The Definitive Guide to Self-Destructing Notes


Everyone has secrets. Your notes, passwords and files are no exception. If you have an important document that you don’t want people to find out about, but don’t want to get rid of it either, self-destructing notes are the way to go.

How Does It Work?

When someone reads them they will turn into an ugly hieroglyphics-looking mess. You can set it up so that the привнот note will self-destruct right after a certain amount of time or when someone opens it for the first time — whichever comes first. It’s perfect for those embarrassing pictures you find on your phone from last night or that really sensitive report in your inbox you forgot about.

But some people use it for more serious situations — like a virus on your computer or backup of all your passwords that you need to delete after they’ve been accessed. If there’s something important you have to get rid of but don’t have time to destroy it yourself, this is perfect.

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How to Use

  1. Create a file containing your “secret” note and name it something like “Honeypot”.
  2. Save the file to your Desktop.
  3. Open up your Notes application (the one that comes with OS X) and start writing away.
  4. When you’re done, open the file with the extensions “.nrt” or “textile”. You should see all of the information that you wrote become jumbled-up stuff in a matter of seconds.
  5. To delete the file, simply drag it to your Trash.
  6. To save the file so you can go back and read it, double click on it and select Save As. Call the file whatever you want and save to your Desktop.

Before You Start

To get started set up a New Note in the Notepad app and choose how long you want your note to live for by selecting “Notes” on the right-hand side. After choosing how long you want your note to be around for, hit the “Edit” button at the top-right hand corner of your screen and then tap on “Lock.

After you’re in “Lock” mode you’ll see a password field and a time limit pop up. That’s it! It’s as simple as that. The note will self-destruct automatically after that amount of time, unless someone enters the password first.


There are so many uses of self-destructing notes that we can’t list them all here, but if you want to find the best way to use them for yourself just think about how you would use a blank piece of paper.

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