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How to recover lost notes on iPhone

face Blake Sullivan Updated on Apr 15, 2022 4:54 PM

This article explains how to recover lost notes on an iPhone in several ways. Instructions apply to all iOS device models. Here's how.

A nightmare: Lost most of notes on iPhone. The Notes app makes it simple to take note on our iPhone, and most of the time, we use it to create to-do lists and grocery shopping lists, jot down recommended books, keep thoughts or anything else you can think of. So when the notes lost from iPhone for some reason, it can come as a big shock.

But if you do lose notes on your device, there's no need to moan and groan. Instead, try these methods to recover lost notes on iPhone.

How to recover recently deleted iPhone notes

A very common cause of notes loss is unintentionally deleting the notes in the Notes app. Thus, when you realized you have deleted a note or a bulk of notes that are still useful (even though you don't know how long they've been deleted), the very first step would be check the "Recently Deleted" folder and check if you can find the lost notes there.

The "Recently Deleted" folder holds all the deleted notes only for 30 days, so if you don't recover the iPhone notes in this folder within 30 days, the notes will be permanently deleted. Note, however, that if you're not using upgraded Notes, you can't see the "Recently Deleted" folder anyway.

To recover lost notes on iPhone using the Notes app, follow these steps:

1. Navigate to Notes app. Then, tap Back (the greater-than sign) and you will see the Folder list.

2. Tap "Recently Deleted" under "iCloud" or "On My iPhone".

3. If you find the notes you need, click on Edit on the top right corner and check the box next to the note you wish to retrieve.

4. Tap "Move To..." > "Notes" to move the notes on "Recently Deleted" folder to the Notes list. And after a while, you should be able to view the recovered notes.

It's also important to know that only if you deleted the notes synced to iCloud or saved on your iPhone, you can retrieve the deleted notes on iPhone from the "Recently Deleted" folder. If you deleted the notes associated with your email account (like Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook), you should go to the Mail app and get them back from the "Trash" folder.

By the way, if you have synced your iPhone notes to iCloud, you can also check the "Recently Deleted" folder in iCloud.com.

1. Open your web browser, then go to iCloud.com.

2. Enter your Apple ID and you'll be greeted with the interface like the picture below.

3. Click on "Recently Deleted".

4. After that, you'll see all the deleted notes there. Then, you can click the notes you want to recover, and hit Recover.

How to restore lost notes from iPhone backups

If you can't find the lost iPhone notes in the "Recently Deleted" folder of Notes app, it's most likely that the notes have been permanently deleted from your iPhone, no matter you empty the folder or it automatically delete the notes after 30 days. Don't despair, you can forge ahead with recovering lost iPhone notes from your iCloud or iTunes backup files.

However, you won't be able to recover lost notes in case you did not back up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes unless you get help from a third-party program. Read our in-depth guide to recover lost iPhone notes without backup.

There are two kinds of users: one kind prefer selectively restoring iPhone notes from iCloud or iTunes backup, others prefer restoring full data from the Apple backups. But regardless of which you prefer, we'll cover you:

  • Recover specific notes lost on iPhone from iCloud/iTunes backups without erasing your iPhone
  • Recover lost notes on iPhone from iCloud backup
  • Recover lost notes on iPhone from iTunes backup

Recover specific notes lost on iPhone from iCloud/iTunes backups without erasing your iPhone

You might mind restoring notes from iCloud or iTunes backup as this method requires you to restore full data and causes the data produced after the latest backup to be overwritten. Fortunately, with iPhone Data Recovery, you are able to select any lost notes to recover with freedom.

There's a lot to like about iPhone Data Recovery - it offers support for recovering data from device's internal memory, iCloud backups and iTunes backups, and its deep scan feature is especially powerful that finds all kinds of lost data. It's also a great choice for those who want to check what data have been deleted since it has a preview function. Furthermore, it grants you to selectively choose notes or other data to recover.

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With the help of the software, you can easily recover lost iPhone notes.

1. Fire up the tool on your computer, and click on Recover from iCloud. Then, the interface will prompt you to sign in to iCloud. Just type your Apple ID and password.

Tip: If two-factor authentication is set up on your iPhone, you should authenticate your identity and enter iCloud using the verification code sent to your device.

2. From here, you're able to choose what data to scan. To restore lost notes from iCloud backup, just click iCloud Backup, and then hit Start.

3. The software won't scan your iCloud backup immediately. Next, you need to select an iCloud backup file to scan. Just click Downloaded next to the iCloud backup you want to scan.

Pro tip: We recommend you choose the backup that most likely store the lost iPhone notes. If you're not sure, you can randomly select any one file, click Downloaded to scan, and use the preview function of the software to check.

4. A window will pop up, allowing you to select certain file type to scan. Here, you should check the box next to "Notes", and then click Next.

5. It will take some time to scan your notes stored in the iCloud backup. Once finished, you will preview a list of notes. You can now select all notes to restore, or tick the box of the notes you wish to recover.

6. By now, you can click Recover. Before the restoration begins, you need to select a designated location to save your output folder. Remember the location and then hit Recover.

You're done.

To help you selectively restore lost iPhone notes from iTunes backup with the software, we have you for the easy-to-read steps:

  • Open the software, and click on Recover from iTunes Backup.
  • Select the iTunes backup file you want to scan, and hit Start.
  • Once the scan finished, check the box of "Notes" and enable the boxes of the iPhone notes you wish to restore from the list.
  • Click on Recover.

Watch Video: How to Retrieve Deleted Notes from iPhone without Losing Data

Recover lost notes on iPhone from iCloud backup

It's a good thing that you get into the habit of backing up your iPhone notes to iCloud. But keep in mind if you just sync Notes to iCloud, they are not included in the iCloud backup. To be specific, if you have turned on "Notes" in iCloud, it means that notes are syncing (you're doomed if you insist on using this method in this case); if not, the notes are backed up to iCloud, and just read on.

Caution again: You can't see the content in the iCloud backup, and hence you have to do a full or none restoration. Plus, you need to factory reset your iPhone if you decide to restore lost data from iCloud.

1. Firstly, you should make sure if you've backed up your iPhone data recently. Just tap Settings > [Your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.

2. If you've done, go back to the main interface of Settings, and then tap General > Reset > Reset All Settings. You're required to enter your password and then tap Reset All Settings to proceed.

3. After the iPhone reset is completed, you would see the interface as below. And you should tap Restore from iCloud Backup. Then, you need to sign into iCloud to choose which backup file to restore.

4. Finally, the lost notes should be recovered to your iPhone. Just navigate to Notes app to check that.

If the size of your iCloud backup file is big, you have to wait for a long time. You can do other things during this time expect fiddling with your iPhone.

Recover lost notes on iPhone from iTunes backup

Likewise, retrieving lost iPhone notes from iTunes is also an all or nothing issue. And you can't access the backup to preview the stored data. So if you're confident your lost notes are backed up to iTunes, this method could be doable.

1. Connect your iPhone to Windows or Mac using a USB cable. Then, open iTunes.

2. After a while, the iPhone icon will appear on the upper left corner of the screen. Just click the icon.

3. Make sure "Summary" is selected - when it is, you should see "Backups" tab on the right screen. And then click Restore Backup.... If you've encrypted the backup, just enter the password.

4. Sometime later, you can go to your Notes app to find the lost iPhone notes.

Other ways to get back lost iPhone notes

Chances are you arrived in this part because you have tried the methods above but the problem persists. Luckily right now there're still some other ways to recover lost iPhone notes.

Alternative 1: Check whether or not you've turned off "Notes" in the Mail account settings or you've deleted the mail account. If you keep your notes in third-party account, such as Yahoo, Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, etc., you can try this way.

Just go to Settings > Notes > Accounts, tap the email account you want to check, and toggle on the switch of "Notes". If you find your frequently used account is deleted, tap Add Account to add it back.

Alternative 2: It's possible that there're many notes on the Notes app and you can't find the one you need easily, so you thought that they were lost. Don't worry. Just go to Notes app, tap Back icon at the top left corner. Then, you'll see a search bar at the top and you can type a word or phrase from the note you're looking for.

Alternative 3: You can also manually search the note on the Notes app. Open Notes app, tap "Notes", and then scroll down the screen until you see the notes you need.

Conclusion

You may never know when or why the notes lost from your iPhone. But, if you've backed up the notes on a regular basis, you could retrieve them with ease.

So, don't ignore the backup task. Otherwise, you will embark on a painful journey to recover lost iPhone notes.

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