Notes are an integral part of any device user’s routine. It helps to keep things organized, and to remember vital information when the need arises, all in one place. There’s hardly anyone who hasn’t come across the situation of losing notes, either accidentally or deliberately.
When such situations occur, chances are you’ll be tempted to find out how to recover them. In this blog post, we’ll explore different methods, tips, and tricks on how to get your notes back after deletion. This article is written from the perspective of the iOS Notes app, but the methods apply to all types of note taking, such as other note-taking apps or notes saved in word processing software.
There are a few things you need to recover notes deleted from the iOS Notes app:
- Your iOS device
- A recent backup of your iOS device (either on iTunes or iCloud)
- A computer with iTunes (if you’re backing up using iTunes)
What Requires Your Focus?
Several factors need to be considered when trying to recover deleted notes. Data recovery is a complex process, and the chances of a successful recovery depend on how you deleted the notes, the period between the deletion and the attempted recovery, the backup options available, etc. Below are some of the critical points you should focus on while trying to recover deleted notes.
- Always try to recover deleted notes as soon as possible.
- Check if there isn’t an older version of your notes pre-existing, prior to deletion.
- You need to have a recent backup of your iOS device or Notes app before the deletion.
- Avoid using iCloud to sync your Notes app during this process.
Different Methods to Restore Deleted Notes
Method 1: Restore Using Recently Deleted Folder
This method applies to notes deleted from within the iCloud Notes app. When you delete a note within the app, it moves to the “Recently Deleted” folder, where it stays for 30 days before finally being removed permanently. Follow the steps below:
- Tap and open your iCloud Notes app.
- On the bottom right corner of the screen, click "Recently Deleted".
- Swipe left over the note(s) you want to restore.
- Click "Move to" and select a folder to move your note(s) to.
- Quick and easy method for restoring recently deleted notes
- Not useful if the notes have already been permanently deleted from the "Recently Deleted" folder
- Only applicable for notes deleted from the iCloud Notes app, and not manually deleted from the device
Method 2: Restore from iCloud Backup
This method applies to notes deleted from the device and backed up on iCloud. Make sure you have a recent iCloud backup for your device before performing the steps below:
- Reset your device to factory settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > “Erase All Content and Settings”.
- After your device has been reset, turn on your device and all the setup processes will begin.
- On the “Apps & Data” screen, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup”.
- Sign in with your Apple ID and choose a backup to restore your device from.
- Works well when notes have been permanently deleted from the "Recently Deleted" folder and no backup was made in iTunes
- Although this is a reliable method, it’s only useful if you have a recent iCloud backup
- You will lose all recently made data on your device when restoring a backup
Method 3: Restore from iTunes Backup
This method applies to notes deleted from the device and backed up on iTunes. Make sure you have a recent iTunes backup for your device before performing the steps below:
- Connect your device to a computer with iTunes installed.
- Choose your device in iTunes, then select "Restore Backup".
- Choose the backup from the list and click “Restore”.
- Wait while the restore process completes.
- Works well when notes have been permanently deleted from the "Recently Deleted" folder and no backup was made in iCloud
- It is faster than the iCloud method when it comes to restoring marginally large amounts of data
- It’s only helpful if you made an iTunes backup recently before deleting your notes.
- You may lose some recently updated information from the time of the backup through to the time your notes were deleted.
Why Can’t I Retrieve Deleted Notes?
There are several reasons why you might not be able to retrieve deleted notes. Below are some of them and potential fixes:
1. No backups made
Q: How can I retrieve deleted notes without making a backup?
A: Unfortunately, this is impossible. Backups are essential as they hold the key to restoring deleted notes. Without a backup, there is no way to retrieve deleted notes.
2. Notes deleted more than 30 days ago
Q: Is there a way to retrieve notes deleted more than 30 days ago?
A: No, there isn’t. Notes are kept available on "Recently Deleted" folder for only 30 days before they are erased permanently.
3. Notes weren’t synced to iCloud
Q: What can I do if I didn’t sync my notes with iCloud and my notes are deleted?
A: Unfortunately, this method won’t work for you. If notes weren’t synced with iCloud, there’s no backup for them.
Implications and Recommendations
While data backups are essential to recover deleted notes, they require proper implementation and frequent updating. Below are some implications and recommendations you should take into consideration:
- Regularly update and backup your device to avoid loss of data.
- Don’t rely on the recently deleted folder for a long-term backup plan as a hard reset or automatic deletion can delete the folder.
- If you’re unable to retrieve deleted notes on your own, consult with a data recovery specialist.
- Cloud sync can make the process of backup and restore easy and seamless.
5 FAQs about Restoring Deleted Notes
Q: Will changing the password on the iOS device affect notes restores?
A: No, it will not.
Q: Is an iTunes backup better than an iCloud backup?
A: Both backups are almost the same, as they have the same objective to save user data. The only difference is that iCloud is cloud-based and iTunes is computer-based.
Q: Do I need to sign in with my Apple account for the iCloud method to work?
A: Yes, you do.
Q: Is it possible to retrieve deleted notes if I didn’t back up my device previously?
A: No, it’s not. You need a backup to access deleted data.
Q: Is there any other software I can use to retrieve deleted notes?
A: While there are many tools available online, it is advisable to work with an experienced data recovery professional to ensure a higher chance of success.
In summary, losing notes is a common occurrence for device users, but with backup methods available, it’s possible to retrieve deleted notes. However, the chances of successful note recovery depend on several factors that should be kept in mind when attempting to recover notes. By exploring the methods and tips above, you can increase your chances of restoring your deleted notes from the iOS Notes app.