How to Undo in Notes on iPhone and iPad

There are a few ways to undo mistakes on iPhone’s Notes app

Photo of hand holding iPhone with Notes app open, after a shake to undo (with

When you make a typo or mistakenly delete or paste text in the Notes app on an iPhone or iPad, Apple provides a few ways to recover. You might choose to tap delete, shake your device, tap an undo icon, or press a keyboard combination. Here’s how each of the four options work on different iOS devices.

How to Undo a Deleted Note

When delete a note, you can undo that, as well. Apple gives you two ways to recover a deleted note.

Two screenshots: (left) iPhone Shake to Undo deleted note action message, (right) iPad Notes structure that shows Recently Deleted folder.

If you just deleted the note, a Shake to Undo will bring up an "Undo Trash Note" option. Tap Undo to recover your note.

Otherwise, navigate to the main Folders menu in Notes. Tap Recently Deleted to access deleted notes. Apple places deleted notes in the "Recently Deleted" folder for 30 days, after which the system permanently deletes your notes.

If you attempt to edit a note found in the Recently Deleted folder, a prompt will display. Tap Recover and the app will move the note out of the Recently Deleted folder and let you edit it.

To move several notes out of the Recently Deleted folder, tap Edit (above and to the right of the Recently Deleted folder name), then tap the circle (to the left of each note you want to recover) to select notes, then tap Move to... and tap the folder where you want to recover the notes.

Shake to Undo or Redo

You may undo recent actions with a shake of your iPhone or iPad. When you shake your device after you type, the system will display an “Undo Typing” prompt and display the option to either tap Cancel or Undo. A shake also allows you to undo a recent cut or paste action.

Two iPhone screenshots: (left) Shows

The system makes a guess as to what you intend to undo. For example, if you type a phrase then shake your device, when you undo it will remove the phrase. 

An additional shake of your iPhone or iPad will give you a slightly different set of “Undo Typing” options to tap, which may include Undo, Redo Typing, and Cancel. Essentially, each shake allows you to undo or redo the next most recent action.

By default, Apple enables the Shake to Undo setting. To access the option, open Settings > General > Accessibility > Shake to Undo. Adjust the slider to the left, to the “Off” position, to disable the feature. In most cases, you’ll want to leave the feature enabled unless you have a specific reason to turn it off.

iPad Keyboard Undo Icon

When you use the on-screen keyboard on an iPad, the undo and redo arrows display to the upper left of the number keys. Tap the arced arrow that points to the lower left to access undo options, which include cut, copy, and paste. (These on-screen option arrows are not available with the on-screen iPhone system keyboard.)

iPad screenshot: Note undo icon in upper left, directly above the number row

Undo with Keyboard Controls

If you use Notes on either an iPhone or iPad with an external Bluetooth keyboard, such as the Apple Magic Keyboard, use keyboard combinations to undo or redo recent actions. Press Command+Z to undo and Shift+Command+Z to redo. You can type these key combinations repeatedly to undo (or redo) several recent actions.

Zoomed-in photo of lower left Magic Keyboard, with keys for both Command+Z and Shift+Command+Z visible.

By the way, if you use a Smart Keyboard connected to the Smart Connector on an iPad, the undo and redo arrows remain available in a bar in the lower left. You may either tap the undo icon on-screen or press Command+Z to undo. To redo, similarly, either tap the redo icon on-screen or press Shift+Command+Z on the Smart Keyboard.

iPad screenshot: With Smart Keyboard attached, undo icon remains visible in Notes in the lower left corner

Delete or Select and Delete

If you enter text without having first selected something to type over, you can simply use the on-screen delete key or the one on your external keyboard as an "undo."

The on-screen delete key remains the best way to remove a single character quickly on any iOS device. To remove a longer selection of text, double-tap to select text (and optionally, drag the line with a dot that displays at either end of the selected text), then tap Cut.

Two screenshots of Notes app: (left) On iPhone delete key above return, (right) On iPad delete key in upper right (same row as number keys)