How to Recover Deleted Notes on iPhone

What to do when your iPhone notes are missing

What to Know

  • Easiest: Open Notes > go to Folders. Tap Recently Deleted > Edit. Select a note > Move > select a folder.
  • Second option: Go to Settings > Mail > Accounts. Select email account and turn on Notes toggle.
  • Third option: Tap Settings > your name > iCloud. Turn on Notes toggle to download notes from iCloud.

This article explains how to recover deleted Notes on an iPhone. You can retrieve notes from the Notes app on iPhone or iCloud or from notes entered in an email program. Instructions apply to iPhones running iOS 15.

How to Recover Notes on iPhone From the Recently Deleted Folder

The iOS Notes app is the perfect place to keep memories, to-do lists, shopping lists, and general notes you want to remember. Have your iPhone notes disappeared all of a sudden? Did you accidentally delete them? Don't panic. There are several options to recover lost iPhone notes.

To start, locate the Recently Deleted folder inside your Notes app to check for your notes.

Your Recently Deleted folder will only hold notes for 30 days. After that, notes are permanently deleted from the iPhone, which may take up to 40 days to complete.

  1. Open the Notes app and tap the back arrow to get to the Folders screen if you're not there already.

  2. In your list of folders, tap Recently Deleted.

  3. In the upper-right corner of the Recently Deleted screen, tap Edit.

    Path to the Notes Recently Deleted screen on iPhone
  4. Tap the circle next to any note you want to recover.

  5. In the lower-left corner, tap Move and select a destination folder.

    iPhone Notes app showing deleted note recovery path

How to Recover iPhone Notes via Email Account Settings

It's possible you changed your Notes app settings, resulting in missing iPhone notes. Maybe you deleted an email address from your iPhone, which caused your notes to go along with it. This means your iPhone can't locate the Notes anymore.

If you use a third-party email account like Gmail to store your notes, check your account settings to ensure everything's on the up and up. It's a great rule of thumb to keep your email accounts connected to ensure your notes don't disappear. It creates a simple backup for future accidents.

  1. Tap Settings > Mail > Accounts.

    Path to Mail accounts on iPhone
  2. Tap the email account you want to check.

    Have you changed your email password recently? If you didn't update your password on your iPhone, it's possible that any notes associated with your account won't update. Change your password on your iPhone via Settings.

  3. Confirm the toggle next to Notes is on. If it isn't, turn it on to see if your notes appear in your app.

    Mail account Notes option on iPhone

    If you use other email sources, repeat these steps for each account. If your email account is missing, add it again.

How to Recover Notes on iPhone Using iCloud

If your notes have been permanently deleted, you can't locate them in your Recently Deleted folder, and your account settings are fine, try to locate your notes using iCloud. You need to have previously used iCloud for your notes to be stored there.

  1. On your iPhone, tap Settings.

  2. Select your name from the top of the menu.

  3. Tap iCloud.

  4. Turn on the Notes toggle. Now, any notes stored in your iCloud account download to your iPhone.

    Using Notes and iCloud to restore notes from iCloud

How to Recover iPhone Notes Using Online iCloud Account

You can try to locate your notes by logging into your iCloud account using a web browser.

  1. Visit in a web browser and log in to your iCloud account.

  2. On the home screen, select the Notes app.

    iCloud account displayed in a web browser
  3. In the left panel, select Recently Deleted.

    iCloud Notes app showing Recent Deleted option
  4. If you can locate your missing notes, choose them and select Recover.

    The Recovery screen for Notes on
  5. After you recover your notes, you can save them to your computer or use your device to take screenshots. If you're using a Mac, you can export them as PDFs.

How to Recover Notes Using iTunes or iCloud Backup

Still can't find the important notes you deleted? You have the option to restore your iPhone using iTunes backup. This will locate a previous version of your iPhone where your notes might be saved and restore that version to your device.

You can also attempt a backup using iCloud, which is a slightly different process using your iPhone.

You should only attempt to restore an iPhone backup if the notes you need are worth it. This option will overwrite the current data on your iPhone and replace it with the backup.

  • How do I recover deleted photos from an iPhone?

    The iPhone Photos app has a Recently Deleted folder. To access it, go to the Photos app Albums screen. Scroll to the bottom and tap Recently Deleted. Deleted images remain in this folder for 30 days. If it has been longer, you may be able to recover the photos from an iCloud Backup.

  • How can I lock notes on my iPhone?

    Open the note you want to protect and tap More (circle with three dots) > Lock. Enter your password or activate Face ID or Touch ID.

  • Can I format notes on the iPhone?

    Yes. Open any note and select a word or words. Tap BIU in the floating menu to choose Bold, Italic, Underline, or Strikethrough. Tap Aa above the keyboard for additional options, including numbering, bullets, and indentations.

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