How To Recover iPad Notes Should They Disappear

iPad Help, Tips & Tricks
iPad Notes

Q: As of February 1, all my notes disappeared from my iPad Air, iPhone 6 and iCloud. Went to Genius Bar and they had no answer for me. Reset my iPad with a prior iCloud backup date, no luck getting my notes back. Genius Bar and Apple have no clue; any ideas? Thanks.

A: I’m sorry to hear that your notes are gone from your iPad and iPhone, and that Apple is unable to help. At the same time, did Apple check your iCloud settings on your iPad when you went to them for help? It could be the case that your iPad notes are not saved on the device because you did not activate iCloud to save them in your settings. If you’re new to the iPad experience, please remember that iCloud doesn’t work automatically.

Did you update your iOS to 9.3.3 and suddenly all your notes went missing?

You can try tapping on Settings -> iCloud and then turn off the notes. Now, wait one minutes and turn the notes features back on. The next step is restarting the iPad so that the notes get refresh.

If you’re using Gmail Notes:

Goto iPad Settings and look for Mail, Contact, Calendars and select Gmail -> Turn Notes On. You might randomly disable the notes off by accident.


You have to first get an Apple ID when you set up your iPad (if you don’t already have one), and you must activate or deactivate iCloud in your settings menu. Go to settings, then “iCloud,” and you should see a list of apps on your device that you can save in iCloud or not. You must have an iCloud account created before you can save anything in iCloud. The iCloud account is tied to your Apple ID, so, by default, anyone with an Apple ID should have an iCloud account. You only need to activate it on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.


iPad Notes app iOS 7


Once you activate iCloud on your iPad, you must specifically select iCloud to save your iPad notes in your Notes app. Beside the Notes symbol in the iCloud settings tab, push the button from left to right. You should see a green color to the left of the button, a sign that your iPad notes are being saved in iCloud.

At the same time, however, it’s likely you’ve already checked your iCloud settings and discovered that at one point, your iPad notes were present – but they are now gone. Since this is the case, it could be one of two things: (1) first, it could be that you never saved your iPad notes in iCloud to begin with because you didn’t activate your iPad notes cloud storage in the iCloud settings tab.

(2) It could also be the case that you did not backup your content to iTunes before you updated to iOS 7.0.4. Since you did not backup your content, you have, unfortunately, fallen victim to the worst situation a consumer could ever experience: for the iOS 7.0.4 update could’ve deleted all your iPad notes from the iOS device and you will never see them again. It’s unfortunate, but this may help you see the reason why Apple and other manufacturers stress that you backup your content before updating your device.

It could also be the case that your iPad notes were not saved in the prior backup, so reverting to a prior backup may have deleted the iPad notes instead of keeping them. In the future, I recommend that you select “on” for your iPad notes in the iCloud settings tab before saving notes in your Notes app.

Regardless, it’s clear that your iPad notes are nowhere to be found. While I am unable to help you outside of the advice I’ve given above as to solutions for this problem, I may be able to help prevent this situation in the future.

First, always – and I do mean always – backup your content before an upgrade. While it’s easy to click “install” when Apple’s latest arrives, you may find it to be more troubling than you could ever imagine. Apple offers its latest OS X Mavericks update for MacBook owners, but a number of MacBook owners (including a story in my local community of friends) lost all their documents, data, games, photos, and so on when they updated to OS X Mavericks. The reason? Mavericks still had bugs in it, and Apple hadn’t had the time to work through all the bugs and see what bad could be accomplished in the upgrade. The same could be said for iOS 7.0.4.

Next, you may want to manually save your content by either 1)

going to iTunes and selecting some form of automatic install in the iTunes options on your Mac or Windows device. This will allow iTunes to update every time you get on your familiar or public Wi-Fi network so that you don’t have to remember to manually backup your content all the time.

send iPad notes to email

The other piece of advice I have is the following: use old-fashioned email such as Google Mail (or Gmail) to save your iPad notes. If you are a student or business professional who wants to access your iPad notes at a later time, select the square and arrow symbol at the top right of your iPad Notes app in iOS 7, then select “Mail,” type in your email address, and click “send.” If you send your iPad notes to your personal email account each time you take a new set of notes, you’ll create your own automatic backup plan that will prevent you from heartache should your iPad Air notes disappear. You don’t even need to backup your email in iTunes; it’s that effective!

If you want to use a word processor app such as OfficeSuite Pro, be sure to backup your content in the iCloud settings tab. Select “documents & data” and move the button until you see the green appear (the color green indicates activation).

With email, your iPad notes will always be there unless you choose to delete them. Also, online email accounts are not subject to the vulnerabilities that apps in iOS are. Think about it for a moment: should any iOS update go wrong on your device, all of your apps could go missing. It’s happened before. With the iOS 7 update provided last Fall, there were a number of iOS users who took to Twitter to report problems. In particular, one individual said that her iOS update “disappeared.” If iOS updates can disappear, then so can updated apps. Don’t let your iPad notes be this vulnerable and go missing on your device. In situations such as a business presentation, research paper, or final exam, you don’t want to fall prey to misfortune on this large a scale.

Have your iPad notes gone missing before on your device? If you have a story to tell, we’d love to hear about it.

How to Restore Deleted Notes from iTunes Backup

The First step is connect the iPhone to iTunes.

On the Button “Summary” section, look for “Restore Backup…”


Select the restore data and when the restore is finish, you will have back your notes before it was deleted.


41 thoughts on “How To Recover iPad Notes Should They Disappear

  1. Scott S says:

    Turned iCloud storage back “ON” and all notes reappeared. Thank you!

  2. Jeanne says:

    I also lost all of my notes and then discovered they had been moved to my mail under the notes folder. I just updated the day before and assume they got moved then, and no one said back up your iPad before you updated they just tell you to update it. Not sure how to move the notes back but they are all there un the form of emails.

  3. Want my notes back says:

    If you have backup notes with iTunes and you can restored the backup and the notes will be back, If you don’t have a backup with your note saved. You are out of luck from restoring with itune.
    First startup iTunes on window and select iTunes look for Preferences and select the Devices. If you find any recent backup data that you know will contains the notes you should use that one to restore.

  4. Bernie says:

    This work for fixing my problem.First tap onto settings after select iCloud and after turn the notes switch off. Next, turn it back onto the iPad and restart the devices to refresh the notes. You can also download iPhone restoring software that can cost money.

  5. Panda says:

    On my iPhone6 it deleted my notes randomly, and im looking for a way to get them back. I was wondering basically can restore from iTune get my notes back? I have some very important stuff on my notes.

  6. Sally says:

    You may be in a position to restore them from the itune backup. Restoring the backup will overwrite any newer data around the iPad because the backup was performed.

  7. Samuel Jackson says:

    How to get my notes to reappear? I had accidently deleted all of my email accounts junks to make room for other apps on my iphone 6s, and apparently this also deleted my notes. Is their any easy solution to restoring the notes without a paid program?

  8. Picky says:

    So not sure if this help, if your notes is randomly deleted, but the notes can be save up in with one of the email accounts. (for example.Hotmail,Yahoo and Gmail).
    The first thing, is tryng to logged into the email account completely from the yahoo site on the desktop (not using iphone mail app) The disappearing notes are still on the Email with all of my other notes within the Notes folder! Now you can cut & pasting to restore back the notes from the email services.

  9. Lorna Arnold says:

    Not happy to find this morning that all my notes have been deleted – these notes contained some very personal information pertaining to family medical records and passwords for various links and private messages and outlines that I created.
    I would have expected that notes on an iPad are there for the duration and not something that Apple can willy nilly have the ability to completely obliterate personal info for no apparent reason. I am not happy with Apple – I have an Apple IPad and a Samsung Galaxy – it may be time to switch to Samsung and replace my iPad.

  10. John says:

    New iPhone user. Just started using notes a couple of days ago. About 10 minutes ago, I was trying to edit an existing note, made a typo, preseed the delete key on the little pop-up keyboard on the display, and the entire note disappeared. No confirm messssge, nothing. Just gone. There’s a “recently deleted” folder, but it’s not there. What utter crap. I’m never going to use notes again, given the experience of everyone else here. This is us inexcusable. Fuck you, Apple!

  11. J says:

    My colleagues iPad has just deleted 2 of her notes (that are very important), not all of them. I’m not sure what’s going on, but Apple need to fix this issue in there next update or something.

  12. Cynthia says:

    And I can’t get “0n my iPad” notes OFF my iPad!!! I didn’t even set it up… And erased my iPad 3 times, to no avail!! If I’d wanted to sync things I would’ve signed up for it!!!
    Apple has lost my loyalty…….

  13. Craig says:

    My notes are gone also if Apple dnt fix after seeing all these comments of same prob I may talk to my lawyer so I’d fix or expect to here from them plus I go in emails and there’s nothing of mine no mail it’s all gone and all my passwords was changed in all acc

  14. ugh says:

    All my notes are gone! Ideas I collected for like 10 months! Fucking thank you apple.

  15. Kirstie says:

    I feel sick. I just lost all my notes, except one, for some reason unbeknownst to me. I take it from the previous comments there is no way of retrieving them either. Not happy, is an understatement!!!

  16. Bfrye says:

    Notes gone! Not happy about it. Also, for me, I am unable to even save anything at all in notes. Each note disappears as I choose to add another. I wish they would do a better job getting bugs out before they urge you to update. Just shows you can’t put your trust in an iPad note app to preserve what you hold dear. I do like your suggestion about storing them in email.

  17. Steve W. says:

    At least I’m not alone……my notes disappeared after the last update. I’ve tried everything on the web, they’re just gone. Lesson learned.

  18. Jim says:

    apple notes you s*ck-seriously pissed off right now, disappeared in front of my eyes-all gone poooof

  19. Leaf XIV says:

    Hi, I also just lost my notes, and discovered this page to my surprise. I have been using notes for three years and I’m 100% certain they are backed up on iCloud, because I changed devices several times and I always downloaded my notes back seamlessly.

    Regardless, what happened now is that I did absolutely nothing. I had my iPad in my hands the entire time. I just finished writing some notes half and hour ago, then switched to another app, and when I got back to notes I found it completely empty.

    I too am hurt, because I realized I trusted Apple and never did it cross my mind to back my notes up elsewhere.

    I lost valuable data.

  20. Tony f Roberts says:

    second time this year they deleted all my notes. i f*cking hate these people. what the hell is their problem. seriously they make billions and they can’t fix this? i literally did nothing this time, plugged it in to charge, and bam…. no notes. holy sh*t. i am going to complain to apple and i am never ever ever ever f*cking ever using notes app again. this is evil. they destroy your love and work and effort. don’t they realize people store critical data. i hate them forever. I don’t mind my macbook- but their mobile devices are fucking evil. i am pissed.

    like what the hell.. it deletes all of them, and you don’t even have to do anything to do that.
    These people are evil and don’t care about us at all- this is the most basic function on the device. LAST TIME I WAS DEVISTATED- LOST YEARS OF WORK. THIS TIME I AM ANGRY- CUZ I KNOW I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG. I plugged it into the usb wall charger to use (the wall!! not the computer, not the internet- i didnt use it at all- i had notes lastnight. went to bed- then woke up and they were gone.
    I AM DONE APPLE- I HATE YOU YOU DESTROY MY CREATIVITY AND TONS OF EFFORT AND IMPORTANT THINGS. This is the last straw- you guys don’t care about fixing the most simple function on ALL OF YOU DEVICES. EVIL F*CKS. 🙁

    Have a nice day everyone- i know what your going through- second time this year. I have never been so angry in my life- nice to know other ppl understand what this feels like-!

  21. Dan Wixom says:

    Well Apple, I’m going to have to give you a “**** you” as well. All my notes are lost because I deleted my emails. How can a separate app for notes be tied to email? When I read above that we must not be familiar with “the ipad experience”, I thought wtf? Is that the best answer you “genius’s” could come up with? Sad that Apple has resorted to scraping the bottom of the barrel for service people.

  22. Roberta says:

    Lost personal notes that I had written as a journal to my mother who passed 3 years ago dec. these were feelings I had about everything. Last update these notes disappeared and are gone forever feel like I lost my mom all over cried for hours . Tech support said they were sorry but they were gone even when pad said they would be there. They are pushing this cloud thing and I did not want it so they said my fault. Pad said they would be on pad and had been for almost three years . Next Apple I buy is in the produce dept. they stink

  23. kittEn says:

    And, of course this is only if you have your notes set up to back up to a Gmail account (or Yahoo).

  24. kittEn says:

    Make sure that you do this search in All Mail.

  25. kittEn says:

    I was supposedly moving my notes to another folder in the updated “Notes” app. As it showed them moving, they were actually disappearing. At first, I saw them in the “Notes” folder in my Gmail account, then they too disappeared. I was able to search my gmail and find them!
    Go to All Mail. Search= from:[youremailaddress] to:[youremailaddress]
    (I also added in to the search= -label:sms -label:notes because I had a lot of those results)
    Unfortunately, it pulls up every version you have of that note, but it’s better than losing them. I then moved them back to the Notes folder in Gmail, and when I restarted Notes on my iPad, it synced them.
    Good luck. What a pain.

  26. Linda says:

    Go to Galaxy…..

  27. Linda says:

    Me too!! Gone never to be retrieved….. Going to Galaxy!!!

  28. Hannah says:

    I can’t believe I just lost three years worth of notes. Thanks, Apple

  29. Hannah says:

    I can’t believe I just lost four years worth of notes. Thanks, Apple.

  30. T tagliatelle says:

    Woke up today to find my iPhone n iPad all my notes from over the years important medical stuff ,,everything is set right but nothing apparently worked,,,I’m am just devestated as I don’t know where they went. I’m not real tekky but have tried my best,,,I’m a cancer patient and just devistated. ,,it updated overnight. But for years this has never happened,,,Sucks

  31. J Buzzetta says:

    Did update to iSO 9.0.2 on my older ipad and critical notes over the last couple years (fine through other updates) where there for a few days, then suddenly disappeared! I did not activate Icloud or backup in any other fashion as thought it would be ok-as always has been. Contacted apple tech support and got some assistance, but essentially told that the critical notes were now gone-sorry. I’m furious as feels like a scam to make you have icloud back up! Why did my notes suddenly disappear apple? Why are yahoo notes suddenly part of the new apple notes? Never there before. What is going on? You’ve now made a loyal customer want to leave and not do any more business with you!! AARRGGHH….

  32. Sam May says:

    Er yes, well, they seem to have reappeared, sorry Apple. Feel like a bit of a tit now.

  33. Sam May says:

    I will never use NOTES again, a piece of useless crap. I’ve just lost months of work. In future I shall email myself with good old hotmail. Fix the problem Apple you thieving fuckers.

  34. To T says:

    Notes is hat recorded fro prior to 2013 are suddenly missing from my iPad. I had just gone into iCloud a few days ag and turned off Notes in iCloud storage. Is there hat what caused earlier Notes to disappear from my iPad?

  35. Goldie says:

    I also have a number of colorful phrases I would like to use re this apple iphone and ipad note crap.
    Sorry Apple, I guess, the notes app does not make you any money.
    But don’t you think that from those stored billions of $$ you can pay 20K for one developer in India to fix the notes ? Obviously not, because I see comments are going back at least few years.
    Shame on you Apple.

  36. James says:

    Fuck u apple, what a piece of shit system. They are called notes. Fuck u and your stupid iSync ….what is the point of that if it randomly erases things

  37. Muna says:

    I also lost very important notes from my ipad. for 3 years
    I’ve trusted Apple and I saved many important things as notes. but everything disappeared in seconds and I can’t back up them.

  38. Pauline says:

    I have just realised I have lost all my notes on my Apple Air machine, since the last time I used one of them. These were important to my ability to do my job. I had not done installed any updates recently so this is not the issue.
    I will never use the the Notes application again. It is worse than useless.

  39. Mark says:

    I know I lost notes and contacts tooo,,on ipad and mac ,,F*** you apple,, what are you doing connecting to my notes anyway ,,,, you people are just plain stupid,,,,the notes need to remain separate not apples concern ,,,, Apple you need to fix the thing ,, many many people are angry,,,get the notes back and FIX IT !!!

  40. I,too, lost my notes recently. Notes that had been compiled over several years and were very important to me. I spent a few hours with Apple and it genius people, to no avail. They offered no explanation as to what happened and tried several times to retrieve my data. Apple is not being honest with its customers and are only interested in the money amount from its sales. I am terribly disappointed in their lack of understanding as to what it means to lose this work. This is the 3rd time I have totally lost data on my ipad/iPhone and am now looking for a company that can deliver what they preach!

  41. Anonymous User says:

    I had about 7 weeks worth of notes on my IPad mini, and then it just had to get deleted, even after I used ICloud and backed it up. You should fix this problem and give me my notes back. This is madness and you HAVE to fix this. The notes were deleted when I updated to IOS 8.1.3. This ”’upgrade” was more of a downgrade for me.

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