Understanding the Sticky Notes in Windows 7 [Feature]


Sticky Notes is a new added cool tool in Windows 7, a tool that had been missing in all previous Windows, a tool that I personally think is a great handy addition to the system. Whether you want to write a to-do list, jot down a phone number, or just do anything that you’d use a pad of paper for, Sticky Notes is probably the easiest and simplest app that you can use to fulfill the needs right from your system without any installation of any 3rd party software.

image6 - Understanding the Sticky Notes in Windows 7 [Feature]

How to use it?

To open Sticky Notes, simply type “sticky notes” from Start Menu search box and hit Enter, or click the Sticky Notes icon on the taskbar if you already pin it.

To create a new or additional notes, click Next Note button, or just press Ctrl+N.

To delete a note, click the Delete Note button. If it’s the last note, it will also close the Sticky Notes application as well.

To change the color of a sticky note, right-click the note that you want to change, and pick a color.

image7 - Understanding the Sticky Notes in Windows 7 [Feature]

To format text in a note, select the text that you want to change and use one of the following keyboard shortcuts to format the text. Sorry, there is no GUI for that.

Type of formattingKeyboard shortcuts
Bold textCtrl+B
Italic textCtrl+I
Underlined textCtrl+U
Bulleted listCtrl+Shift+L (press this again to switch to a numbered list.)
Increased text sizeCtrl+Shift+>
decreased text sizeCtrl+Shift+<
Align text to the leftCtrl+L
Align text to the rightCtrl+R
Align text to the centerCtrl+E
Change text caseCtry+Shift+A

Yes, it’s quite simple. But let’s dig a bit deep down,

Where are the notes saved?

The Sticky notes are saved in a single binary file called StickyNotes.snt in your local profile folder.

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Sticky Notes

Every time you click outside a note you actually saved the notes you just wrote to the file. So you don’t need to do anything else in order to save your notes. There is also no menu for it.

And if you want to back up your note that’s the file you need to look after.

What would make it better?

After using it quite a while, I just wish Microsoft would make this little tool a bit more feature rich by adding some of the following items.

  • The ability to change the text font, or at least providing a way to set up a default font setting.
  • The ability to add multimedia content, such as pictures.
  • Have the option to make the sticky notes always stay on top.
  • A spell checker that can check my typos.
  • A sync option that can sync the notes across the network or even Internet but I guess it would be pretty hard to do in a little tool like this.

Overall, it’s a neat and useful feature that you can use on a daily basis to improve your productivity. However, if you are a heavy note jotter, you may be disappointed about the features that are useful but missing in this little app.


  1. You might want to take a look at Tomboy for Windows – it has the features you were wishing that this one did 🙂 In addition, it auto-links between different notes, wiki-style…

  2. You can add notes in different print. Just type in word processing and cut and paste in the print of choice. continue from end of note in the same print. start new line and it is sticky note print. Thanks for the info on where the file goes.
    Patty Jackson

  3. I really want to be able to pin the stick notes to my taskbar so I can see the notes all day instead of them being hidden behind my programs. I do not want them on top of my programs since I work with many screens open at a time, so on the taskbar would be fantastic.

  4. You are a lifesaver!! I just spent hours on a Christmas list for the kids and ill be damned if i didnt accidently just delete the entire thing with one accidental click of a paste! You truly saved my sanity with this article!


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