The only thing that annoys me on Apple Notes: search

Leaving Evernote since 2020 and finally settling on Apple Notes after trying Bear, Notion and other apps, I overall satisfy with it but except one thing for a long time: search.

Unlike other apps, notes which match the title won’t be the top results so that I need more time to look for the one I need, or type something like “note titled (keywords)” .

That’s not a big deal for me. What the deal breaker since ios 17 is that the app doesn’t show up some of the notes. For example, I have a note titled “Battersea”, when I type the word, no result shows until I personally open the folder it belongs and open the note to become the “top hit” result.

I don’t know why Apple is unable to perform such a basic function of search well. Even Evernote can do very well.

I tried turning off and on Siri and Search but it didn’t help.

Maybe Apple Notes is suitable for quick capture for short term but not long term just in case? Should I go back to other apps like Bear or Evernote?


Thanks for everyone’s advice and there are some tips for searching notes on Apple Notes.

  • If you want to look for notes matching titles, type “Title” or “Note titled” will help a lot!
  • If you make sure the app searches everything that matches the keyword for you, type " before any keywords >> "KEYWORD instead of KEYWORD

You should find an app that works … an app that works for you.

Stop falling into the trap of running from one app to another as opinions change in this forum. You have lots of good choices. Find one. Give it a good tryout. Make sure it works for you before committing to it. And then stick with it.


You are right and I don’t want to switch apps again even there are export functions.

I have just found a workaround. If you add " before the keyword, there will be more results shown.

Search KEYWORD >> 15 found
Search "KEYWORD >> 120 found

But I don’t think this always happens in English, but most likely my language instead.

1 Like

Just a side note that might not solve your second problem.

If you use search format Title Keyword, it should return all titles first. For some reason, this only works reliably if the word Title is capitalized.

Apple Notes is not perfect by any means. But as an overall package, it is a great tool.

I am trying to make a conscious effort to not only notice the negatives, but also note and appreciate the positives.

1 Like


“Note titled” will be more precise, see below:

Yes, every time when I look for alternatives I don’t want to give up Apple Notes.

You might want to try something, but I don’t guarantee this is the issue you’re facing. After I upgraded to iOS 17, Siri and search would not surface certain of my Shortcuts. If I searched my calendar for an appointment it would not surface—even if I was looking directly at it on the calendar. I saw some advice about resetting Siri & Search in settings. I went to that setting and toggled off all the settings for any app that was giving me a problem. Then I toggled them back on. Straightened out all my search problems. Maybe it would fix the search problem you are having with notes.


Yes, you are correct. Now neither method is working 100% for me. I will try the resetting Spotlight suggestion below and see if that helps.

On the Mac, have you tried the Alfred plugin for Notes searching? I find that is by far the quicker way to get to the note I want. Once installed, just type ‘n’ followed by your search term and the note titles will start appearing.

1 Like

I have tried since iOS 16 haha. It usually fixed temporarily. When I found " it should be long lasting.

I think Apple has done something in order to maintain app performance (remember Notes is not their main app, just a small part of their big whole OS universe). They might do some tricks by reducing the workload (i.e. reducing the number of results) of search.

Notes, for Apple, may be just an app for some short-term note taking (most less likely to use again after some tasks finish for a long time).

However, while Notion, Craft, Bear and Evernote is more capable to organise projects and even life, I will realise I will spend much more time on those apps. A sense of control but life is not easier. Apple Notes can.