Your iPhone notes store records of important information. That could be journals, checklists, web links, and scanned documents. So, it can be disappointing if some or all of these notes or even the Note app itself disappears into thin air.

But before this bizarre thing drives you up the wall, it might help first to understand the courses. That way, you can avoid or come out of a similar situation quickly in the future.

Read on to discover the possible reasons why your iPhone notes disappeared. Additionally, this article discusses tested and proven methods to recover lost notes.

In this article
    1. Restart the iPhone
    2. Check the Device's Recently Deleted Folder
    3. Email Settings Issue
    4. iTunes Backup
    5. Recover from iCloud Backup.
    6. Use Your iPhone's Search Bar

iPhone Notes Disappeared: Why That Happened

You don't remember deleting any of your notes. But they are gone mysteriously. The following are the probable reasons the notes went missing on the iPhone:

  • iOS Update: System update errors may cause some data on your iPhone to disappear. That includes notes, calendars, and messages. The update errors could also cause the iPhone Notes app to disappear. The errors could result from an interrupted or unsuccessful iOS automatic update process.
  • Deleted by Accident: You may have decided to erase unnecessary notes to tidy up and clean up your iPhone's memory. In the process, some items got deleted without your knowledge.
  • Email Settings Error: Did you initially synchronize notes with your email account but later close it? That could be the reason your iPhone notes disappeared. My notes disappeared on my iPhone after I erased an email address but forgot to update it in the iPhone settings. The same could have happened to you.
  • Minor iPhone Functionality Issues: Some minor issues with your iPhone's software can also cause notes to get lost. Sometimes, the iPhone notes disappear and reappear after restarting the device.

iPhone Notes Disappeared: How to Retrieve Them

Now you know the possible reasons why some or all your notes on your iPhone are gone. It's time to fix the problem. There are many ways to recover lost notes on an iPhone. Your precise solution will depend on the cause of the problem. Check out which one of these tricks works for you:

Restart the iPhone

As mentioned, a minor functionality hitch can cause the notes to get lost on your device. The most basic trick to fix this situation is to restart the iPhone. So, do it, then check if your notes have reappeared.

Check the Device's Recently Deleted Folder

You could have deleted a large number of notes, and in the process, some useful notes got deleted by accident. If that's so, don't panic if you store your notes on iCloud. The Notes app has a folder called Recently Deleted. You can check if your missing notes are stored there.

icon note
Note: Your deleted notes will stay in this folder for up to 30 days. After that, they will disappear permanently. In other words, you can only recover notes deleted less than 30 days ago using this trick.

To recover notes in the Recently Deleted folder:

Step 1: Open the Notes app and tap the back button until your Folders list appears.

Step 2: Tap the Recently Deleted option, then search for your note.

Step 3: You may find the note in the Recently Deleted or another folder.

Step 4: Select the note that you wish to move.

Step 5: Tap Move.

Step 6: Choose a folder for your selected note to go.

find missing notes on iphone in the recently deleted folder

If you can't find the Recently Deleted folder, then it's (probably) because you didn't delete any notes. Or the notes could have been deleted permanently. You also may not see the folder if you're using an outdated Notes app version.

Or if you're only a participant in shared notes, any deleted note isn't moved to the Recently Deleted folder. It's only removed from your list but remains on other participants. Notes you delete from a folder synced with your email account don't go into the Recently Deleted folder either.

If you use notes with a third-party service like Gmail, open the mail app and check in the Trash folder. Once you delete a note from your iPhone Notes app, the third-party account will often keep it in the Trash folder. You only need to copy the note from the folder and paste it to a new note in the Notes app.

Email Settings Issue

Email settings issue could be another reason your notes are missing on your iPhone. iOS allows users to sync or back up notes with any email account of their choice. You may have synced the notes with your Gmail account but mistakenly turned it off.

Or you could have recently deleted your Gmail email address or changed the email password. But you forgot to update it on iPhone settings.

Either way, you must check your settings:

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Step 2: Tap Mail and then Accounts.

Step 3: Tap the account you wish to check and ensure the Notes are on.

check your account settings to fix a notes disappearance issue
icon note
Note: If you use Notes with several email accounts, repeat steps 1-3 for the other accounts.

iTunes Backup

If you have been regularly backing up your iPhone notes to iTunes, it's easy to recover your missing data. Follow these steps to recover notes from iTunes backup:

Step 1: Run iTunes and connect your iPhone to a computer using a USB cable.

Step 2: Once the phone appears on the screen, tap the iPhone icon.

click the iphone icon on itunes to restore backup

Step 3: Tap Restore Backup under the Summary section.

click summary then tap the restore backup to recover missing notes
icon note
Note: As mentioned, this method is only applicable if you already have a previous backup. That means you must have backed up your iPhone on iTunes. Also, current media files not available in the Backup will be overwritten once you restore the Backup.

Recover from iCloud Backup

Apple's iCloud automatically backs up your iPhone daily when connected to power and Wi-Fi. However, you must have toggled the iCloud backup function ON from the settings. So, if you find your iPhone notes missing and have made a recent backup to restore from, then you have nothing to worry about.

All you need is to follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to Settings on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap [your name], then iCloud.

Step 3: Choose Manage Storage, then check the data and size of your device's latest Backup.

check the data and size of your iphone’s latest backup

If that Backup includes the lost notes, then you can recover them right away:

Step 1: Go back to the Settings tab and choose General.

Step 2: Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Step 3: Choose Erase all Content and Settings.

recover missing iphone notes from icloud backup

Once the iPhone has reset, choose Restore from iCloud Backup on the Apps and Data screen. Wait for a few minutes for your missing notes to be restored.

tap the restore from icloud backup option to restore backed up notes

Use Your iPhone's Search Bar

Your iPhone's Search is a powerful feature that you can rely on to find any files and apps on the device. So, if your notes are gone from your iPhone, use the Search to find them:

Step 1: While on the iPhone's home screen, swipe down.

Step 2: Type any keywords on the notes file you want to find.

Step 3: See if you identify your missing notes from the search results.

find your missing notes using the iphone’s search

Alternatively, you can open the Notes app and then tap the back icon until your list of notes appears. After that, follow these steps to find the disappeared notes:

Step 1: Tap the Search bar, then type a keyword, phrase, or the title of the note you wish to find.

Step 2: Select All Accounts to ensure the Search checks all of your notes in each folder, including your email account.

find missing iphone notes using the search feature in the notes app
icon note
Note: If you can't find the search bar, scroll to find it. The Search will only find the title of locked notes. You should check all of your locked notes to identify the specific note that you wish to recover.

You can also manually search for your notes if Search doesn't show results. Open the Notes app, then tap the back icon until you see the Folder list.

If you have multiple folders, tap each one to see if your missing note is there. Use different words, phrases, or titles from the notes until you find what you're looking for.

Back Up and Restore Your iPhone Notes with Ease

Your iPhone notes could contain records of sensitive details that you can't lose. Thus, you can give them an extra layer of security by backing them up to any computer (Windows or Mac). Wondershare MobileTrans can help with this.

MobileTrans is an easy-to-use software that helps users transfer files between devices and keep them safe. It supports over 18 file types, including videos, photos, WhatsApp messages, and documents.

Wondershare MobileTrans

Back Up Your Data to Computer Easily

  • • No data loss. No data leaks.
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4,085,556 people have downloaded it
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Follow these simple steps to back up your iPhone notes to a computer with MobileTrans:

Step 1: Download and install MobileTrans software on your computer. After that, connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB data cable.

Step 2: Open MobileTrans and click Backup & Restore from the software's home screen. Next, choose Backup under the Phone Backup & Store option.

choose backup under the phone backup & restore option on mobiletrans interface

Step 3: Choose the files you wish to back up by checking the boxes against each file type. In addition to notes, you could also back up videos, photos, documents, and even messages. After selecting the files to back up, click the Start button.

choose your iphone files to backup to a computer with mobiletrans

Step 4: Wait for a little while and keep your iPhone connected. MobileTrans will notify you when the backup process is completed. It usually takes a few minutes.

wait for a few minutes for mobiletrans to backup your iphone

Once MobileTrans has completed the Backup, disconnect your iPhone from the PC. Rest assured that your files are safe and secure. Should anything come up in the future, you can easily restore your iPhone backup with a few simple steps:

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to the computer with the Backup using a functional USB cable.

Step 2: From the MobileTrans home screen, click Backup & Restore.

Step 3: Choose the Restore option under Phone Backup and Restore.

Step 4: Select the files you wish to restore to your iPhone. You could restore all of your multiple backups or only a few. Click Start.

choose backup files to restore to your iphone

Step 5: Wait for the process to complete. MobileTrans will only take a few minutes to restore backups to the iPhone. It will notify you once the restoration is done.

disconnect your iphone once mobiletrans completes restoring backup in minutes


Finding out that some or all notes on your iPhone have disappeared can be frustrating. Fortunately, this article has discussed several tricks to restore them, as summarized below:

  • The most basic tip to restore missing notes on an iPhone is restarting the device.
  • You can also search certain words, phrases, or headings from the missing notes on the device's Search bar.
  • If that doesn't work, check the Recently Deleted folder or fix an email setting issue.
  • You could also restore the missing notes from iTunes or iCloud.

Now, choose an option that works for you and restore your iPhone notes like a Pro! Remember to (regularly) back up your iPhone to prevent unexpected data loss. You can always use MobileTrans to back up and restore notes and other sensitive files.

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  • Why Do iPhone Notes Disappear and Reappear?
    iPhone notes can disappear and reappear for different reasons, mostly related to software issues. Sometimes, you can fix this by restarting the device or configuring your settings. You also must update your device to the latest version of iOS. That ensures the problem isn't connected to previous software.
  • What do I do When My iPhone Notes Icon Disappears?
    Don't worry when your iPhone Notes icon disappears. The Notes app is a system app and can't be deleted or restricted. You may have unknowingly moved the icon into a certain home screen folder. To fix this situation, go to Settings > General > Reset, then choose Reset Home Screen Layout.
Navkiran Dhaliwal
Navkiran Dhaliwal Dec 30, 23
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