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How to get started with Sticky Notes 3.0 on Windows 10

On Windows 10, Sticky Notes is an experience that allows you to create notes rather than sticking pieces of papers around the monitor or across your desk.

The app has been around since Windows Vista, but starting with the October 2018 Update (version 1809), Windows 10 introduces Sticky Notes 3.0 with an improved design (retaining the familiar look and feel) and a new home experience to organize and find all your notes. Also, this new version introduces the ability to sync your notes to the cloud, which allows you to access your notes across devices, including to your Android phone.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to get started using Sticky Notes 3.0 across devices.

How to connect Sticky Notes with your Microsoft account

Starting with this version, you can sign in to Sticky Notes using your Microsoft account to sync your notes across your devices and keep them backed up in the cloud. Here's how:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Sticky Notes, click the top result to open the experience.Quick Tip: The new version of Sticky Notes is compatible with Windows 10 version 1803 (April 2018 Update) and later. If you can't find the app on your installation, you can download it from the Microsoft Store.
  3. Click the Settings (gear) button in the top-right corner.

  1. Click the Sign in button. (Or the Sign out button if you want to stop syncing your notes.)

  1. Select the Microsoft account you're using on Windows 10.
  2. Click the Continue button.

Once you've completed the steps, your notes will upload to your Microsoft account, and they will sync across devices (including to your Android phone).

Using a Microsoft account is a requirement to backup and sync your notes, but it's not a mandatory step to use the app. However, if you start using the app without signing in, and then you link your Microsoft account your notes will upload to the cloud, and if you sign out your notes will no longer be available unless you sign back in.

How to use Sticky Notes on Windows 10

Although Sticky Notes version 3 remains similar to the legacy app, the experience has been updated with new interface changes and features.

To get started creating, editing, deleting, and organizing your notes, use the following steps:

Creating, editing, and deleting notes

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Sticky Notes, click the top result to open the experience.
  • Creating a new note: Click the plus (+) button in the top-left corner of a note, or in the home experience.

  • Changing a note color: Click the menu (three-dotted) button in the top-right corner of the note, and select the color you want (including yellow, green, pink, purple, blue, gray, and charcoal).

  • Formatting a note: Type your note, and use the toolbar at the bottom of the note to format the content. Options available, include bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, and bullets.

  • Deleting a note: Click the menu (three-dotted) button in the top-right corner of the note, and click the Delete note option.

In addition to adding content with the keyboard, Sticky Notes 3.0 includes support for Windows Ink, which means that on touch-enabled devices, you can use natural handwriting with a stylus to create notes.

Sticky Notes home

If you use Sticky Notes on a daily basis, it's easy for your desktop to get clutter with notes, and for that reason, starting with version 3.0, the experience also includes a new home to organize all your notes.

The new home is straightforward, as you create new notes, they will appear in a chronological order.

If you can't find a note, you can use the search box to find a particular note. (And yes, a emoji is also a keyword.)

If you want to edit the note, double-click it. Or click the Trash can button to delete it.

As we outlined above, at the top, you'll find a toolbar to create new notes, access the settings, and close the experience.

How to use Sticky Notes with keyboard shortcuts

Similar to previous versions, you can use keyboard shortcuts to work faster and more efficiently with Sticky Notes.

Here's the full list of keyboard shortcuts that you can use with Sticky Notes on Windows 10:

ActionKeyboard shortcut
Create new noteCtrl + N
Delete current noteCtrl + D
Close current noteCtrl + W
Move to next noteCtrl + Tab
Move to previous noteCtrl + Shift + Tab
Select all text on noteCtrl + A
Cut the selected textCtrl + X
Copy the selected textCtrl + C
Paste the textCtrl + V
Undo actionCtrl + Z
Redo actionCtrl + Y
Move one word leftCtrl + Left arrow
Move one word rightCtrl + Right arrow
Move to beginning of lineHome
Move to end of the lineEnd
Move to beginning of noteCtrl + Home
Move to end of noteCtrl + End
Delete next wordCtrl + Delete
Delete previous wordCtrl + Backspace
Close Sticky NotesAlt + F4
Bold selected textCtrl + B
Strikethrough selected textCtrl + T
Underline selected textCtrl + U
Bulleted listCtrl + Shift + L
Italic selected textCtrl + I
Right-align selected paragraphCtrl + Right Shift
Left-align selected paragraphCtrl + Left Shift

How to enable Sticky Notes insights

Insights for Sticky Notes is a feature that allows Cortana to scan your notes for information (such as dates, times, phone numbers, addresses, websites, stock symbols, flight numbers, and more), which can help you to quickly create reminders or take action based on the content that you wrote.

If you want to enable or disable insights, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Sticky Notes, click the top result to open the experience.
  3. Click the Settings (gear) button in the top-right corner.
  4. Under "General," turn on or off the Enable insights toggle switch.

After completing the steps, every time that you create content with specific data, the text will turn blue and clicking that text, you'll notice an Add Reminder, Call, View Address, or another similar option, depending on the information to take action with Cortana.

How to export Sticky Notes content

If you're about to start with a fresh copy of Windows 10, it's no longer necessary to resource to workarounds to backup your notes, thanks to the Sticky Notes' ability to sync your content to your Microsoft account (more specifically to Outlook). However, it's still possible to export your notes for safekeeping, using these steps:

  1. Open Outlook on the web.
  2. Click the Settings (gear) button in the top-right corner.
  3. Click the View all Outlook settings link.

  1. Click on General.
  2. Click on Privacy and data.
  3. Click the Export mailbox button.

Once you've completed the steps, it could take up to four days for the process to complete. After the backup is ready, you'll receive an email with the link to download the Outlook content, which also includes your sticky notes content.

How to manage Sticky Notes deletion settings

Using the experience, you can delete notes with one click, or you can use a confirmation dialog to prevent removing notes accidentally.

To enable or disable deletion confirmation on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Sticky Notes, click the top result to open the experience.
  3. Click the Settings (gear) button in the top-right.
  4. Under "General," turn on or off the Confirm before deleting toggle switch.

After completing the steps, every time you try to delete a sticky note, a confirmation dialog will appear depending on the settings you configured.

How to sync Sticky Notes with Android

In addition to syncing your notes across other Windows 10 devices, starting with Sticky Notes 3.0, you can also sync your notes to your Android phone using OneNote.

The process to sync your notes across devices is a straightforward process, you only need to be using the same Microsoft account on the devices that you want to access your notes.

Quick Tip: You can always double-check that you're using the same account on your Android device by tapping the Settings (three-dotted) > Account on OneNote.

To access your sticky notes using Android, do the following:

  1. Open OneNote.
  2. Click the Sticky Notes button in the bottom-right corner.

Once in the "All notes" interface, you can tab the note to interact with its content.

You can tap the Settings (three-dotted) button in the top-right corner to change the background color, share, or delete the note.

If you want to create a new note, click the plus (+) button, and use the toolbar at the bottom of the note to format the content.

After completing the steps, any changes that you made to Sticky Notes will sync automatically across devices.

Important: At the time of this writing, Sticky Notes for Android is only available in beta. This means that to use this feature, you must install the latest pre-release version of OneNote for Android. You can sign up on this Google Play website.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

17 Comments
  • "Use OneNote". Period.
  • The new sticky notes syncs with onenote ad some things do not merit a full entry. Also the insights are quite useful.
    I have always deplored sticly notes but with the container now and search options ita useful. I dont need a full onenote page for "call mary at 16:00" especially as onenote will not remind me.
  • Problem is inking. Between OneNote on Android and Sticky Notes on PC, inking experiences issues such as wrong scaling and repeated entries (same inked item shown multiple times on same note). But, it's a start
  • I am shocked that they haven't been able to do better. IS not adhering to dark mode! Has no option for auto start at Windows boot. Does not have the standard window controls. I feel ui consistency of first party apps becomes worse and worse.
  • Dark note is in 19h1. A lot of people hate autoatart apps, i know i do. The screen shots are sticky notes 3.0 and insider Android.
  • My OneNote apps for Android on phone and tablet do not have this Sticky Note button. In fact, neither looks like your screen shot.
  • I'm still trying to figure out how sticky notes actually works in an ecosystem. While I'm on the go, I have OneNote badge started on my Note 8, and can quickly type notes into my daily everything journal. So it goes into where I want it. Sticky notes seems like an after thought or more of a gimmick? I appreciate the guide. It just further emphasizes to me "Why are sticky notes a thing?" when there is a great option (onenote) that streamlines and makes it so much less complicated.
  • It comes down to simplicity. I'm a huge one note user, I love it and it works for me. For people who either don't use OneNote or don't need something with many functions like OneNote, then they have sticky notes.
  • Yeah, I'm a huge OneNote user, but when I want to jot something down temporarily, as you would on a real sticky note, then SN is the way to go. For things that I'll need months or years into the future, OneNote is it.
  • They are good for throwaway information rather than constant notes, like real ones. Meeting notes belong on a onenote page, a one off address of a lunch while at a conference belongs on a sticky note
  • Hey MS. Make Sticky Notes the default Notes option in MS Launcher. Or at least create it as an option.
  • As with Your Phone, Sticky Notes 3 is available for 1803, but syncing Sticky Notes with OneNote on Android is not working for me yet (from your other posts, it sounds like it's still in beta). I think the author should clarify this.
  • I will stick with the old one, I do not know why Ms needs to change it, they seem to want to bloat all the apps out with cloud stuff. MS already have at least two apps that allows people to take notes and connect to the cloud, to do and one note.
  • I'm all about syncing things among my different devices, so I like the cloud. It makes life much easier. Todo is in no way for just random notes though, it's for organizing the things you need to do. OneNote is the closest thing, but as mentioned above sticky notes are more for one off temporary info and OneNote more for long term things. People who want to just scribble something down don't need something as complex as OneNote.
  • The cloud is a disaster waiting to happen, in fact it have already happened to some people. too much information stored on other peoples computers.
    Sticky notes is fine as it is, not that I use it that often, but it is useful for sticking a note on the computer, so when I turn it back on I remember i need to do something. Instead of having little yellow sticky bits of paper hanging from the monitor,.
    But this synchronising lark is getting stupid now, Ms will want us to sync what time we went to the toilet the way it is going on.
    Lets get back to some normality and stop making everything as if it needs to be connected to the net or cloud. As I said, there are other apps to allow you to sync notes, use one of them, instead of trying to get the rest of us to use the cloud.
  • These are really handy but there needs to have a double click to roll up each note putting the first few lines of each note into their note title bar so you can have a nice organized stack of notes I stead of all open and scattered all over your desktop. Yes you could use another desktop sure, but that's just another couple steps to get to them. Take notes (not pun intended) from Mac OS. THEIR sticky notes are excellent and rollup when you double click the title bar area. Do this!
  • In notes 3.0 you have this. Notes are stacked in a single panel which can be searched.