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How to Recover Disappeared/Deleted Sticky Notes

Updated to Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips by Amy on May 15, 2024 | Approved by Nancy

Sticky Notes, the virtual version of our beloved paper reminders, have become an integral tool for many of us to quickly jot down ideas, tasks, or essential notes throughout our workday. However, what happens when these notes disappear due to a bug/glitch or are accidentally deleted? In this post, we guide you through the steps to recover Sticky Notes in Windows 10 and 11 and ensure your important information is not lost In the future.

Understanding Sticky Notes Data

Firstly, it's crucial to understand that Sticky Notes data is stored differently than traditional files. Instead, it's kept in a special database file (plum.sqlite or StickyNotes.snt) or, in some cases, linked to your Microsoft account (for recent versions of Windows). So, before we dive into the recovery process, it's essential to understand where Sticky Notes are stored in Windows 11/10/8/7:

Knowing these locations can help you access, backup, or retrieve a deleted or lost Sticky Notes more efficiently. In addition, understanding the reason for the loss will also help you complete the process quickly. Next, let us take a look.

Why Do Your Sticky Notes Disappear?

You might experience the loss of Sticky Notes on your computer for several reasons. Here are some common reasons for Sticky Notes loss:

Understanding these common reasons can more efficiently help you choose an appropriate solution.

How to Restore Sticky Note that Disappears or Doesn't Display Correctly

It can be frustrating to have a Sticky Note suddenly disappear or display errors in Windows 11/10/8/7, but here are some things you can do to try to get it back:

Method 1: Check Notes List

Sometimes, the disappearance of Sticky Notes is caused by the program closing unexpectedly, not starting, or other failures. In that case, this method will help. Here is a guide:

  1. Click the "Start" button and type "Sticky Notes."

  2. After finding this App, select "Notes List" to check the disappeared items.

  3. Double-click it to re-pin it to the desktop.

Method 2: Relink Your Account

Account errors are also one of the reasons why notes are not displayed correctly. To do this, please follow the steps below to check your configuration:

  1. Open the Microsoft Sticky Notes application.
  2. Click "Settings" (gear icon) in the upper right corner.

  3. Log out of your current account and log in again.

Tip: To Sticky Notes recover on Android, iOS, or other devices, please click "Settings > Sync Now."

Method 3: From the User Directory

You can find them in this directory if you weren't using a Microsoft account and your notes are missing for unknown reasons. Here's how to recover Sticky Note:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click the "View" tab at the top menu and check "Hidden items."

  3. Go to the Sticky Notes stored location
  4. Find the "StickyNotes.snt" or "plum.sqlite" file.

  5. Copy it to a safe location and open it using Sticky Notes to inspect the contents.

Tip: You can also try opening this file with Notepad and copying what you need into a new Note.

Method 4: Use Previous Versions

If you've previously set up the file history or system backup feature on Windows, restoring disappeared Sticky Notes in Windows 10 or 11 can be straightforward:

  1. Locate the folder where Sticky Notes stores data based on your system version.
  2. Right-click this folder and select "Restore previous versions."

  3. Choose the most recent copy in the "folder version" and click "Restore."

  4. Re-open Sticky Notes after replacing these files to check for missing items.

Method 5: From Windows System Backup

If all the above methods fail, this method to recover Sticky Notes in Windows 10, 11, and more can be your last hope. Here are steps:

  1. Go to the Control Panel and go to "System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7)."
  2. Click "Restore My Files" and follow the instructions to complete the process.

Tip: When selecting a specific folder to restore, you should choose the folder where the Sticky Notes database is located.

How to Recover Deleted Sticky Notes in Windows 10/11

Although the way Sticky Notes is stored means that recovery requires a different approach than traditional undelete files in Windows 10 and 11, you can still try the following methods:

Method 1: Use the Undo Feature

If you accidentally deleted notes, you can get it by using the undo feature (Ctrl + Z) immediately after deletion.

Method 2: From Outlook

Although Outlook does not handle notes directly, if you were using Outlook in conjunction with OneNote and your Sticky Notes were synced to OneNote, you might be able to restore deleted Sticky Notes from Outlook:

  1. Log in to Outlook using the same account.
  2. Click the "Folder" option in the left panel and find the "Notes" tab.

  3. Click to find the Sticky Note you accidentally deleted.
  4. Copy the content to a new note.

Method 3: By Backup

This method requires you to back up the note's database file using File History or create a system restore point before deleting it. If you have such conditions, please go to get back a Sticky Note from "Previous Versions" or "System Backup."

Method 4: Try a Recovery Tool

If the above methods don't work, you can try using data recovery software. These tools scan your system for "lost" data, including your Sticky Notes database file. However, acting quickly is important because the more you use your computer after the data loss, the lower your chances of recovery.

A. iBeesoft Data Recovery

It is a simple and powerful search tool; with its help, you can easily complete this process. Here are steps on how to recover deleted Sticky Notes on Windows 10/11:

  1. Download and install this program.
  2. Select your system drive and click "Scan."

  3. Go to the location of the Sticky Notes database and find "StickyNotes.snt" or "plum.sqlite."
  4. Select it and click "Recover" to save it to your computer.

  5. Open the folder from step 3 and copy it into it.
  6. Reopen Sticky Notes to view them.

B. Windows File Recovery Tool

It is a command line utility developed by Microsoft to unerase Windows 10 and 11. Here's how to restore Sticky Note using it:

  1. Download and install it from Microsoft Store.
  2. Right-click on the Windows File Recovery Tool and select "Run as administrator."
  3. Type "winfr C: D /n *.snt *.sqlite" and Enter.

  4. Open drive D and locate the "Recovery_Date" folder.
  5. Copy the "StickyNotes.snt" or "plum.sqlite" file to where Sticky Notes stores the files.

Above are all the practical solutions for retrieving disappeared or deleted sticky notes in Windows 11/10/8/7. However, a problem with the program itself can also cause your notes to be lost. To do this, keep scrolling down.

How to Solve Sticky Notes Cannot Be Opened or Logged

It's common to encounter issues like Sticky Notes not opening or logging in. Such problems can disrupt your workflow and lead to frustration. But fret not, here are some troubleshooting you can take to resolve the problem:

1. Restart Your Computer

A simple restart can sometimes resolve temporary software glitches that may prevent Sticky Notes from opening or logging.

2. Check Task Manager

  1. Press "Ctrl + Shift + Esc" to open Task Manager.
  2. Look for any instances of Sticky Notes under the "Processes" tab and end those tasks. Then try reopening Sticky Notes.

3. Update Sticky Notes

Check for updates to the Sticky Notes app in the Microsoft Store. If so, please update it to the latest version, which may resolve compatibility issues.

4. Check Windows Updates

Check and install any pending updates to ensure that your operating system is up to date. This will often address compatibility issues that may be causing problems with Sticky Notes.

5. Reset Sticky Notes

  1. Open the Settings app in Windows.
  2. Navigate to "Apps" and locate the Sticky Notes app.
  3. Click "Advanced options" and "Reset" the app. This will reset it to its default state, potentially fixing any opening issues.

6. Reinstall Sticky Notes

If the problem persists, consider uninstalling Sticky Notes through the Settings app and reinstalling it from the Microsoft Store.

7. Check for Corrupted User Profile

Create a new user account and try opening Sticky Notes from that account. If it works, the issue may be related to your user profile.

By following these steps, you can troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue of Sticky Notes being unable to open or log in on your Windows system.

Tips for Preventing Sticky Notes Loss

Prevention is always better than cure, so here are a few tips to avoid losing your Sticky Notes in the future:

Conclusion

Losing your Sticky Notes can be a stressful experience, especially if they contain important information, but getting them back is often possible with the right approach. Whether through account sync, directory restoration, built-in Windows tools, or third-party recovery tools, there's hope to recover Sticky Notes in Windows 10/11. Moving forward, take precautions to ensure your notes are backed up or synced, offering peace of mind that your information is safe and recoverable, no matter what happens.

FAQs

  • First, don't panic. Stop using your PC to avoid overwriting the space where your Sticky Notes were stored. Then, check the Sticky Notes directory to see if the files remain. If not, consider using file recovery software or restoring from a backup if available.

  • First, try restarting your computer. If that doesn't work, check if the Sticky Notes app needs updating in the Microsoft Store. Lastly, try opening the Sticky Notes app to trigger a sync, which may restore your notes.

  • Ensure that you have enabled the option to view hidden files in File Explorer. The file might have been deleted or moved if you still can't find it. Try using a file recovery tool to locate it.

  • Recovering deleted Sticky Notes after a system restore can be challenging because a system restore might roll back your system and settings to a previous state. However, if you have backed up your Sticky Notes or your system automatically created a restore point, you can find them by the backup.

  • Data recovery after format Windows 10 or 11 is less likely but possible. But, without backup, you must rely on tools or services.

  • Suppose you recently upgraded your OS and have a Windows.old folder. You might find your old Sticky Notes there. Navigate to the same path in the Windows.old directory to check.

  • Yes, with the latest versions of Sticky Notes on Windows 10 and 11, you can sync your notes across devices using a Microsoft account. This feature ensures your notes are backed up in the cloud and allows you to access them from any device signed in to your Microsoft account.