How to Back Up Apple Notes

The IOS/Mac Notes app is free, fast, and syncs wonderfully well across all of my various Mac/IOS devices. I use it for numerous categories: Recipes, purchases, lists of all sorts, computer tips I don’t want to forget - the list goes on and on; and at least as a retiree I don’t need anything more complicated.

My main problem is how to back up all that up. With hundreds of notes I am concerned about inadvertently deleting one and not noticing it for over 30 days, or (more likely) modifying one in a way that I wish I had not. Without access to my “Notes Folder” on iCloud (not that there is actually one ) I can’t just drag and copy anything anywhere. I also have not been able to find any apps or software to make this happen.

My (admittedly lame) way to partially address this is to at the beginning of each month open each note that has been either created or modified within the previous month, copy the text, and paste that text into one long, locally stored, and extensively backed up text file on local drives. Obviously that is not perfect - if two or more things happen to a specific note during the month I’ll only have where it finally ended up, but at least I won’t lose everything.

Although I’ve amateurishly knocked about a bit with both Automator and Workflow to automate other tasks, in this case I have not been able to figure out a way to automate this on either platform, and have not been able to discover or devise any other solution.

Does anyone have any ideas? (I’ve been waiting for Apple to provide a way to backup Notes but have not heard anything about this being addressed in the current betas.)

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I don’t know how easy it would be to automate (and it doesn’t handle pictures/files in notes), but Exporter was how I took all my Apple Notes into Bear. It’s not a perfect solution, but it might be an improvement.


It took me a while to find the location of the files.

To begin with I encourage the use of iCloud for syncing and online storage of your notes. However, this doesn’t have an archival backup of your notes. When I opened Time Machine I did not take me to the time warp view of notes but showed finder and did not allow me to go back in time to restore a note.

The notes are stored in the following location:

One should be able and restore the entire Notes database from any backup that includes the user library folder. Unfortunately, I don’t see an option to restore an individual note.

This is concerning for those who rely on Notes as an archival system and want to be able to restore a single note without affecting the rest.

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iMazing app can export the notes as well as almost everything from your iOS device and you can back it up somewhere of your choice.


Ah yes, that’s a good idea. A bit backward to backup from the iOS device rather than from the Mac. But hey it should work!


Greeting fellow retiree,

I toyed with the idea of using Apple Notes as an Evernote replacement a while back. I imported my EN data and used Notes for a couple of months.

For the most part it worked for me, but I decided to stay with EN. That’s when I realized I could not export my new Apple Notes data. Apple only provided (at that time) export to PDF.

Note2TXT works for plain text files, but most of my notes contained 1 or more pdf files. In the end I had to drag each PDF out of each note individually.

Until Apple provides an export/backup system I only use Notes for plain text.


After having a bunch of notes vanish (apparently deleted somehow without appearing in the Recently Deleted notes folder like the documentation states), and going through a really convoluted process to retrieve them from a clone backup of the Mac, Remember that if you delete a note on one device it is deleted on all of them. I have determined that Notes is not a good place to keep important information. I only use it for information that must be shared with my phone.

To get the closest approximation of a backup I Option-Drag (copy) notes from the iCloud to Local so at least I have two copies.

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I certainly appreciate all of your replies. They very helpful to me. Thank you!

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