How to Backup and Restore Sticky Notes Data in Windows 10

Microsoft Sticky Notes is the simple way to quickly save something for later, so you can stay in the flow. With Sticky Notes, you can create notes, type, ink, or add a picture, and stick them to the desktop.

With Windows 10 v1607, the classic desktop version of Sticky Notes is discontinued and it is transformed into a modern or UWP app with Cortana integration and other features. The Sticky Notes content is now saved to a database file named plum.sqlite.

If you want to recover your Sticky Notes data from a broken Windows 10 installation in order to transfer it to another computer, this article tells you how to do that.

Backup Sticky Notes Data in Windows 10

  1. Close Sticky Notes if it’s running.
  2. Open the following folder. The easiest way is to copy the following path, paste in Explorer address bar, and press ENTER.
    sticky notes backup plum.sqlite
    Sticky Notes data files in Windows 10 v2004/v20H2

    You’ll see these files in that folder:
  3. Backup all the files (most importantly, the database files namely, plum.sqlite, plum.sqlite-shm, and plum.sqlite-wal) to a folder. In Windows 10 versions earlier than 1809, you may see only plum.sqlite.
  4. After logging in to a new user profile, or to another Windows 10 computer, transfer the above files to the LocalState folder in your new profile. Before that, make sure that the Sticky Notes is not already running.

(The above method was last reviewed in November 2020, and verified to work on v2004 and v20H2. However, I couldn’t transfer the Sticky Notes data from a v2004 system to a v20H2 system. Whereas, the restoration was successful from a v20H2 computer → v2004 computer.)

Backup Sticky Notes (Older versions) Data

The classic desktop Sticky Notes program present in Windows 10 v1511 and earlier, and in previous Operating Systems, stores the information in a file named StickyNotes.snt in the following folder:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Sticky Notes

Convert legacy Sticky Notes file StickyNotes.snt to the new format

There is a hidden feature in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which allows transfer or conversion of legacy or classic Sticky Notes .snt file to the new format. The Sticky Notes modern app (UWP) stores the data in a database file named plum.sqlite.

Important note: The following data file conversion method doesn’t work if you have newer builds, especially v1809. If you have a legacy data file of .snt type, you’ll need to use another Windows 10 computer running Anniversary Update v1607 and follow the procedure below.

Alternately, you can get the Anniversary Update ISO image, install the Windows 10 build in a virtual environment (e.g., Oracle VM VirtualBox), and convert the legacy data file .snt to .sqlite format. Then you can transfer the files plum.sqlite (and plum.sqlite-shm, plum.sqlite-wal — if these files are present in the LocalState folder) to the LocalState folder on your target Windows 10 computer.

To convert the legacy .snt file to the new format, use these steps:

  1. Close all instances of the modern Sticky Notes, and then open this folder:
  2. Create a new folder named Legacy
    convert sticky notes data to new format
  3. Under the Legacy folder, copy your existing StickyNotes.snt
  4. Rename StickyNotes.snt to ThresholdNotes.snt
  5. Start the Sticky Notes app. It reads the legacy .snt file and transfers the content to plum.sqlite database automatically.
    convert sticky notes data to new format

Thanks to Donovon Lange, Engineering Manager – Sticky Notes [Microsoft] for this neat trick!

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

36 thoughts on “How to Backup and Restore Sticky Notes Data in Windows 10”

  1. Thank you so much. This is the first time I am writing a comment as this is the first time someone has written the correct way to solve the issue.

  2. OMG, I could kiss all of you! This has been driving me crazy for MONTHS! Worked beautifully! I LOVE smart people! Thanks! 🙂

  3. For me, it only worked when I copied the StickyNotes.snt unmarking the option ‘Hidden’ in it’s properties, before that, it would’nt work.
    Thanks for the help.

  4. When I do this and I open the new sticky notes it immediately deletes the Legacy folder and the sticky notes remain blank.

  5. Can you run both Versions, the latest App Type which got switched with the latest windows upgrade push and lost the .SNT files and the directory for it, along with the Old .exe version?

    I had a saved .SNT file I can copy if I can run both types. The old style was so much easier.

    • @Christine: Article has been updated. The procedure doesn’t work in recent builds (esp. v1809). You may need to get the v1607 ISO using Rufus, install it in virtual environment and then convert the old Sticky Notes. See “Important note” added to the article.

  6. A very easy way to transfer Sticky Notes from Win7 to Win10 is simply to copy the entire Sticky Notes folder on Win7 containing the database from Users / Appdata / Roaming / Microsoft to exactly the same place on Win10.

    But note that you must copy the folder to the same location on Win10 before you start Sticky Notes. Otherwise it will not work!

  7. “But note that you must copy the folder to the same location on Win10 before you start Sticky Notes. Otherwise it will not work!”

    If you copy only the database to Win10 and start the “Sticky Notes” in order for the
    program to create the Sticky Notes folder, this will not work.
    Then you probably have to go to “Setings/Sticky Notes/Advanced Alternatives/ and reset everything, to repair or reset the program.

  8. Good afternoon

    I have the files plum. sqlite, plum.sqlite-shm and plum.sqlite-wal of the oldest version of sticky notes, how can I open it in the new version?

    I tried but did not work.



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