How to Sync Notes From iPhone to Mac With iCloud

You can sync notes from iPad, too

Creating a text document or list in the Notes app that comes pre-installed on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac is great, but it's even more useful when that same note is available on all of your devices.

Luckily, you can easily keep your Notes in sync across devices using iCloud. Here's what you need to know.

The instructions in this article apply to devices running iOS 11 and up, iPadOS 13 and up, and macOS 10.14 and up. Also, once you follow these instructions it won't matter if you first create the note on the Mac or the iPhone to get the notes to sync.

Before Syncing Notes from iPhone to Mac

Before you can sync Notes from iPhone to Mac, there are two requirements you need to meet.

Then, both devices need to be signed into the same iCloud account. You probably did this when setting up the devices, but if not just follow these steps:

  • On iPhone, go to Settings > Sign into your iPhone.
  • On Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud.

When prompted, sign in with the same Apple ID username and password on both devices.

Sync Notes From iPhone to Mac With iCloud 

To keep your Notes automatically in sync between your iPhone and your Mac, you have to enable this setting on both devices. Let's start with these steps on your iPhone:

  1. Create a document using Notes.

    creating notes in iOS Notes app
  2. Go to the Settings app.

    Screenshot of the iOS Settings app
  3. Tap your name.

  4. Tap iCloud.

    Screenshot of the iCloud settings screen on iPhone
  5. Move the Notes slider to on/green.

    Screenshot of iCloud sync settings on iPhone

With these steps done, your iPhone will automatically sync its Notes to your iCloud account whenever there are changes made on the phone.

Next, you need to set your Mac to do the same thing by following these steps:

  1. On the Mac, go to the Apple menu in the top left corner.

    Screenshot of open Apple menu on Mac
  2. Select System Preferences.

  3. Select iCloud.

    Screenshot of System Preferences window on Mac
  4. Check the box next to Notes.

    Screenshot of iCloud sync settings on a Mac

With that done, your Mac is now also set to sync Notes with iCloud whenever there are changes.

Syncing with iCloud is automatic, so you don't need to do anything to make the sync happen. Whenever you make a change to a Note on the iPhone or Mac, the change will automatically be synced up to iCloud and then automatically synced back down to the other device(s). If one of the devices isn't connected to the internet when you make the change, the syncing process takes place the next time you connect the device.

How to Sync Notes on an iPad With iCloud 

If you've also got an iPad (or an iPod touch), you can loop it into the syncing, too. Because it runs the same Notes app and connects to the same iCloud account, everything works the same way with the iPad as it does with the iPhone and Mac. Just follow these steps:

  1. As with the other devices, start by making sure the iPad is connected to a network and signed into iCloud.

  2. Tap Settings.

    Screenshot of the Settings app on iPad
  3. Tap your name.

  4. Tap iCloud.

  5. Move the Notes slider to on/green.

    Screenshot of the iCloud settings screen on iPad

You can use some iCloud features on Windows, but syncing Notes isn't one of them. That's because there's no Apple Notes app available for Windows.