Instructions for installing a Tomboy Windows release


Note 1 - Please see for some hints about getting Tomboy working under Windows. In particular, the version of GTK# may be critical.

Note 2 - You may like to consider tomboy-ng instead, it runs on Windows with no dependencies !

  1. As of version 1.15.5 Tomboy is tested to work on Windows 7, 8/8.1 and 10.
  2. Firstly, install the GTK+ libs version 2.24.10 from here. Accept the suggested defaults.

  3. Then install the newest GTK# from here. You want "GTK# for .NET", not the 32 or 64-bit Mono package. Accept the suggested defaults.

    NOTE: if for whatever reason you don't want to add libraries to your PATH by default - you'll need to create a TOMBOY_PATH_PREFIX variable and add paths to installed libs there.

  4. You might need to restart your system, so if GTK+ or GTK# installer asks you to do that - agree and restart.
  5. Install Tomboy from the Windows Installer (the MSI file) you've downloaded via Download page. Windows will need you to tell it to proceed with the install because it's from an Unknown Publisher:

    If you have SmartScreen enabled, you will get a scary blue screen saying Windows has protected your PC, click "more" to see a "Run anyway" button:

  6. You can now start Tomboy from the shortcut on your Desktop, that will put an icon on your System Tray (maybe look under "more apps"). You will see lots of things to do by left- or right-clicking that icon.
  7. If you find Tomboy half as good as we expect, you will probably want to add the shortcut to the Startup List. Run->shell:startup and drag a copy of the shortcut into the list area.

  8. Enjoy!

Windows 7 or earlier

If you are using Windows 7 or earlier, then it's likely you will have an older version of .NET than 4.5. See this for instructions. Tomboy requires .NET 4.5 or greater.

Importing notes from other machine

If you already use Tomboy on a different machine and want to move your notes without using synchronization of notes - read this section. If you use synchronization and copy notes between computers, the synchronization server will get confused about what notes were changed where, so don't copy notes around, just use the synchronization plugin to export/import between machines.

  1. On your old box, copy all of the *.note files from your notes directory.

  2. On your new box, quit Tomboy.
  3. On your new box, copy all the *.note files from old box into your notes directory.


Upgrading only requires step 5 above unless your existing Tomboy is earlier than 1.3.2. If you have the earlier version:

  1. Back up your notes just in case. The upgrade process should not harm those, but you can never go wrong with a backup of your precious information.

  2. Uninstall Tomboy.
  3. Proceed with step 5 of the installation instruction above. Most probably your GTK+ and GTK# versions will suffice, if not the installer will inform you.


If Tomboy does not start up as expected, try running from a command prompt and watch the messages that (should) appear.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Tomboy\Tomboy.exe" --debug

If the messages indicate missing DLL files, again at the command prompt, type the command "path". The result should mention both GTK+ and Gtk# installation directories you've used, check they are indeed there and contain files. If not, you may be best to remove Tomboy, GTK# and GTK+ and reinstall as above. And reboot. If you've used the TOMBOY_PATH_PREFIX approach, the command to check the variable is echo %TOMBOY_PATH_PREFIX%. If neither of that works, please log a bug report.

Building the code yourself

We've written a guide for Building Tomboy on Windows.

Apps/Tomboy/Installing/Windows (last edited 2019-03-06 08:45:01 by David Bannon)