How to recover deleted notes on an iPhone

Built-in notes are an underappreciated feature of iPhones, since if you can’t remember the passcode to your new apartment building or forget what groceries to buy on the way home from the gym, it hardly matters how many megapixels your camera has. Sometimes critical notes get deleted – here are some ways to recover them.


In the Notes app, switch to the top-level folder view, then open the Recently Deleted folder. Use the edit button to select notes and move them back to normal folders. There is a 30-day window before notes are permanently deleted.

How to retrieve deleted notes on your iPhone

From the Recently Deleted folder.

In the vast majority of cases, this is the only method you need. You can use it directly from your iPhone.

Open the Notes app and switch to the top-level folder view. Locate and open a recently deleted folder. If you don’t see any, it means you haven’t deleted anything for 30 days or less. Tap the Edit button at the top right and select all the notes you want to recover. Tap the Move button and select a folder to move the notes to.

You can recover anything deleted within a 30 day window. After that, the notes will be permanently cleaned to keep disk space in check.

From iCloud backup

In general, you should avoid restoring from a backup as there is no way to restore your notes on your own – you must restore all your data to a backup that was made before the notes were deleted. That assumes one is in place, and of course you’ll lose any data stored on your device since the backup timestamp.

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By synchronizing your email account

If you’ve removed an email address from your iPhone or otherwise messed with the Notes settings, it may be possible to get items back by forcing it to sync with an associated email account – if the link was broken and Notes previously were stored there Is.

Open the Settings app and go to Mail > Accounts. Select the account you want to verify syncing for. Make sure the Notes toggle is turned on.

From Mac or iTunes backup

Roger Fingas / Android Authority

It’s becoming increasingly rare for people to create local backups because unless you have an iCloud backup active and aren’t syncing local media files, there’s often little reason to connect an iPhone to a computer at all. However, having both local and iCloud backups can be a great resiliency.

To restore a local iPhone backup from a Mac running macOS 10.15 or later:

Connect your iPhone to your Mac via USB. You may have Wi-Fi as an option, but USB is more reliable. Open Finder and select your iPhone in the sidebar. Select the General tab. Click Restore backup and select a backup saved before deleting notes.

To restore a backup to iTunes for Windows:

Launch iTunes and connect your iPhone via USB. Click on the iPhone icon in the top menu bar. Click Summary in the sidebar if it’s not already selected. In the Backups section, click Restore Backup and select a backup saved before deleting notes. Comments