OS X Stickies


Ok under Mac OS 8.x 9.x your stickies are held in your preference folder in your system folder, for the life of me I cannot see where the data files are kept in Mac OS X

Does anyone have any ideas?


(Which, if you think about it, is basically the same place under OS X as it is under OS 9.)

If you double-click on this file, you'll launch Apple's Property List editor. It's not extremely intuitive how to use it, but if you poke around a bit, you should be able to figure it out.

A good place to get familiar with under OS X is the ~/Library folder (I'm assuming you know that ~/ is Unix-speak for "home directory," and that ~/Library is the "Library" folder in your home directory). The "Preferences" folder in your "Library" folder is basically the same as the "Preferences" folder under OS 9. The "Library" folder serves much the same function as the "System Folder" does under OS 9.
Ok that is where I first checked on my my but I have no file on my hard drive called stickies apart from the application its self.

I checked the ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.stickies.plist path and also the root preference folder ?

Hmm...have you used Stickies yet? (I know, that's probably a stupid question...) But I'm assuming Stickies doesn't actually create its preference file until you run it and save a sticky note.

This gives me an idea, though...it's always bothered me how, if you don't already have a note created in Stickies, it either creates a blank note when you launch it, or you get that cluster of notes telling you how great Stickies is, which would be fine if they appeared ONLY the first time you ran Stickies, but when seem to appear whenever Stickies is launched and there are no pre-existing notes. I'll have to check into that...maybe you can alter that behavior by editing the stickies.plist file.

Stickies is a Cocoa application could the data file be located in the application bundle?

I think that would make sense

I have used stickies on both my laptop and desktop mac. The laptop has a plist file but the desktop does not.

I have deleted the the standard stickies on my desktop, I still have the default notes on my laptop. I'm about to delete them.
You're SURE there's no file called com.apple.Stickies.plist in your ~/Library/Preferences folder? (Just to reiterate, and apologies if I'm insulting your intelligence, but we are talking the Preferences folder in your Library folder in your Home directory).

It's certainly not impossible that Stickies could keep its data files in the application bundle, but it seems at least a bit odd that Stickies on my system would have a data file in the Preferences folder (it's 547 bytes, and its modification date looks about right in terms of when I last used Stickies), but yours doesn't. And I'm pretty sure this has been Stickies' behavior at least since the public beta.

This is a long shot, but could there be a permissions problem with either the ~/Library folder or the Preferences folder? You might want to make sure that you have read/write/execute privileges for both folders...

Just as an experiment, you might try copying the Stickies.plist file from your laptop to your desktop computer, just to see what happens.
ok if you delete com.stickies.plist


you will not lose your notes in stickies.

I just done that on my laptop logged in as root and deleted the file made no change.

100% sure I have no file called com.apple.stickies.plist on my desktop or any file called stickies only the application I have logged in as root to check for invisibles.

I'll have to hunt around on my system some more when I get home. Unfortunately, I'm at work right now, and forced (at gunpoint) to use an NT box. I've been seeing what files are installed in my home directory by ftp-ing there, and I suppose I could do some searching for filenames by ssh-ing in and running grep or locate, but I think I'll wait until the machine in question is sitting in front of me.

I'll let you know if I come up with anything.

Just out of curiosity...why are you trying to find these data files? Just curiosity, or did you lose data somehow...?
Looks like the configuration of the program is in the plist, but the actual stuff you put into stickies is at

Looks like you're right. At least, I have a file by that name in my ~/Library folder.

I found out by ftp-ing in from work and selecting "show files starting with a '.' on server" in my Windows FTP client. If I wanted to get a listing from the terminal under OS X (I don't think there's any way to show "dot files" from the Finder), I would type:

ls -la Library/

The -l option give you a verbose columnar listing, with modification dates, sizes, permissions, etc., and the -a option shows hidden files.
This thread was a life saver.

I think that Apple should stay away from using "hidden" files especially in this case. This is really annoying. I am a Linux guy and used to .* files but sometimes I forget when it comes to using my Mac.

Thanks for the research guys,

I've recently found corrupted node structures on my new powerbook G4. So its a complete re-installation. Good in one way is that I can now partition the system and optimise it.

I have been working with clients the past two weeks and have stickies galore that I need to restore. I have of course created a PDF of them all through Preview, but you've sourced the databse file :) .

As I am backing up the entire Users Directory, and will be partitioning the Disk in this next installation. I'm safe in knowing that the Stickies will be present upon restoring my users folder into the new OSx partition.

Saved me a lot of worry, cheers !
I know this is abit off the current question, but it fits the subject.

Is it possable if I'm sitting at my computer and want to place a sticky note on another system?

D. R.
I think this is possible with AppleScript. The only problem is that Stickies isn't scriptable, yet (maybe in Jaguar?). You could, however, make stuff show up using TextEdit.

it works something like this:

tell "Application" of machine "machine IP address in the form "eppc://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx""
-- script goes here
end tell

To set up a machine for remote AppleScript:

1. Open System Preferences
2. Go To Sharing
3. Check "Allow Remote Apple Events" in the Applications tab.

that's from <http://osx.blogspot.com/2002_05_05_osx_archive.html>

see also <http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75231> "Mac OS X AppleScript: Scripting Remote Applications"

search Google for
"remote apple events" applescript "os x"