How to Recover Deleted Notes on iPhone

Recovering important notes from your iPhone’s Notes app is possible with or without a backup file. Here, we talk you through the main methods available to you when you lose precious notes from your iPhone.

What’s so important about recovering deleted notes on iPhone?

Most iPhone users are fans of the Apple Notes app. It’s handy for keeping tabs on important snippets of information, making lists, ordering thoughts and for keeping a useful record of personal information like log-ins, usernames and addresses. It’s like a notepad and pen when you just really need to make sure you’ll remember something.

This is why accidentally deleting notes from the app can be stressful. Damaging or losing your iPhone, and all your notes along with it, is also distressing. However, you do have options to recover your iPhone notes whether or not you have a back-up, so keep reading.

Recovering deleted notes on iPhone – main methods

There are several methods to consider using to recover deleted or lost data from your Notes app. You may be able to find the notes in your iPhones ‘Recently Deleted’ folder, but if the notes are no longer there, you can use Enigma Recovery data recovery software to help you locate and recover the notes you are missing.

It’s also possible that you can recover your lost notes through your iTunes or iCloud backup files, although overwriting your iPhone with these files brings its own data loss risks. Our data recovery software can help to minimise these risks and recover only the specific data you have deleted.

Here are the main options for recovering deleted notes from iPhones:

  • How to recover deleted notes from ‘Recently Deleted’ folder

  • How to recover deleted notes from iPhone without a backup

  • How to recover deleted notes from iTunes backup

  • How to recover deleted notes from iCloud backup

Compatibility – iPhones with iOS 13 – iOS 6:

  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone SE 2nd
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4s
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS

How to recover deleted notes from ‘Recently Deleted’ folder

You may not be aware that when a note is deleted from your iOS device, including your iPhone, it is not immediately removed from the device, but is instead sent to the ‘Recently Deleted’ file within the Notes app. This useful folder should be the first place you look if you have accidentally deleted a note on your iPhone, as it stores notes for around 30 days after deletion. If you have deleted a single note or a group of notes on your device in the last 30 days, then you may be able to recover your notes directly from your iPhone, using the steps below:

  1. Open Notes app

    Open the Notes app on your iPhone and navigate to the ‘Folders’ view.

    Open notes app and select folder view
  2. Select the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder

    Tap on the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder and search for the note(s) that you would like to recover.

    Search for notes you would like to find
  3. Select to recover

    If the notes that you need are visible, tap ‘Edit’ and select the Note(s) that you would like to recover.

    Select which notes to recover
  4. Move Notes back to the Main folder

    Select ‘Move to…’ and tap the folder you would like to move the deleted note(s) back to. If you were not able to find your deleted notes using this method, keep reading to find out how you can extract your notes from a backup file or directly from your device.

    Move your recovered notes back to main folder

How to recover deleted notes from iPhone without a backup

If you could not find your notes in the Recently Deleted folder, or you do not have a backup file, then this tutorial can help you retrieve your lost notes without a backup. The missing note or notes could be absent from your iPhone’s ‘Recently Deleted’ data file if they were deleted more than 30 days ago, or if you have manually permanently deleted the iPhone notes.

You will need to use recovery software like Enigma Recovery to recover a deleted note without a backup file. Once you have extracted the note you need from your iOS device, you can either export it to your computer or restore it to your iPhone. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Download Enigma Recovery software

    Download, install and open Enigma Recovery data recovery software on your Mac or Windows computer – it is free to try out and view a limited number of your iPhone notes.

    Download Enigma Recovery to recover notes on your iphone
  2. Select your recovery method

    Select ‘Recover from my iOS device’ and then follow any on-screen instructions to connect your iPhone.

    Connect your iphone to your computer or laptop
  3. Start the scan

    Check the box to recover data from ‘Notes’ then click ‘Start Scan’. If you have suffered wider data loss, you can also choose to recover additional data types.

    Select scan for notes to find your deleted notes on your iphone
  4. View recovered notes

    Once the scan is complete, you can preview a selection of recovered iPhone notes in the corresponding tab. To view everything and export or restore files, you will need to upgrade to the full version of Enigma Recovery data recovery software.

    view your deleted iPhone notes
  5. Export your notes

    To save notes to your computer in CSV, XML, PDF or XLSX format, go to ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > choose the location ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’.

    save your recovered iphone notes
  6. Restore notes to your iPhone

    The easiest way to restore notes to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch is via our Restore app. Download the app, connect the iOS device to your computer with a USB cable, then go to ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Restore to Device’ on Enigma Recovery. Once the transfer is complete, you can view the notes on your iPhone in the Restore app and, if you wish, copy and paste them across to the Notes app on your iPhone.

    restore your deleted iphone notes

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How to recover deleted notes from iTunes backup

If you have tried to recover your deleted note from your iPhone’s ‘Recently Deleted’ file, but have not been able to recover it, you can try to recover the note from iTunes (or Finder on Mac) instead.

If you synced your iPhone to iTunes/Finder after the notes were created but before they were deleted, you will be able to retrieve your lost notes from the Finder or iTunes backup file. It’s important to remember that any notes taken on your iPhone Notes app since your last iTunes backup will not be included in your iTunes backup file. This means these notes could be permanently deleted from your iPhone if you overwrite its data with an out-of-date iTunes backup file without using Enigma Recovery data recovery software to help you.

Follow our simple process below to extract your notes from iTunes using Enigma Recovery data recovery software.

  1. Download Enigma Recovery

    Download Enigma Recovery from this website. It is an iPhone data recovery tool that will allow you to scan your iPhone or iPhone backup file to retrieve deleted data.

    Download and install enigma recovery to start recovering notes from itunes
  2. Select ‘Recover from my iTunes’

    Open the software to the start screen and select ‘Recover from my iTunes’ from the side menu.

    Select Recover from my iTunes
  3. Select backup to recover from

    The software will show you all the iPhone backup files created on your computer or laptop. Choose the one you would like to retrieve data from and select ‘Continue’.

    select the backup to recover notes from
  4. Select data types to scan

    Select the data types you would like to retrieve from this iPhone backup file and start the scan. The scan time will depend on how much data is in your backup file.

    select notes datatype to scan to start recovery
  5. View recovered Notes

    View your retrieved iPhone Notes after the software has finished scanning by clicking onto the Notes tab. You will be able to view all your notes in the full, unlocked version of Enigma Recovery

    view your recovered iphone notes
  6. Save Notes to computer

    You can save retrieved Notes to your computer or your laptop by using the export function. ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > Save to folder location ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’.

    save and export iphone notes to your computer or laptop

How to recover deleted notes from iCloud backup

This option involves a full iPhone device restore through iCloud. This might be the only option available to you if your note is not in your iPhone’s ‘Recently Deleted’ folder and you don’t have an iTunes backup file. The warning with this approach is the same for recovering a missing note from an iTunes backup without the use of third-party data recovery software. Consider whether the note you want to recover was made since your last iCloud backup. If it was, overwriting with your latest iCloud backup may lead to permanent data loss.

  1. Check for an existing iCloud backup

    Check that you have a recent iCloud backup, which includes the note you deleted or lost, to restore from. On your iPhone, go to ‘Settings’ > [your name] > ‘iCloud’ > ‘Manage Storage’ > ‘Backups’. Select your iOS device listed under ‘Backups’, to view the date and size of the latest backup available.

  2. Erase iOS device

    Once you’re happy that the data you need is included in your latest iCloud backup and that you are happy to overwrite your iPhone data, follow these steps: Tap on ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Reset’, and then tap ‘Erase All Content and Settings’. Confirm you want to proceed when prompted and then wait whilst your iOS device is erased.

  3. Sign into your iCloud

    The ‘Apps & Data’ screen will load when your iPhone restarts. Tap ‘Restore from iCloud Backup’, and sign into iCloud using your Apple ID.

  4. Choose backup

    Once logged in, you will see a list of available iCloud backups in your account. Choose the backup you need to restore from.

  5. Restore iCloud backup

    Wait whilst the iCloud backup overwrites your iOS device. Once this is complete, you can return to using your iPhone or iPad as normal. Tap on the Notes app icon and find the note that you needed to recover – it should now be showing on your iOS device again.


Is the Restore app compatible with notes?

Yes – our Restore app has been developed to work with our Enigma Recovery software on iOS devices specifically. First, use the software to recover deleted notes from your iPhone, with or without a backup file. Then, with your iOS device connected to your computer, you can transfer your data back to the Restore app on your iPhone. Our Restore iOS app is completely free to download from the App Store.

Does your software support iOS 13?

We are pleased to say that with our software, you can recover deleted notes on the latest iOS version and the latest iPhone models.

Is Enigma Recovery compatible with password-protected notes?

If the note(s) that you need to recover was password-protected on your iPhone, the software will be able to recover them. However, you will need to enter the password in the software dashboard, so that the notes can be accessed.

If you need any help at all using the Enigma Recovery software, please contact our Support Team via our FAQs.


Victor, our Social Media and Support Manager helps customers to get the most out of our products. He was formerly a professional dancer who came to Enigma Digital due to his interest in emerging tech trends

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