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.

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 in a hidden autosave folder on your local disk. To find your sticky notes’ location, open this path using Windows Start Menu > Run:

%LocalAppData%\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState
In earlier Windows 10 releases, Sticky Note app data is saved as a Stickynotes.snt file that you can find in C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\StickyNotes

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

CaseSolution
My Sticky Notes are synced with my Outlook accountCheck Your Outlook Account
I want to recover my Sticky Notes manuallyRestore Previous Version of Your Sticky Notes Archive File
I know that my Sticky Notes were deleted permanentlyRecover 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!

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: %LocalAppData%\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.Drive selection menu in Disk Drill
  4. Once the scan is complete,  click the Review found items button in the upper-right corner of the screen.Scan results window in Disk Drill
  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, you can input plum.sqlite in the search bar to find your file faster. Then, tick the checkbox next to the filename and click Recover.Recoverable file selection window 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.Destination folder selection dialogue in Disk Drill
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.

FAQ

Conclusion

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.