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I have accidentally deleted a sticky note which was very important to me. Fortunately, I have its backup inside system image created by Acronis True Image. I don't want to restore this system image physically (not even in another drive). I am unable to run it in virtual machine because it requires high resources which is not available with running system. But, I can access file system from this image. From file system, I've found StickyNotes.snt file in C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Sticky Notes. I don't want to restore this file to live system (which would delete new notes). How can I read Stick Notes content from this file (if its right file for content)? In more general, I have access to full file system.. how can I retrieve StickyNotes content from it?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Rename the local system's StickyNotes.snt file, restore the one you want to look at into C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Sticky Notes, look at at it in the local system, copy it, etc.

When you're done, copy the version you renamed back over top of the version you restored.

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Simplest is often best! Especially if there are a lot of notes to go through. – Bob Mar 4 '12 at 6:48
can you please elaborate on that solution – Yo Yo Jan 7 at 10:06

You can open the SNT file in 7ZIP. There'll be one folder for each note, where there's always 3 files: 1, 0 and 3.

The "3" file contains your data.

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File "1" contains full data in RTF (Rich Text Format) – goths Aug 8 '14 at 6:42
but how to open these 0 1 and 3 files ?? – Yo Yo Jan 7 at 8:12

Opening up the StickyNotes.snt in notepad seems to work for me. There's a load of overhead, but enough to read the content off. Its a simple, rather wierd XML file, with the stickynote contents stored in plain text. enter image description here

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No its not plain ASCII text file. I have tried opening it with both notepad as well as vim. – Evil Angel Mar 4 '12 at 6:34
Screenshot added - you may need to view the image full size what i mean – Journeyman Geek Mar 4 '12 at 6:40
Thanks, but it keeps complex URLs in creepy form.. – Evil Angel Mar 4 '12 at 6:55
By the way, do you know the exact encoding & format of this file? – Evil Angel Mar 4 '12 at 6:58
See first line of your screenshot (which is full of strange characters)... still think its a plain ASCII text with XML markup? – Evil Angel Mar 4 '12 at 7:52

Just run the free program Sticky7List from It will automatically open the proper file and will show you all your sticky notes in a list. View, copy and paste to your own text file as needed.

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Open StickyNotes.snt with 7-Zip and extract the files named 0 from each folder, adding the RTF extension to them. You can now open the notes with any RTF reader. The files named 3 may be truncated and seem unreliable.

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If all of the above fails you still have a way to restore the note from the file (if the file is still unchanged when you closed the note)

Doing just an extract will not restore your deleted/closed note.

So, your best chance is to directly open the snt file Using notepad++ (or similar editor, classic notepad is not good enough). Even if the note was closed on x, the file still holds the note and can be restored manually.

Open the nd find all occurences of "{\rtf1" (without the qotes).

This is actually the start of every note. Copy text up to the next {\rtf1 and save it into a new file.

strip all the control characters (0-32), again best way to use Notepad++, search replace using regular expressions [\x00-\x1F]+ replace with blanks.

NB: there are many curly braces { } inside the file and they must match. Every opening curly brace { must match one closing curly brace }.

if there is an unmatched curly brace it should be removed but at the end of the whole text there must be a closing curly brace }

This way you will get a standard rtf file which you can edit in MS Word.

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