How to Recover Deleted Notes on iPhone

Find out how to recover notes from your iPhone, iTunes or iCloud backup file

Note taking is largely a digital activity these days. Taking down an address, planning out an essay or jotting down a name to remember to look up on Facebook later. The Notes app on iPhones is a fantastically useful and convenient tool. But what happens when you lose or delete the notes on your device? It can be a stressful time, especially if you were not backing up your iPhone to iTunes or iCloud regularly. If you’d like to recover notes that you have deleted from your iPhone, you can do so with the tutorials below. Whether you accidentally deleted something important or purposefully deleted something you later found out was incredibly important, use this guide to help you.

Fortunately, if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of deleting or losing important notes from your iPhone, help is available, and you have four options to recover and restore notes back to your iPhone. Follow the tutorial that is best for you below, to retrieve your lost notes.

These tutorials are compatible with a range of iPhones (and even works with iOS 12), including:

  • iPhone 4/ 4s
  • iPhone 5 / 5s / 5c
  • iPhone 6 / 6 plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7 / 7 plus
  • iPhone 8 / 8 plus
  • iPhone X

Recover Lost iPhone Data

You may or may not know, that when you delete a file, text message, contact or note from your iPhone, it’s not always erased from the device straight away. If it is a photo, video or note that is deleted, it will be sent to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder on your iPhone. This useful folder can be a lifesaver if you have accidentally deleted a single note or a group of notes. Notes that are sent here are saved for 30 days from deletion. So, if you’ve deleted a note or a group of notes within the last 30 days, there’s a chance you’ll be able to find them directly on your iPhone. Follow our simple steps to find out more.

Step 1 – Open Notes app

Open the Notes app on your iPhone, and go to the Folders view.

Open notes app and select folder view

Step 2 – Open Recently Deleted folder

Open the Recently Deleted folder and search for the note(s) that you would like to recover. If you do not see them here, proceed to the next tutorial below.

Search for notes you would like to find

Step 3 – Select to recover

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

Select to recover

Step 4 – Move back to main folder

Select ‘Move To…’ and tap the folder you would like to move the deleted note(s) back to.

Move note back to main folder

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If you’ve tried the first tutorial option, but haven’t been able to recover your deleted notes, then your next best option is to try and recover the notes directly from your iPhone, using a data recovery software like Enigma Recovery. This method can recover deleted notes directly from your device, even if you do not have an iTunes or iCloud backup file available.

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

Download and install Enigma Recovery software.

Download Enigma Recovery

Step 2 – Connect iPhone to computer

Open the software and use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer or laptop you are using.

Connect iphone to computer

Step 3 – Select to scan iPhone for Notes

Select the types of data you would like to recover from the phone. After you have done this, start the scan. The software will scan your phone for existing and deleted data types on the folders you have selected.

select to scan for notes

Step 4 – View deleted Notes

After the software has finished scanning your phone, you will be able to click onto the Notes tab to view your deleted notes. In the free trial version, you will be able to view only a portion of your deleted notes. Unlock the full version of Enigma Recovery to view and save all recovered data.

view deleted notes

Step 5 – Save iPhone Notes

To save recovered Notes make sure you are using the unlocked version of Enigma Recovery. Go to: ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > Select location folder ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’.

save iphone notes

Step 6 – Restore deleted iPhone Notes

To restore your deleted Notes, select ‘Export & Restore’ and then select ‘Restore’. With our free Restore iOS app installed on your iPhone, you can restore the notes back to the app on your device.

restore deleted iphone notes

Option 3: Recover deleted Notes from iTunes backup

When you back up your iPhone to iTunes, it makes a copy of your data at the time of the backup. If you synced your iPhone to iTunes after the notes were created but before they were deleted, you will be able to retrieve your lost notes from an iTunes backup file. Use the tutorial below to see how.

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

Use the download buttons on this website to download Enigma Recovery. Enigma Recovery 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

Step 2 – ‘Recover from my iTunes’

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

open recently deleted folder

Step 3 – Select backup to recover from

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

select backup to recover from

Step 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

Step 5 – View recovered Notes

View your retrieved 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 recovered notes

Step 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 notes to computer

Option 4: Recover deleted Notes from iCloud backup

If you are using the iCloud backup functionality provided by Apple, then it is possible that you have a backup of your notes before they were deleted. With iCloud backup turned on, a backup of your device will be taken when your phone is connected to Wi-Fi and a power source. If you synced your iPhone to iCloud you may be able to retrieve your lost notes from an iCloud backup file. Use the tutorial below to see how.

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

Download the Enigma Recovery free trial from this website. Once the install is complete, open the software to the start screen.

Download enigma recovery

Step 2 – ‘Recover from my iCloud’

Choose ‘Recover from my iCloud’ from the menu at the side.

Recover from my icloud

Step 3 – Log into iCloud

Now log into your iCloud. The software will keep your login secure by offering iCloud two-factor authentication login. Your login details will not be saved.

Log into icloud

Step 4 – Select iCloud backup

Once you have logged into iCloud, the software will display all the iCloud backup files you can recover data from. Select the backup file you wish to recover Notes from.

Step 5 – Select data type: Notes

Select the data types you would like to recover from the backup file and start the scan.

Select notes datatype

Step 6 – View Notes

To view your retrieved Notes, click onto the Notes tab after the scan.

View notes

Step 7 – Save Notes

To save retrieved data to your computer go to: ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > Folder location ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’.

Save and export notes


Is the Restore app compatible with notes?

Yes – our Restore app works with our Enigma Recovery software to recover deleted notes, with or without a backup and then restore them back to the app on your iPhone. Once restored, you can use the copy and paste function to transfer data back to your native notes app on your iPhone. Plus, our Restore iOS app is completely free to download from the App Store!

Does your software support iOS 12?

We’re constantly working on improving compatibility with the latest iOS devices and iOS versions. We’re pleased to say that these tutorials to recover deleted notes will work on the latest iOS 12 and iPhone XR / XS / XS Max.

How do I recover deleted notes on iPad?

The process for recovering deleted notes on an iPad is similar to the process for recovery from an iPhone. For a more in-depth tutorial, please click here.

Did these tutorials help you recover your deleted notes from your iPhone? Let us know in the comments below.

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


Sarah McGregor joined the Enigma Recovery Team in June 2014. As Digital and Content Marketing Executive she writes help blogs and ‘How to’ articles for the website. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys connecting with our customers through social media and email.

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