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How to retrieve deleted notes from iPad

Alex Griffith Updated on Apr 15, 2022 4:33 PM

When you no longer need a note on your iPad, like most people, you will want to delete it from the list on the Notes app. This can be done simply by swiping left on the note, and tapping Delete. But what if you later need to recover the deleted note on iPad? There are a few things you can do that might get it back to your device.

Is iPad Note Recovery Possible?

Yes, it's possible to recover the notes deleted from iPad's Notes app. But the time it will take varies, depending on how you stored them before. It may take you just a few seconds to restore the notes, maybe it go on for a few minutes or more.

When you store notes locally on the iPad storage or to iCloud, any note you recently deleted will move to a folder of the same name, from where you have 30 days to recover or delete it for a second time to permanently remove it from your device.

If you deleted a note that was associated with a third-party email service (Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, etc) you set up on the iPad, it didn't get sent to the Recently Deleted folder on the Notes app but kept in the trash folder the email account specified. It just disappeared from iPad, to restore the note, you will want to sign in to the email account from a computer and move it back to original folder.

What if you can't find the deleted notes on iPad's Recently Deleted folder nor in trash folder on email account? There is still a hope for you to bring it back. Every time you delete a file, it leaves traces on your device, before the traces are overwritten by files newly put on the device, you can take a file recovery software program to scan the device storage and retrieve the note. It can be a time-consuming process. To be sure, quick action is important.

What to Do If You Deleted Notes on iPad

1. Make sure you've Notes turned on in the Settings. If the lost notes come from a third party email account (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Exchange, AOL, etc) you attach with iPhone, you may check the email settings and ensure the Notes is toggled on in the Settings. Here're 4 simple steps to do.

  • Launch Settings app on iPad.
  • Tap Mail > Accounts. If you have an old iOS version, you may tap Mail, Contacts, Calendar instead.
  • Select the email account you store your notes to.
  • Turn Notes on.

Go back to the iPad's Notes app and check to see if your deleted notes are back. If not, you can access to your email account by a computer and check the trash folder, which is the real place for temporarily saving notes you deleted from the Notes app on iPad.

Your email service provider may have a different name for the trash folder. While in Google Gmail you can find your notes deleted from Notes folder in the "All Mail" folder, Microsoft Outlook users should go to "Deleted Item" album to retrieve deleted notes via a Restore button on the top menu bar.

2. Check the Recently Deleted folder in the Notes app. Retrieving deleted notes on iPad can be easy and quick if the notes you're looking for are still placed in your Recently Deleted folder.

If you store notes on iCloud or on the iPad, Apple offers a designated folder in the Notes app to hold the deleted notes up to 30 days and display a clear information indicating how much time remains before notes are permanently erased from the tablet. This gives you a safety period within which you're able to restore notes to iPad once you realize that you made a big mistake before.

Follow these steps to restore iPad notes from Recently Deleted folder:

  • Open Notes app on the iPad.
  • Tap the yellow Back arrow in the upper left corner of the screen to get into Folder list.
  • Select the Recently Deleted folder.
  • Tap Edit button at the upper right.
  • Select the note you deleted before. A yellow checkmark will appear next to the note indicating it's selected.
  • Tap Move in the lower left side.
  • Select the folder you want to return back to.

If iOS already destroyed your notes deleted more than 30 days ago, or you skipped the countdown and deleted them immediately from the folder, you have the last the chance to turn the clock back. Keep on reading.

3. Dig your iPad storage deeply to retrieve deleted notes. iOS Data Recovery is one of the most efficient tools for recovering notes on iPad, iPhone and iPod, and is a great choice if you've never used a data recovery tool before. It scans your device thoroughly and completely for deleted files that are recoverable, and sort the search results into sensible categories. You can then get them back with a single click.

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Step 1: Attach your iPad to the computer, and launch the iPad notes recovery software.

Step 2: When the device is recognized and displayed on the screen, click on the "Start Scan" button to perform a deep scan on the device's internal memory.

Step 3: After the scan is complete, click the Notes category on the left sidebar. Now you can have a preview of all notes the software found on the right pane. You can also enter a word or phrase in the search box to locate deleted notes you're looking for.

Step 4: Select the notes you want to retrieve and click on the "Recover" button. When a dialog opens, choose a directory where you want to save the notes on computer. The software will handle the rest.

Tip: Due to the recovered notes are saved on local folder in HTML format, you can log in to iCloud.com copy and paste the note from computer to a new note in the iCloud Notes. This will sync back to your iPad automatically.


Q: Is it possible to retrieve deleted notes without backup?

Well, the truth is that when your note was deleted from iPad, it just disappeared from the device instantly but still lied in the device memory. The space it used is marked as available for writing with new files. Of course, you can take a file recovery application to scan the memory and find it, then bring it back. That's why we introduce a program in method 3 above to help you recover deleted notes on iPad when other attempts fail.

Q: Does iCloud automatically back up my notes?

Whether notes are part of your iCloud backup or not relies on how you set up Notes on your iPad. When you turn on iCloud Notes in Settings (go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud), all your notes upload to iCloud automatically and keep up to date across all of your devices with the same Apple ID. They are not included in your iCloud backup.

Even if the iCloud Notes feature is turned off on iPad, you will have to enable iCloud Backup on your device. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup, make sure the switch slides to reveal green.

Q: How do I know whether the backup includes my deleted notes?

Apple doesn't let you access the backup and read specific files by default. Restoring your iPad from the backup is an all or nothing process.

Fortunately for you, iOS Data Recovery helps you access your iTunes or iCloud backup and retrieve just the notes or any other file you want without touching the device. This can be really helpful if your deleted notes were archived in the backup and you don't want to perform a full restore to get them back.

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