Keep track of things with Sticky Notes on your Windows Desktop

windows sticky notes

To launch Sticky Notes, click Start then point to All Programs followed by Accessories and choose Sticky Notes.

A yellow box (called a note) will appear on the Windows Desktop, and a new program button (with an icon showing a fan of three notes) will appear on the Taskbar.

Highlight a particular note by clicking on the middle of it.

To show or hide all visible notes, click the Taskbar icon. To exit, right-click the Sticky Notes program icon on the Taskbar and choose Close Window.

All open notes are saved and will reappear when it is next launched.

When highlighted, there is an X at the top-right corner of the note. Clicking this will delete the note, and a confirmation dialogue box will appear to warn of this.

To switch off this message, tick the ‘Don’t display this message again’ box – though note that this will make notes easy to delete accidentally.

Notes are not moved to the Recycle Bin, so they cannot be recovered if deleted.

For this reason, it’s best to treat them just like a real paper note – don’t rely on them to not go missing.

At the top left of the note is a Plus (‘+’) sign. This creates an identical blank new note.

Alternatively, press Control (Ctrl) and N together while a note is highlighted.

To arrange notes, click the slightly darker-coloured band at the top of the note and drag it – they can be placed freely anywhere on the Desktop.

To change the color of a note, right-click it and choose a color. Notes can be resized by clicking and dragging and dropping the bottom-right corner – if text won’t fit, a vertical scroll bar appears at the right edge.

Many common formatting keyboard shortcuts (as used in the likes of Microsoft Word) work even though they don’t appear on the context (right-click) menu, such as Control and I (italics), Control and B (bold), Control and U (underline), Control and U (underline) and Control and 2 (double line spacing).

The font cannot be changed, but text can be made bigger by repeatedly pressing Control and > (that’s an angled bracket symbol, usually on the same key as the full stop), or smaller with Control and <.

Text and web links can be copied and pasted from other programs or web pages, but not images.

To open a web link pasted in a note, press Control while clicking it.

More advanced text formatting is also possible. For example, to create a bullet-point list, type a list of words, each on a new line.

Press Control and A to select all the text. Now press and hold the Control and Shift keys together then press the L key: the list will become bulleted with dots. Press L again while still holding Control and Shift and the bullets will change to numbers.

There are six types of list format, and you can cycle through them all using this Control, Shift and L key combination.

Sticky Notes doesn’t save notes individually, but if you are confident about copying and pasting files in Windows, they can all be transferred to another Windows 10 PC.

Open Windows Explorer (press the Windows key then E) and in the address box at the top left, carefully type in %AppData%\Microsoft\Sticky Notes.

In the right-hand pane of Explorer should be a single file called StickyNotes.snt.

This contains all the sticky notes – and the file can be used to replace the same file on another Windows 10 PC (make a copy first, though). When Sticky Notes is opened, the same notes will reappear.