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I'm using the Notes app that comes with my Mac, but I can't find where the notes are getting saved in the Finder.

Where can I find these files?

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Do you mean Stickies.app ? Or this app? itunes.apple.com/us/app/sticky-notes-reminders-notes/… –  Deesbek Nov 24 '13 at 4:12

4 Answers 4

I just recovered my Notes on 10.9.2 installation, the file is SQLite 3.x database located in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes/NotesV2.storedata

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In OS X 10.9 (“Mavericks”), at least, they’re not stored as individual text documents in a place where you can see them and manipulate them.

Even the notes that you choose to save “On my Mac” end up sandboxed in places like ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/CoreData/ExternalRecords/AA97DB8E-73B4-4C75-B54F-B39E5BC7521F/Note/_records/0/p6.notesexternalrecord, where ~/Library means the (usually invisible) “Library” folder that sits alongside your “Documents”, “Music” and “Pictures” folders.

You can see them by choosing Go to Folder… from the Go menu in the Finder and pasting in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/CoreData/ExternalRecords. You’ll find yourself looking at a folder with a 32-character hyphenated name, which you can open. Then open the “Note” folder and then the “_records” folder. All your notes are two levels further down.

Alternatively, use the following Terminal command:

open ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/CoreData/*/*/Note/_records

There’s not much that you can do with them, however: they are not text or .rtf files, and I suspect that moving any of these files around or changing their contents directly might very well render individual notes irrecoverable — or possibly even break the Notes.app altogether.

If you’re looking for a quick note-taking app where your files are easily findable in the Finder and stored in standard .rtf or text format (with or without Markdown), you might look at Brett Terpstra’s free nvALT or at any of the other derivatives of Notational Velocity.

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For Stickies.app, the notes data goes to ~/Library/StickiesDatabase on Mac OS X 10.7.5.

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"Where can I find these files?"

I simply did a search for "notesexternalrecord". From there, when you click on a note, it's location is listed graphically just above the Status bar of the window displaying the documents (i.e. individual notes).

Caution though, as mentioned previously, monkeying with them could cause irreversible damage to the app or the notes themselves. Always make sure you have a good backup before you mess with things like this.

David Stark

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