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How to restore notes from iPhone with and without iTunes backup: 4 ways

Rob Parsons Updated on Apr 15, 2022 4:55 PM

In this article we will introduce how to extract notes with and without iTunes backup. Most of people have encountered it before. You open your iPhone, navigate to Notes app and uh-oh, you find all notes disappeared from your iPhone! You wonder if you accidentally delete them, and you try to extract lost notes from recycle bin and iCloud backup, but you've failed. What can you do now?

Thankfully, if you have iTunes backup saved on your computer, losing your iPhone notes is not scary as you can extract iPhone notes from iTunes backup without any hassle. Besides, if you don't have the iTunes backup file, then this article is for you as well.

A question you're curious about: Does iTunes backup notes? You seem to be worried that the notes are excluded from the iTunes backup. Just set your heart at rest. iTunes only excludes the contents such as the data stored in iCloud, content from iTunes or App Store, content synced from iTunes or Finder, Apple ID or Touch ID, and others. Learn more. Anyway, iTunes backup saves notes.

Use Apple Way: Extract Notes from iTunes Backup

The major benefit of using iTunes is that you can extract your notes from iPhone via iTunes backup with just one click. In short, restoring notes from iTunes is quite easy.

It must be noted in advance that if the notes loss issue occurs after the latest iTunes backup, the lost iPhone notes aren't included in the iTunes. That said, you're not able to extract notes from iTunes. But don't fear, we show you another way to get around this problem. Skip to this option.

  • Connect your iPhone to your Windows or Mac using a USB cable. And then, unlock your iPhone.
  • Then, iTunes will launch automatically; if not, click iTunes on your desktop to open it.
  • Now you will see an icon like "iPhone" at the top left corner of the screen, just click it.
  • Select "Summary", and navigate to "Backups" section.
  • Click on Restore Backup, select the last backup, and click Restore. Enter your password if the iTunes backup is encrypted.

Once you've done the steps above, the only thing left is waiting. It's going to take some time to extract and restore notes from iTunes backup due to the fact that restoring data from iTunes is all-or-nothing which means that you have to restore the entire backup while you can't extract only notes. This is also the important thing that you should be aware of.

What's more, all new data produced after the last backup will be overwritten once the restoration finished. Thus, we strongly recommend that you back up your iPhone to local computer using a third-party backup program before you decide to extract iPhone notes from iTunes, in case you lose more valuable data.

Use 3rd party tool: Extract Notes from iTunes Backup

If you're looking for a way that allows you to restore only notes from iTunes without having to restore from the full iTunes backup, using iPhone Data Recovery can do the trick. It can be as an iPhone backup extractor, letting you extract notes from iTunes and iCloud backup. Also, it can recover contacts, text messages, photos, call logs, and other iPhone data from iTunes & iCloud.

The software scans out what's involved in your iTunes or iCloud backup and grants you to selectively recover the items you've lost or deleted. Thus, all the existing data on your iPhone won't be completely replaced by the last old backup.

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In terms of extras, iPhone Data Recover has a decent support for recovering data from iPhone's internal memory. That said, you can retrieve iPhone notes without backups.

Let's walk through the steps for extracting iPhone notes from iTunes with the powerful software.

  • First of all, initiate the software on your computer and click on Recover from iTunes Backup File tab.
  • If you've backed up your iPhone to iTunes in this computer, you'll see the backup files on the fight of the interface.
  • From here, select one backup file you want to restore, then click on Start Scan to proceed.

  • Now the scan is on its way. Wait some time, the interface will show you a list telling you how many backup files on iTunes and how many files you've deleted.
  • To extract notes from iTunes, you should tick the "Notes" box in the left.

  • Once you've done that, you'll preview all the notes saved in the iTunes backup.
  • All notes are enabled by default, so you don't need to do any changes if you want to extract all notes. But if you just want to extract a few notes from iTunes, check the box next to the note you want to recover.

  • Once done, click on Recover to retrieve lost iPhone notes from iTunes.

Please remember the location where the extracted notes will be saved, and we suggest you save the output folder to the desktop.

How to Restore Notes on iPhone without iTunes Backup

A quick way to restore your irreplaceable notes is to use iPhone Data Recovery: recovering notes from iPhone's internal storage, in a case where you can't extract notes from iTunes or you haven't backed up your iPhone to iTunes.

That's right, we've introduced this powerful software before. With the strong data recovery software, you can recover almost all file types. Its key advantage is that it provides preview function, allowing you to view the notes and other data stored on your iPhone, and thus you can choose all or part of the items to recover.

Anyway, it's possible to extract your notes from iPhone without iTunes backup. Here's how.

Note that when you use the software, you should turn off iTunes in case iTunes synchronization overwrites the old data, and toggle the switch of "Find My Phone" in the Settings.

  • Firstly, plug your iPhone to any open USB port on your computer and unlock your device.
  • Open the software. There you'll find four choices, and you'll need to click on Recover from iOS Device tab if you're attempting to extract iPhone notes from internal memory. Then, click Start Scan.

  • Here you'll see the scanning result. And just check the "Notes" box.

  • Then, you can preview all the recoverable notes in the right list. You can swipe the switch of "Only display the deleted item(s)" to the right to only see deleted notes.
  • Just select the notes you want to recover at your will.

  • Now, you can click Recover button to extract deleted notes from your iPhone.
  • Once you make it through these steps, you will see a progress bar that indicates how much of the restoration has been finished.

It's important to note that this solution will only work with the condition that your existing iPhone data isn't overwritten. Otherwise, it's impossible to extract notes from your iOS device if you don't have iTunes or iCloud backup. Your notes would be lost forever.

How to Recover Deleted Notes on iPhone using Notes App

You can also extract iPhone notes from the "Recently Folder" in the Notes app, but you can only recover the notes you deleted in the last 30 days.

To extract and retrieve deleted iPhone notes using Notes app, use these steps:

  • Unlock your iPhone, and navigate to Notes app.
  • Tap the back icon in the top left corner.
  • Select Recently Deleted in the Folders section.
  • Tap Edit at the upper right corner, and click on the notes you would like to recover.
  • Tap Move To... > Notes.

After a while, you can reopen Notes app and tap Notes to check if the deleted notes come back.


Losing the notes from iPhone can be awfully frustrating, and it's an achy journey to retrieve iPhone notes. But thanks to your iTunes backup, it's not difficult to extract notes from iPhone. Even if you're a tech beginner, you would quickly learn how to extract iPhone notes with and without iTunes backup. And just a precaution, we suggest you regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud, iTunes or other professional backup solution.

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