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Fix iPad notes disappeared and recover lost or deleted notes on iPad (Mini, Air, Pro)

Blake Sullivan Updated on Jun 23, 2022 4:07 PM

If you're in the habit of using Notes app on your iPad to draw and create to-do lists or take a note to record the meeting by adding documents, photos, videos, web links or other attachments, at some point you may find notes missing without any notification.

While there're several causes behind the iPad notes disappeared issue such as accidental deletion and incorrect email settings, a few simple fixes can make the lost notes appear as normal. If the problem persists, see if there's a backup available for the lost notes on iPad, or consider using an iPad notes recovery tool to get back the notes without backups (Below is the download link).

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

What you'll find out in this page is:

1. Why notes disappeared from iPad (Mini, Air, Pro)

2. How to fix missing notes on iPad (Mini, Air, Pro)

  • Tweak account settings
  • Look into Recently Deleted folder
  • Check Trash folder in Mail app
  • Find disappeared notes using search bar in Notes app
  • Manually search folders in Notes app

3. How do I recover lost notes on my iPad (Mini, Air, Pro) - the notes were deleted permanently

  • How to retrieve deleted notes on iPad without backup
  • How to restore notes from backup in iTunes and iCloud

Why notes disappeared from iPad (Mini, Air, Pro)

Here're some instances that can help establish what might be causing notes disappearing issue:

  • Some of notes were missing from iPad Notes app after an iOS or iPadOS upgrade.
  • Notes get deleted by accidentally tapping Delete button.
  • All old notes disappeared after deleting email accounts from iPad.
  • Notes app went missing and half of the notes were gone.
  • iPad deleted the notes that I'm typing randomly due to the Notes app acts wacky.
  • Notes sometimes suddenly disappear after iPad's screen locks automatically (a device glitch).

No matter what you've been through, we're going to show you various methods to fix the issue and get back the disappeared notes.

How to fix missing notes on iPad (Mini, Air, Pro)

At times, the disappeared notes are not gone for good. Maybe you just accidentally deleted them off the iPad and move it to the Recently Deleted folder. Perhaps they're just hidden rather than be removed from the device. In both cases, it's painless to get missing notes back via checking out specific folders and configuring the settings.

1. Tweak account settings

It's common for iPad users to have the Notes app linked to some email accounts like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. and store the notes there. However, if the Notes sync option is disabled for your associated email accounts, this could potentially lead to iPad notes missing.

If this is the reason why some of your notes disappeared since the iOS or iPadOS upgrade on your iPad, get it resolved by toggling the Notes sync option back to ON. If you have multiple email accounts for storing the notes on iPad, just repeat the same instructions below until all missing notes are back.

  • On your iPad, tap Settings > Mail (or Mail, Contacts, Calendar in some old iOS version).
  • Tap Accounts, then choose the email account where the disappeared notes used to be stored.
  • If the Notes option is off, turn the slider to green.

Then, open up Notes app and the lost notes should appear, along with the original texts, checklists, attachments, and other contents.

If it's the deletion of an email account rendering that two years of notes were gone, adding the account back to your iPad should get the notes back to the device. To try, do the following:

  • In your iPad, tap Settings > Mail (or Mail, Contacts, Calendar), then choose Accounts.
  • Select Add Account and tap the email provider you need to add.
  • Type in your email address and password. Then, tap Next and wait until your email account is verified by Mail.
  • Once the account is added, switch on Notes option and tap Save to confirm.

2. Look into Recently Deleted folder

If you've already checked the Mail and make sure that the Notes toggle have been turned on for each link email account but half of your notes are still missing, then you probably deleted the notes by mistake. Thankfully, it's easy and free to restore the deleted notes that used to be stored in "ICLOUD" folder and "ON MY IPAD" folder from Notes app built-in Recently Deleted folder.

Essential: Important: If you're not using upgraded notes, the deleted notes can be recovered after deletion. So, if there's no recently deleted notes folder or it's missing, turn to the next trick.

  • Open Notes app, then tap icon in the upper left corner to enter into the "Folders" list.
  • Choose Recently Deleted and search for your lost notes.
  • When you find the deleted notes from the Notes list, tap Edit button at the upper right of the "Recently Deleted" panel.
  • Check the note(s) that you want to get back.
  • From the bottom-left corner, tap Move (or Move to), then select the folder to save the deleted notes in Notes app.

The deleted notes are only kept in Recently Deleted folder for 30 days. When the period is over, they'll permanently removed from your iPad. If Notes in iCloud is ON, deleted notes will also erased from other devices signed in with the same iCloud account (and that may take up to 40 days).

3. Check Trash folder in Mail app

If, prior to the deletion, the notes have been ever successfully synced with Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, or other cloud service, the synced account will automatically send the deleted notes to the Trash folder in Mail app. Within a certain grace period, the deleted notes in Trash folder can be moved back to Gmail and show up in Notes app. The following steps can help you get it done with ease.

  • On your iPad home screen, run Mail app.
  • Scroll down to locate the heading of the email where you store the notes and tap Trash.
  • To recover deleted note from the Trash folder, copy the note and paste it into a new note in the Notes app.

You can also make an attempt to find the rest of your missing notes on iPad by searching the "All Mail", "Spam" or "Junk" folder in the Mailboxes from Mail app.

4. Find disappeared notes using search bar in Notes app

This is an old-fashioned way, but you can give it a shot if previous troubleshooting tips doesn't do you a favor to retrieve the erased notes.

  • In Notes app, tap icon in the upper left corner until you see the "Notes" list.
  • Scroll to find the Search bar and enter the title of the note part of a word or a phrase added in the note in the search bar field.
  • Select All Accounts. Then, find the notes missing on iPad Notes app from the search results.

Tips: If the notes you're finding get locked, the search process only scans the title of the locked notes, which sometimes might not be shown in the Search results. If this is your case, you'll need to verify all the locked notes to get back the disappeared one(s): Tap the locked note, choose View Note, then use Face ID or Touch ID, or type in your password to see the content inside.

5. Manually search folders in Notes app

If you can't search the missing notes even using the correct word, phrase or title from the note, consider digging into every folder in Notes app to find the notes that are gone. Though it might take a while to do that, it's worth the effort if you really want to get back the disappeared iPad notes.

  • In Notes app from iPad, tap until the "Folders" list appears.
  • Check the existing folder one by one and scroll down to see if the lost notes are in there.

All the methods above will fail if your lost notes have been permanently deleted from the iPad, but don't panic: you can still recover notes from iPad.

How do I recover lost notes on my iPad (Mini, Air, Pro)

If the deleted notes are neither in the Recently Deleted folder of Notes app nor in the Trash folder in Mail app, there're two way to get back the deleted notes: rely on a third-party iPad data recovery tool or restore from iTunes or iCloud backup.

1. How to retrieve deleted notes on iPad without backup

To recover completely disappeared notes or find and undelete old notes from iPad, all you need is iPhone Data Recovery.

It's incredibly reliable, scanning the device internal memory thoroughly to find all notes disappeared on iOS or iPadOS device. It'll then return back all the missing notes and other supported 20 kinds of files that are recoverable and classify them into specific categories, giving you full control of previewing the texts, documents, attachments, and others added into the notes and recovering only desired notes. All the recovered notes will keep their own folder information in iPad.

With all those being said, let's take a look at how it's going to retrieve notes on iPad using this tool:

1. Download, install and launch this iPad note recovery software on your computer.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

2. Hook up your iPad to the machine using the included Lightning-to-USB cable. When your device gets detected, hit Start Scan button to trigger a scanning for searching the disappeared notes.

3. When all the scanning results have been shown up, click on Notes under the "Memos & Others" heading to the left to preview the notes (title, location, folder, created date, notes content, and so on).

4. Find the notes you deleted or lost using the Search bar in the upper right of the screen and put a tick on the checkbox next to the each note that you need back.

5. To get back iPad notes, hit Recover button. After choosing a path to store the recovered notes and pressing Recover button again, the tool will start retrieving and saving the missing notes as HTML files on your computer.

That's it! If iPhone notes disappeared after update, here's what you need to do to recover notes on iPhone.

2. Restore notes from backup

It's agonizing to know that notes disappeared from Notes app, or iPad Notes app disappeared randomly causing that all the notes are gone sucks, but not all is lost if you've backed up the missing notes and the copies are still available. Here's quick wizard of how to restore notes on iPad from backups in iTunes and iCloud.

Tips: Create a backup manually for all your iPad data and settings first as iTunes and iCloud will both require wiping your device clean to restore deleted notes from the archive.

If you're holding an iTunes backup for the lost or deleted notes:

  • Open iTunes (or Finder) on your computer and connect the iPad.
  • When the device icon appears on the upper left corner of the panel, click it on.
  • Locate the "Backups section" and hit Restore Backup button. It'll display a list of iTunes backup files.
  • Select the iTunes archive created before the notes were disappeared and click on Restore.

If you're holding an iCloud backup for the lost or deleted notes:

  • Factory reset your iPad by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  • Select Erase Now. Once done, follow the on-screen instructions to start setting up your iPad.
  • When you're on App & Data screen, select Restore from iCloud Backup.
  • Log in to your iCloud with Apple ID and password. Then, choose an iCloud backup that contains the missing notes you wish to restore.

After the restoration is done, finish the remaining setup process and then you can find all missing or accidentally deleted notes in Notes app from your iPad.

A lesson learnt: How to Back Up Notes from iPad to iCloud or Computer

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