Luckily, you can usually retrieve deleted notes from your iPhone or iPad without much hassle. Apple only gives you 30 days in the Notes app, but there are a couple of other ways to retrieve deleted notes as well.
How to Retrieve Deleted Notes on an iPhone or iPad
Apple holds onto your recently deleted notes for 30 days. That means if you accidentally deleted an important note in the last month, it’s usually incredibly easy to get it back.
To retrieve your recently deleted notes:
- Open the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Keep tapping the Back Arrow in the top-left corner to view your folders.
- Scroll to the bottom and open the Recently Deleted folder.
- Find the deleted note you want to retrieve, then swipe left and tap the Folder icon to move it into a different folder. Alternatively, tap Edit and select multiple notes to Move at once.
The Recently Deleted folder only holds notes for 30 days. After that time, the Notes app automatically deletes them forever to save space.
You can also permanently remove notes by choosing to Delete them from your Recently Deleted folder. However, if you do this, there’s no way to retrieve them again.
How to Retrieve Deleted Notes on the iCloud Website
If you’re using a device without the Notes app, you can also view your recently deleted notes from the iCloud website. This means you can retrieve deleted notes using a Windows PC or someone else’s device.
To do so:
- Go to iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
- Click the Notes icon to view your notes.
- Select the Recently Deleted folder from the sidebar.
- Open the note you want to retrieve and click Recover.
You can use a similar method to recover iCloud data from most iCloud apps.
You can only recover notes from the iCloud website if you turned on iCloud sync for Notes on your iPhone or iPad. To check this, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud on your iPhone or iPad and look to see if you turned the Notes option on or off.
How to Retrieve Deleted Notes From an Email Account
When you add mail accounts to your iPhone or iPad, you can also choose to sync contacts, calendars, and notes from the account as well as emails.
If you sync Notes with an email account, such as Gmail, you might be able to use that account to retrieve deleted notes. The exact method to retrieve deleted notes depends on your account, but it’s easy to find out if you sync Notes with these accounts or not.
To find out if you sync Notes with your mail accounts:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Go to Notes > Accounts.
- Tap each of your accounts to see if Notes is turned on.
If you sync Notes with one of your email accounts, visit the website for that account (for example, Gmail.com). Sign in to your account and look for your deleted notes in the trash.
You may also be able to use specific data recovery methods for that account, but the exact method for this varies from site to site.
How to Retrieve Deleted Notes From a Backup
The notes on your iPhone or iPad may or may not get included in any backups you make of your device. Apple only includes Notes in your device backup if you don’t already sync Notes to iCloud.
To find out if you sync Notes or not, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud and look to see if Notes is turned on or off.
If you don’t sync Notes to iCloud, Apple should include your notes in your backups instead. Try restoring your iPhone or iPad from a backup to retrieve deleted notes. However, remember that restoring an old backup means you lose any data you created since making that backup.
If you do sync Notes to iCloud, Apple doesn’t include them in a backup because they’re already stored in iCloud. Apple doesn’t even include Notes if you use a computer to back up your device. This means you only have 30 days to retrieve deleted notes using the first method we showed you above.
If those 30 days have passed already, there’s no other way to retrieve your notes.
Keep Comprehensive Backups to Avoid Future Data Loss
Hopefully you were able to retrieve your deleted iPhone or iPad notes using one of the methods we detailed above. Most of the time you can restore notes from the Recently Deleted folder. But since Apple only gives you 30 days to do so, it’s best to find other ways to protect yourself against data loss as well.
There are lots of different methods you can use to back up all the data on your iPhone or iPad. These range from automatic iCloud backups to manually transferring files to a computer.
Check out our comprehensive iOS backup guide to learn everything there is to know about the subject and keep your notes safe in the future.