Apple Notes sync is terrible!

I have just completed a migration from Evernote to Apple Notes and I am shocked at how bad the iCloud sync is. I have been an Evernote user for years and decided to switch as I wanted better integration with the OS and had become dissatisfied with EN’s latest changes.

I have 3711 notes and migrated everything OK on my iMac, a notebook at a time. After giving time for my other Apple devices to sync (3 days), I am faced with this situation…




MacBook Pro

I could spend ages working out what is missing on each device but then not sure how to force items to sync. Has anyone else had this issue or got any ideas how I can get everything into sync? Many thanks.

Can it be that there are notes without further content? I noticed that when I create a new note without any content, that it doesn’t sync but that it does count on the device where it was created.

I only have a mere 750-odd notes, but sync has always worked this side, with the correct note appearing within seconds on my respective devices, after having been created elsewhere.

You however have introduced 3,700-odd notes straight into the system, as opposed to building them up over time, like you presumably did in Evernote? Whilst one would hope it would take less than 3-days – if Photos is anything to go by, I would not be surprised if it takes a while still before everything appears, eventually.

Or not. :man_shrugging:t3:

Cannot argue against those who ask for more transparency in terms of what is going on in the background, since it really is a black hole. But guess the system is probably designed around gradual expansion of the library. That all said, it looks as if the iMac has hit the target, and now it’s a case of waiting for the others to catch up? Holding thumbs for you that they do!


I had this problem regularly, it’s why moved away from Apple Notes, I just couldn’t trust it to work.

Disabling and removing all the notes from all but one device, then syncing again fixed it normally for a while but then it always ended up getting inconsistent again.

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It’s been like this always I think.
That’s why I do not keep anything of importance in Notes app.

I have my cooking recipes and some notes I share with my family in there, nothing else.


Is it possible that it takes a while to sync? I have that problem when I get a new phone for all my photos and for the times I do use my computer.

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Unfortunately, that is also where I’ve landed. I like Apple Notes but I cannot trust sync.


I don’t doubt the problems others are seeing. I decided to go check mine (iPhone, iPad, Mac). Exact match on all (3,573 notes).

I’ve been using Apple Notes for years now having moved over from Evernote. There are occasional lags in syncs, but I have found it to be very reliable. Again, not questioning other’s observations. Just sharing that it can work and does for me. — jay


I would prefer not to go to alternatives at this stage. Thanks.

No, these notes all have content. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Thanks for all your replies. A few follow up points:

Thanks @BradG and @Jjm - I will be patient a while longer!

It seems that several people are not keen on the reliability of Apple Notes. Interesting that you have reached the point of not trusting it @Bmosbacker and @JKoopmans.

The comment by @jayelevy gives me hope that it will eventually all sync up ok…

I don’t doubt the problems others are seeing. I decided to go check mine (iPhone, iPad, Mac). Exact match on all (3,573 notes).

Will report back after a few more days and see where we are.

Just another perspective. I have 3526 notes, which I migrated over from Evernote about a year ago. Somewhere in the past, Apple Notes was slower than Evernote to sync. However in the past 6-9 months, the sync has been instantaneous.

I added and updated a few notes this morning on my iMac and it showed up on my iPhone and iPad within a second. Very comparable to what I experience on Google Docs.

There was another thread recently that was about iCloud syncing issues. Made me wonder if the Apple iCloud syncing is much better in the US than in other parts of the world.

TLDR: iCloud syncing (Notes, Reminders, Files) have been exceptionally good. Only remaining issue is Photos, but that has never been quick, so…?


To follow up on my previous post, there is one feature that is keeping me firmly in the Apple Notes camp. That is the ‘sharing’ feature. Very often I need to copy info from emails or websites. With the sharing feature, I just highlight the info, go to share and am able to append to a current note or create a new note.

This feature is extremely valuable to my workflow.

Thanks @Nick_Fulgham for your thoughts. This gives me hope and was the type of service I was expecting in terms of sync speed, albeit after the initial sync has completed and all settled.

You are right re the sharing, it is an excellent and part of the reason why I have gone away from Evernote after being with them as a paid account for many years.

This is one of many reasons why I have become a plain text/markdown convert.


I have never had any problems with Notes, syncing or otherwise.

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I’m also in the “don’t trust it enough to use it” camp. I had problems with Apple Notes stretching out over years, ranging from not syncing completely between some devices to occasional corruption of existing notes when syncing changes.

It’s always seemed weird to me that many people never have problems and others end up abandoning Notes because of persistent reliability issues. I’d love to know why but given how opaque so much of what’s related to iCloud seems to be I fear that I never will. Maybe Apple won’t either.


@Bmosbacker do you have any of these in iCloud? I use Obsidian for client work and have it syncing using iCloud Drive. I am now wondering if this can be trusted as well??!

I have everything in iCloud except for work related documents in Google Drive. I should have been more specific. I have not had syncing problems with files, contacts, emails, calendar, or photos in iCloud.

Where I’ve had persistent and frustrating syncing problems has been with Apple Notes. I now only keep a few quick reference notes in Apple notes. Everything else is an iCloud. I am also a heavy Obsidian user as well as Craft user, both synced with iCloud without problems.

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works fine for me. i run two Macs and two iPhones and an iPad, and all sync perfectly and immediately. i have hundreds of notes. i’ve not done anything special to mess with it; its running stock.

i’m on Monterey latest beta.

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