Guide to Recover Lost Notes from iPhone

--Thursday, Sep.29, 2016

We used to take notes on textbooks or notebooks when still a child, but now, we grew up and get used to writing down all kinds of things on "Note" on our mobile phones since we own one. In this way, notes become more portable and accessible than ever. Though the way we make notes has changed, one thing is still the same as we scream out and ask "Where are my notes?" Instead of finding your notebook in a rubbish bin, it would be a bit different when it comes to recovering lost notes from our iPhone. Here, let me show you how to get your missing notes back without or with backup files.

Feasibility: Why is It Possible to Retrieve Lost Notes from iPhone?

If you have backed up data on your device via iTunes or iCloud ahead of time, it will be highly likely for you to restore them from iTunes or iCloud backups. As long as there are notes included in backup files, you can always get them back with ease. Detailed instruction will be showed at the following sections.

However, if you have no backups for your previous notes, it would be less but still possible to retrieve your notes. Deleted notes still exist in your storage somewhere you cannot access as long as they're not overwritten by new contents. Like a drop of water falls into the Pacific Ocean, they just turn invisible and hard to access. However, if you find your notes missing, please stop using your iPhone until you get notes back.

Possible to Get Notes Back on iPhone

Method 1: How to Restore Deleted Notes in the Case of Backups?

Same as the feature of "Photos" app, you can always recover a deleted note as long as it's not deleted over 30 days. Go to "Notes" app > "Back" button > "Recently Deleted" and choose the note to open. Then, randomly tap on the screen. It will ask you whether to recover recently deleted note. Please select "Recover".

However, if the note was deleted long time ago or you fail to find it on the "Recently Deleted" folder, have a try on iPhone Data Recovery, which will perform a advanced scan on your device and thus find out those invisible and inaccessible ones.

Step 1. Connect Device to Computer

Please download and install iPhone Data Recovery for the first time use. Then, run the software and connect your device to it. It takes a second to detect your iPhone.

Connect Device to Computer

Step 2. Choose to Scan Notes

Now, you will be asked to select one or multiple items to scan. Please select "Note & Attachments" and click on "Start Scan". The software will begin a deep scan to search for those deleted items. Please wait.

Note that you can check out photos, sketches, videos etc. Separately.

Choose to Scan Notes

Step 3. Highlight and Restore Notes

After the scanning, found items will be listed on the screen with lost ones marked in red. You are allowed to preview the whole contents of notes before recovering them. Then, choose "Restore to device" or "Recover to Computer".

Note that encrypted notes or those saved from apps can also be scanned out and restored.

Restore Notes from iOS Device

Method 2: How to Extract Missing Notes from iTunes Backup File?

Backup files always come in handy when data loss happened. If there is a backup file available on iTunes, you can easily get data restored to your iPhone via iTunes with easy steps: Connect iPhone to "iTunes" > "File" > "Devices" > "Restore from backup". Though it's easy and simple in this way, existing data will be overwritten or cleared in order to restore data from iTunes. If you want to keep current files and retrieve missing notes, you might as well try iPhone Data Recovery.

Step 1. Scan iTunes Backup File

Open iPhone Data Recovery, then choose "Recover from iTunes Backup File". The program will scan for the existing iTunes backups on your computer for the first time. If it fails, you may need to select file by yourself. When backups show up on the screen, please choose one to "Start Scan".

Note that you don't need to plug your iPhone to computer only if you want to restore notes back to your device.

Scan iTunes Backup

Step 2. Preview and Retrieve Notes

Though you cannot selectively choose to only scan for note, the process won't take so long. After that, please check out notes in detail and highlight them to "Restore to device" or "Recover to Computer". If you want to restore all notes, quickly select all via "Double Click" > "Check All".

Note that the software enables to restore notes including encrypted ones and those saved from other apps.

Restore Notes from iTunes

Method 3: How to Get Lost Notes Back from iCloud Backup File?

Once you enable iCloud service, contents on your iPhone will be synced to iCloud. Only if you toggle on "Notes" under iCloud settings, it's really likely to restore your missing notes from iCloud backup files. You can get your notes from iCloud in 2 ways:

1. Log in iCloud.com. Choose "Note" and preview the notes stored on iCloud. Users cannot directly download notes from iCloud.com. However, you can copy and paste the note to word files on your computer.

2. Reset your iPhone and restore data from iCloud. Go to "Settings" > "General" > "Reset" > "Erase All Content and Settings". After the reboot, choose "Restore from iCloud Backup".

The second method may cause loss of other data. Otherwise, you can use iPhone Data Recovery to extract notes from iCloud and restore them to device/computer without a hitch.

Step 1. Log in iCloud Account

Run iPhone Data Recovery on your computer and select "Recover from iCloud Backup File". Then, please enter your iCloud account as to get access to data on iCloud.

Note that you need to download iCloud Panel in the first place.

Log in iCloud

Then, you will need to choose one iCloud backup file and there is a pop-up prompting you to select types of data to download from iCloud, please check "Note & Attachments" and tap "Next" to begin downloading notes from iCloud backup file.

Choose to Download Notes

Step 2 Restore Notes to Computer

After done downloading, you can preview the content of notes on the program. Then, select one or multiple notes to "Restore to device" or "Recover to Computer".

Restore Notes from iCloud

Tips & Tricks: Tips to Personalize Your Notes

Encrypt Your Notes

Step 1. Open a note and tap the "Share" button on the upper right.

Step 2. Tap on "Lock Note" from the pop-up.

Step 3. Set up a password (Using Touch ID is also available.) and hint. Then, tap "Done".

Note that if you forget the password, you won't be able to view your locked notes.

Encrypt Your Notes

Manage Your Notes

Since there is not "Setting" option in "Notes" app, most of you may not know you actually can manage notes by yourself.

Turn on "Settings" app on your iPhone and scroll down to "Notes" option. Tap on it and you will find such a screen as below. You're able to manage your notes in terms of these aspects:

1. Sort your notes by "Date Edited", "Date Created" or "Title".

2. Start new notes with "Title", "Heading" or "Body".

3. Choose a default account for Siri to create new notes when you ask Siri to record something as a note.

4. Set password for all your locked notes.

5. Save photos or videos taken in Notes to the "Photos" app.

Manage Your Notes

New Feature of Note on iOS 10

Keep notes up to date with people. This is a new feature coming along with iOS 10. Different from the way sharing your friends or families via Message, Mail, Facebook or other else, you can keep your notes up to date with others. Latest changes on notes will be synced.

Note that this new feature is exclusively available for those synced with iCloud.

Step 1. Open "Note" app and choose a note from folders on "iCLOUD".

Step 2. Tap on the "Contact" icon on the upper right next to "Share" button.

Step 3. Add people to the note via sending invitation by Message, Mail, Copy Link, Twitter and so on. Multiple contacts are supported.

New Feature of Notes on iOS 10

That's all it takes to restore missing notes on iPhone. After retrieving your lost notes, please make a backup for your iPhone via iTunes or iCloud again lest they get lost once more.

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