Lost all scans in a locked Note

Posting this more as a cautionary tale, as Apple tries to figure out what happened….

Background: Running iOS 16.3.1 (current version) on an iPhone 13 Pro, and the most current versions of MacOS and iPadOS on supported hardware.

I’ve been keeping a reference note for years. Basically - it’s a note with numerous scans of ‘what’s in your wallet’. Included scans of licenses, credit cards, library cards, etc. Worked flawlessly.

Earlier this week I locked the note. Yesterday when I needed to view it, it opened without issue — except all the scans were empty. See screenshot.

Troubleshooting: Apple had me move the note to another iCloud folder, restore from an iCloud backup, move the note to an ‘On my iPhone’ folder, etc. No progress thus far.

Please check your notes to ensure they’ve not lost their integrity.

Not the first instance of this happening on this forum, which is scary. I remember on a podcast a year or so ago Marco Arment and the ATP gang said they use Apple Notes, but “don’t store anything in there you don’t want to lose”.

I’ve been tempted (and have) made the switch to AN a few times, but cases like these make me super uneasy.

I hope you get your data back.

1 Like

Woof… I’ve got hundreds of notes in Apple Notes, but seeing repeated issues like this reported makes me think maybe I should move them out. Maybe back to Bear, or DEVONthink.

Make it a tool that stores your stuff as well-known and common file types in the operating system. That’s my recommendation. I understand that Apple Notes is an app that you can export from, but if the data goes missing, you have nothing to export. :slightly_smiling_face:


Notes is pretty well supported by Shortcuts. I have not tried it but it would probably be fairly straightforward to write a Shortcut that on a schedule exports all notes to Devonthink or Dropbox or whatever other location of choice you wish.

One could consider such a shortcut to be part of a reasonable backup plan. However, for me, if Apple Notes were unreliable enough to require periodic and continuing export to a well-known and common file format, I would export once and be done with Apple Notes.

Until the root cause of the reported problem has been identified, and data confirmed to be unrecoverable, I would wait and see.

While I agree - what other Notes app handles images, rich text, PDFs, and hyperlinks as easily as Notes does and also effortlessly syncs between Mac and iOS?

I recommend all AN users export their data on a regular basis. I used the Exporter app until I stopped using Apple Notes for anything important.

1 Like

Doesn’t matter if Apple Notes is proven to be unreliable. But that has not happened yet.

I tried the Exporter app - Thank you @WayneG. The option to backup to HTML in particular is excellent.

Too bad it does not have Shortcuts or Applescript support. I think a scheduled backup could be automated for the app using Keyboard Maestro however.

1 Like