How to Recover Deleted Notes on iPhone

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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From password reminders to drunken epiphanies, Apple's Notes app has seen it all. The app gives users a free space to write whatever they want without it being shared or liking – a modern diary if you will. However, the sudden loss of any of your writing, whether practical or creative, can feel like the end of the world.

Luckily, there is a way to get it all back.


Read on to learn the steps to get those beloved lists and thoughts back on your iPhone.


How to Recover Deleted Notes on iPhone

The Notes app is to iPhones what SpongeBob is to Patrick — you can't have one without the other. The pre-installed app gives users a quick and easy way to save lists, thoughts, and more. It often plays a central role in many daily routines. However, like other data, it's not uncommon for your notes to disappear from time to time.

Why does this happen?

There are several reasons why your notes may no longer be available on your iPhone. Common ones include accidental deletions, data loss due to failed iOS upgrades, and a broken or water-damaged iPhone.

If you find yourself in one of these categories, don't worry. Newer versions of the Notes application provide a "Recently Deleted" folder. This nifty feature keeps all deleted notes for 30 days, which means you can recover your lost notes anytime within that time frame. Here is what you will need to do:

  1. Open the Notes app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the "Back" arrow in the upper left corner until you see the folder menu.
  3. Tap "Recently Deleted".
  4. Select "Edit" in the upper right corner of the page. Dots should appear to the left of all items in the “Recently Deleted” folder. Select the note you want to recover.
  5. Tap "Move to..." in the lower left corner, then tap "Notes" to bring it back to your regular notes list.

While this is a cool feature, it's essential to keep in mind that there is a time limit. If you wait more than 30 days to recover your notes, they will also be deleted from the "Recently Deleted" folder. Fear not, however, because there is still hope.



Read on to find out more.

How to Recover Deleted Notes from iCloud

There are times when the "Recently Deleted" folder just isn't enough.

Although there is a 30-day recovery period, the feature only works when you accidentally delete a note or two. If you found out that all your iPhone notes are gone, you are more likely to find help from a third-party data recovery tool. Enter iCloud.

If you have linked your iCloud account to your iPhone, chances are that all the lost notes can be recovered. The most important thing is to make sure that you regularly back up your iPhone to the cloud.

Here's how to link your iPhone to an iCloud account (if you haven't already):

  1. On your iPhone, tap “Settings”.
  2. Tap your profile at the top of your "Settings" page.
  3. Select “iCloud”.
  4. Tap on “Notes”. When the toggle is green, it means your iPhone is backing up.

The next step is to recover your lost notes. Here's how you do it:

  1. Sign in to iCloud.com and click "Notes." Check if your notes are there.
  2. On your iPhone, tap “Settings,” your profile, then “iCloud.” Make sure the toggle is enabled.
  3. Go to your Notes app and check if your lost work has returned.

How to Recover Deleted Notes on iPhone without Backup

What if you don't have a backup of notes available?



There are cases where you can accidentally delete something before you have a chance to save it. If it's not in the "Recently Deleted" folder, you may need to consider third-party options. This means looking to download an iPhone data recovery system. Downloading this software may make it possible to recover your notes regardless of whether backup is enabled or not.

After launching your data recovery software, connect your iPhone to your computer. The new software should then allow you to scan your iPhone and recover the lost items.


Additional FAQs

Do I need iCloud to backup my iPhone notes?

No, it is not necessary to have an iCloud account to back up your iPhone. You can also connect your Notes app to your Yahoo or Gmail accounts.

If you accidentally delete an important note on your iPhone, your third-party account will usually keep it in the Trash folder of your email account. To ensure recovery, you need to copy and paste the note from the Trash folder located in your Mail to the Note app.

Are there free options available for data recovery?

There are many free data recovery options. iMyFone D-back and Dr. Fone are just two examples of freeware that not only helps you recover your missing notes, but also text messages, photos, videos, and more.

I accidentally deleted the My Notes app. What do I do?

This problem has a simple solution. To reinstall your Notes app, just do the following:

1. On your iPhone, tap the "App Store" icon.

2. Open "Notes".

3. Find Apple's "Notes". This should be easy as the app will have been pre-installed on your iPhone.


4. Tap the iCloud download icon (a cloud with an arrow in the middle) to complete your "Notes" download.

5. Restore your notes via iCloud or email backup.

If you haven't synced your iPhone with your iCloud, your notes may be saved on the phone itself and associated with the deleted app. The only way to recover these notes is to restore an iPhone backup that includes them.

You might want to add this to your notes

Finding your lost notes can cause unnecessary panic, so knowing how to get them back is very important. Luckily, we live in a time where deleting something isn't as permanent as it used to be. With the help of "Recently Deleted" folders, email/iCloud backups and various data recovery software, we can recover our essential information safely.

Have you ever had to recover an accidentally deleted note before? How did you do it? Let us know in the comments below.

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