I have lost my Android phone but I have backup of my SD-card on which I have backup of my ColorNote app. How can I get all my notes from that backup?

NOTE: I am using iPhone now so don't have a Android device for now.

  • 1
    What backup you have? Backed up from Titanium or backed up using ColorNote's backups to SD card functionality? Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 9:49
  • backup from ColorNote's backups to SD. Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 10:14
  • but if you know how to retrive it from Titanium backup please also let me know that. Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 10:17
  • Restoring with Titanium is only possible if you have a backup from Titanium. Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 10:20
  • ya but what if i dont have any anroid devise ..as i said i am using Iphone. so can it be done on my PC Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 10:23

9 Answers 9


Yes you can, but it will be a bit convoluted: ColorNote's notes can only be exported from the SQLite colornote.db file, but it's not available from the sd card backups. So we will have to do it in two steps: first reimport the sd card backup into the ColorNote app, then extract the generated colornote.db SQLite file (note that you must have rooted your phone to access the SQLite file, but you can do it on the BlueStacks emulator). Here's the walkthrough, inspired greatly by this post by Danyil Bohdan and this one:

  1. Install ColorNote on an Android device. Since you don't have an Android phone, you can use BlueStacks to emulate an Android phone on your computer.

  2. Open ColorNote and import your sd card backup file. Remember that you have to disable cloud syncing in order to show the Restore option as per the ColorNote's FAQ.

  3. Check that your notes are correctly restored inside ColorNote by opening them. If they seem ok, continue to next step.

  4. Install Total Commander for Android on your phone or BlueStacks emulator.

  5. Open Total Commander and browse the root/filesystem partition and then browse to /data/data/com.socialnmobile.dictapps.notepad.color.note/databases/. You need root rights to access /data/data, but in the BlueStacks emulator it should be easy to do. Inside this folder, copy the file colornote.db to your SD card slot (I don't know how it works inside BlueStacks but you should have the possibility to setup a virtual SD card or send directly to your computer).

  6. Transfer the colornote.db file to your computer (either via USB if you're using an Android phone, or by copying the file from the BlueStacks emulator).

  7. Open colornote.db with a SQLite browser of your choice. A good open source and portable app for that is sqlitebrowser. You should now see something similar to this screen:

sqlitebrowser opening colornote.db

  1. Click on the Execute SQL tab (highlighted in red above) and execute the following sql statement:

    SELECT date(created_date / 1000,'unixepoch'),date(modified_date / 1000,'unixepoch'),note FROM notes ORDER BY _id

  2. You should now see a list of records below the sql statement, and you can click on the little floppy disk icon on the right to export into CSV, as shown here:

sqlitebrowser exporting colornote.db into .csv file

  1. Open the .csv file into a UNIX friendly editor such as Notepad++ (else there won't be any line returns) and check if the content of your notes was correctly exported. They should be stored in chronologically ascending order (from oldest to newest at the bottom).

  2. You can then import your .csv file in most programs or keep it as a readable backup of your notes.

Note that this technic works for most applications, since most Android apps use SQLite to store their databases (exception being some apps like WhatsApp which uses SQLite but encrypted to, of course, avoid leaking your private data to anyone).

  • 1
    Wanted to add my recent experience with this. I used BlueStacks on MacOS and was unable to find/access colornote.db, I assume due to root issues? I tried finding how to root BlueStacks but couldn't find any convenient solutions. So I ended up writing a python script to automate my mouse clicking through each note and copy/pasting to a file...very brute force, but it worked. If anyone has any info on how to root BlueStacks, that would be helpful to add here for others
    – booshong
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 18:57
  • Sorry @Ian I have no idea how to root MacOS (or if that's the culprit). Glad you could find a workaround, please consider posting your own answer along with the code as it can certainly help others? Also I have stopped using ColorNotes, and switched to Writer Plus, a Markdown writer which also stores directly .md files in the filesystem so it's super easy to backup. Since then I had no issues at all for years.
    – gaborous
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 13:28
  • You could do the same with oneliner in terminal (install sqlite beforehand) sqlite3 colornote.db "SELECT date(created_date / 1000,'unixepoch'),date(modified_date / 1000,'unixepoch'),note FROM notes ORDER BY _id;" > colornote.txt
    – lucidyan
    Commented Mar 6 at 1:20

You need another Android phone.

You can either:

  • Restore your ColorNote's TiBackup on another phone
  • Install ColorNote on another Android phone and view one of your backups (Go to settings->sdcard backup, then choose one and 'view' it)
    ColorNote's backup is in /sdcard/data/colornote/ (if you need to copy it to your new phone)
  • I dont have an anroid phone I want to do it on my pC Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 10:31
  • 1
    You forgot to mention this in your question. Seems like this isn't possible.
    – ce4
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 10:40
  • 1
    @Champ, The only way this will be possible is to have an android phone. If you don't have an android phone there is no way for you to get the data, unless you know how to extract TiBackups on your PC. There is not currently an app that does this, AFAIK. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 0:22
  • The files created by TiBackup are just tgz archives, you can unpack them easily. In case of an encrypted Backup: github.com/bhafer/TitaniumBackupDecrypt/blob/master/README.md
    – ce4
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 20:28

To restore your notes from SD card which were backed up using ColorNote's Backup to SD card functionality you can try this.

Install ColorNote app and then go to Backup select SD Card Backup. See if your earlier backups from SD card are listed there. If they are, select the one and your notes will be restored.

I have tried this using the same SD card, in your case you have a backup of it so I am not sure but I guess it should work. Let me know how it helps.

  • I dont have an anroid phone I want to do it on my pC Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 10:31
  • I doubt if you can do this as ColorNote doesn't have a desktop counterpart, and the backups it created are not human-readable. So if possible you can try using a friend's phone to restore you notes. Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 10:45
  • @Champ This is one of the reasons why I recently switched to Evernote. It syncs your data and you can access if from anywhere using a browser. I liked ColorNote for its simplicity but there's no way to access it from PC. :( Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 11:06

It is easy to restore ColorNote backup files from PC:

  1. Connect you Android phone (or tablet) in MTP mode
  2. Open connected Android phone folder on your PC
  3. Locate "data/colornote/backup" folder on the Android device and copy your backup files to that folder
  4. Open Colornote on your Android device and go to Backup, select SD Card Backup, touch the saved backup data and restore it.

If your Android has a SD card, you could just plug the card into PC and copy the files. On my Colornote versions, the backup restore deletes previous files.


In my case the program had problem finding my backup after upgrading from Android 2.3 to 4.2.

The backups were in sdcard1/data/colornote/backup and I needed to copy them to external_sd/data/colornote/backup for the program to find them.


There is also another solution. If you download the app "Evernote" on your phone. You will then have two note apps; color note and evernote.

Then click on a note you want to keep. On my phone, HTC wildfire, you can press a "menu" button once you've accessed the particular note; And then you can choose "Share" or in my language "Send". You will then be able to send the particular note from "colornote" to "Evernote". "Evernote" is accessible for an iphone and an android phone, and the app enables you to transfer notes from different devices.

Good Luck!

  • Welcome to Android Enthusiasts. While this would be a good answer, the original question states that they do not have an Android phone. In which case, this would not work for them, but hopefully it will help others that still do have an android phone. Thanks for contributing. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 0:39
  • Even if they don't have an Android device, this can be used on an emulator such as BlueStacks, the main problem being to recover the notes in a readable format for a computer, so this is a good entry I think.
    – gaborous
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 10:47

Hi I found the answer to lot's of peoples problems on restoring colornote files. Transfering from one mobile to another, I Tried everything but like most people I could see them on the phone's sd card but I could not read the files, this is how I managed. If you have files backed up to an external HDD copy the colornote data folder to the phone's sd card, open colornote go to settings & sign out of online sync (this is the secret), while in settings go to sd card back up and select the first one of your file's when you select the file it gives the option to restore. Hit restore and all your files will then show in colornote. If any files are locked it will require that you enter the password I just used the same as used on my old phone and I could then open and read the files.


You can install Android emulator (such as www.bluestacks.com/) Install there ColorNote and send notes to email or save them to a file.


I created a tool for decrypting backups when I wanted to export my old notes: https://github.com/olejorgenb/ColorNote-backup-decryptor

Not sure if it works on files created by newer versions of ColorNote. The files I successfully decrypted was 3-4 years old.

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