data – Export your Outlook Notes data (Outlook > Import/Export > Export to a File > CSV > Notes) so you can keep a copy of it in a safe location. If you ever need to access your old nates, you can import the CSV file into Outlook.

To sync Sticky Notes, you first need to create a Microsoft Outlook account, if you don’t have one. Then, sign into your account in the Sticky Notes app and it will sync on its own. In case it’s still not syncing, go to Settings (gear icon) in the upper-right corner of the Notes List. Then, click Sync Now.

Yes, there are two ways we recommend to transfer your Sticky Notes to another computer:

  • Simply log in to your Outlook account in the Sticky Notes app on the new computer and your notes will be synchronized.
  • You can transfer your local Sticky Notes database by copying its file (plum.sqlite-wal) to another computer. Make sure to copy plum.sqlite as well so you can open the database file.

When you upgrade your computer, your old data is saved to a folder called Windows.old – this includes your Sticky Notes database. Specifically, you should find your Sticky Notes data in the following path (which you can copy to another location): C:\Windows.old\Users\”Your Username”\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState


Sticky Notes is a super useful native Windows tool – but its files are prone to accidental deletion and data loss like any other. To avoid this, make sure to back up your sticky notes. You can also enable the note deletion prompt via the settings of Notes List to prevent unwanted deletion. But if worse comes to worst, you can always rely on data recovery software to get that note back.

About article

This article was written by Alejandro Santos, a Staff Writer at Handy Recovery. It was also verified for technical accuracy by Andrey Vasilyev, our editorial advisor.

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