How to Use Sticky Notes in Windows 10

Notetaking made simple

Woman placing sticky note on laptop screen

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Colorful sticky notes are a helpful way to help you remember important items, and Windows has its own version of virtual desktop notes available. Learn how to get sticky notes on Windows 10 and how to use the Sticky Notes app for Windows.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

How to Get Sticky Notes on Windows 10

The Sticky Notes app is built-in to Windows 10, so there's nothing you need to do to download it. But, if Sticky Notes was inadvertently deleted from your computer, you can download it from the Microsoft Store.

You can also use Sticky Notes in Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

  1. Type "sticky" into the Windows search box in the lower-left corner of the screen. The Sticky Notes app should appear to the left of the search results.

    Screenshot of Sticky in Windows search
  2. Select Open to begin using the app. The Welcome to Sticky Notes window will open.

    Screenshot of Open in Sticky Notes App menu

    Select Pin to Start or Pin to Taskbar to keep the app readily accessible for future use.

  3. Select Get Started to begin using the Sticky Notes app with the Microsoft account to which you are logged in. Alternatively, select Use Another Account to log in with a different Microsoft account and continue.

    Screenshot of Welcome to Sticky Notes

    By signing in with your Microsoft account, your notes are synced with your other devices, Outlook, and anywhere else you sign in.

  4. Wait while you're logged in. The Sticky Note app will open with a new note ready to use.

How to Create New Sticky Notes on Windows 10

When you have the Sticky Notes app open, select the Plus (+) in the upper-left corner of the Sticky Notes window to create a new note.

When a new note opens, type the information you want onto the body of the note. It will automatically be saved to the app, even if you close the note. Open the notes list to browse for a note or search for a keyword or phrase in the Search box.

Screenshot of New Note button in Windows Sticky Notes

If you don't have the app open, but you have it pinned to your taskbar, right-click the app in the taskbar and select New Note.

How to Format Sticky Notes

Customize the text, change the appearance of a sticky note, or add an image to a sticky note, if desired.

  1. Open a new Sticky Note and select the three dot Menu icon in the upper-right corner.

    Screenshot of Sticky Note menu button
  2. Choose the color you wish to apply to the current note.

    Screenshot of color options in Sticky Notes menu
  3. Select any text you want to format and choose a formatting option at the bottom of the note window. Options include:

    • Bold
    • Italic
    • Underline
    • Strikethrough
    • Bullets
    Screenshot of formatting text in a sticky note
  4. To add an image to a sticky note, select the Add Image icon in the lower-right section of the note, navigate to the image on your computer, then select Open.

    Screenshot of Add Image on sticky note

    To remove an image from a note, right-click the picture, select Delete Image, then confirm you want to delete the picture.

  5. Close the note and the app when you're finished.

How to Use Sticky Notes With Cortana

Cortana is the virtual assistant available in Windows 10. By enabling Insights in the Sticky Notes app, Cortana can scan the notes in your list to find what you need, looking for anything from dates and phone numbers to addresses and websites. Cortana can use this information to simplify acting on your notes or to create reminders on your behalf.

  1. Open the Sticky Notes app.

  2. Select the Settings gear icon in the upper-right area of the app window. The Sticky Notes settings will open within the window.

    Screenshot of Settings icon in Sticky Notes app window
  3. Scroll down to the General section, then toggle Enable Insights to On.

    Screenshot of Enable Insights in Sticky Notes settings
  4. Return to the primary window.

  5. Open an existing note or create a new note that includes information for Cortana to pick up on, such as an address, time, date, or even a word referring to a time or date, such as "tomorrow." These words and phrases now appear to be hyperlinked.

    Screenshot of hyperlinks in Sticky Note
  6. Select a hyperlinked word or phrase to view a suggested action from Cortana. For instance, an Add Reminder prompt will appear if you select a time and date.

    Screenshot of reminder prompt in Sticky Notes