Solution to iPhone Notes Disappearing Problem

Ever since iOS4 came out, I noticed a problem with the Notes program.  If I added text to a note, I would notice that instead of saving the updated version, it would revert back to its previous version!

What a horrible, horrible glitch!  How could Apple have messed something up so bad!  So many ideas could have been lost without even somebody noticing that it disappeared! (out of sight, out of mind!)

So after much researching, I found out WHY this is happening and how to fix it!

The problem is that since upgrading to iOS 4, the Notes program has the ability to sync with your e-mail accounts.  But it doesn’t do this very well.

Update: If you have a gmail account, the kinks might have been worked out by now.  But with any other e-mail account (like yahoo or with a POP setup), it’s glitchy.  Either way, I wouldn’t risk it.  I believe it has to do with the fact that the iPhone, given its mobile nature, doesn’t have a solid connection to the internet like your home computer.

The solution is to make sure that all the notes you are writing, are set to save for your phone and your phone only.

1. Open your Notes program.  Tap the “Accounts” button on the top of the list of notes. (I didn’t even notice they added that!)

select Accounts
Select Accounts

2. Now you will see the screen display something like this:

Accounts for Notes Program
Select "On My iPhone"

3. If you choose”On My iPhone”  you will see the Notes saved to your phone only.  This is the ideal setting if you don’t want your notes program to constantly access and try to update the note with your email account and quite possibly revert to the previous version.

4.  Compare what notes there are and there AREN’T in each account selection.  Consolidate them one by one as new notes specifically for the “on my iPhone” account.

I had to do it by copy and pasting and I thought it was going to be a pain but it wasn’t so bad.  This was actually very worth my time, because it allowed me to simultaneously clean up and delete old content that was not needed anymore.

So just make sure that you are always in the “On my iPhone” account and you won’t have to be afraid of using your Notes program anymore in fear of losing your content!

I hope that helps!

Felicidades (All The Best!)

-Antranik

  • Stuart

    This fixes the issue for future entries, but what about recovering entries from the past?  On my iPhone, my Notes entries connected to a Yahoo email account all disappeared right after Yahoo upgraded it’s email in late July.  Entries after that are still there.  I hadn’t realized that my notes were connected to my Yahoo account until I found that they were gone.  Of course, those notes are nowhere to be found in my Yahoo email.

    • http://www.antranik.org/ Antranik

      This seems to be one of the things Apple didn’t really test enough to ensure it was going to work from the get-go.  The fact that they are tying their services in with other companies makes glitches like this all the more likely. Unfortunately there seems to be no way to recover anything that’s not there anymore.

  • Stuart

    This fixes the issue for future entries, but what about recovering entries from the past?  On my iPhone, my Notes entries connected to a Yahoo email account all disappeared right after Yahoo upgraded it’s email in late July.  Entries after that are still there.  I hadn’t realized that my notes were connected to my Yahoo account until I found that they were gone.  Of course, those notes are nowhere to be found in my Yahoo email.

  • Jimmelnz

    This would be a great solution as I’m desperate to retrieve my notes.  However I don’t have the ‘Accounts’ tab on the LHS of my Notes on my IPhone 4.  Why might this be?

    • Nina_russell77

      I don’t have ACCOUNTS button either… What to do?

      • http://www.antranik.org/ Antranik

        It might be that the Notes program is glitching out, mine has done this as well.  The solution is to manually force it to shut down, because when you press the Home button, it doesn’t actually shut down completely, its latest status gets “saved.”

        So try to force shut down the Notes program and rerunning it by doing this:

        Open the Notes program.  Then press the Home button so the Notes program will close and you’ll be back on the home screen.

        Now press the Home button TWICE and you’ll see a list of the most recent programs appear on the bottom.  Hold your finger over the Notes program until it starts to shake and a (-) appears above each app.  Tap the (-) over the Notes program so that it will completely shut down the Notes program.

        Press the Home button again so you’ll be back on the Home screen.  Open your Notes program.  See if your “accounts” button appears now.  Let me know if that worked.

        • JReilly

          it didn’t work for me. i lost my notes and found them in a folder in my aol account. i unlinked the notes from my email thru the settings function on my phone b/c i don’t have the accounts button in my Notes program. I have an first generation iPhone4 with the upgraded OS.

        • lwilly

          that doesnt work for me. I did it several times

      • Ash

        it’s because your note is not connected to your gmail account or any other account. to make sure, check in settings>mail/contacts>Gmail>notes and check the slide wether it is off or on. its off if your note app does not have the account tab at the top of the note ap.

  • AW

    Neither this solution nor the one you proposed to the “no accounts” situation below work.  They are useless.

  • Jckrock

    In my notes page I don’t have an accounts tab??? I’m losing my oldest notes fu———–sakes

    • http://www.antranik.org/ Antranik

      This happens to me from time to time.  The solution, at least for me, is to force-shut-down the application, because when you press the Home screen and exit the Notes program, it doesn’t *actually* close down all the way.  When you open it back up, it’s just retrieving the last state it was in, which is clearly not working properly.

      When you’re on the home screen, press the Home button TWICE and you’ll see a list of the most recent programs appear on the bottom.

      Hold your finger over the Notes program until it starts to shake and a (-) appears above each app. Tap the (-) over the Notes program so that it will completely shut down the Notes program.

      Press the Home button again so you’ll be back on the Home screen. Open your Notes program. See if your “accounts” button appears now. Let me know if the accounts tab shows now.

    • mgasiorski

      click on your notes app, then click the tab ‘notes’ and it should then display ‘accounts’ at the top.

  • Victorjpalacios

    Thanks, Bu “on my phone” does not come up as an option in my mobile settings.

    Any ideas why?

    Thanks

    • http://www.antranik.org/ Antranik

      Ooo, this is a problem I have never encountered or even heard about before.  I tried googling for a solution and came up with nothing.  I am sorry about that.  If no solution can be found, I would recommend you sync/backup your phone with iTunes, then restore it and then sync it back up to reload your phone back to what it was.  It may take about half an hour but worth it if it solves the problem.  Also, restoring the phone will fix any other weird issues too all at the same time.

    • mgasiorski

      Go to SETTINGS, then NOTES, then click on ‘Default Account’. This allowed me to choose my email or ‘On My iPhone’

      • Mariana

        I still was not able to find the ‘On My iPhone’ selection.. Any other suggestions please??
        Thanks.

  • Maria Consuegra47

    i was able to recuperate my Notes by typing on the screen typewriter, “itunes” … another screen will appear with the Notes icon saying iTunes password, I clicked there and voila! after i reviewed all of them, i went back and clicked on my Notes and they are there.  However, i no longer have the choice to keep on adding notes… weird!

  • Justis Root

    This isn’t my problem. I looked back into my notes today for some information and was surprised and upset to see that every last one of my notes were just gone!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pandonodrim Ryan Rittenhouse

    There is no “accounts” button on my notes.

  • Emgee

    Hi there

    I have an IPhone 3 and after I did an OS upgrade, I cannot see the Notes App. Do you have a solution for that.

    Thanks

    EMgee

  • Ben

    My notes just disappeared today. I found them all in my gmail trash folder. Just have to copy and paste them all back to my notes. hope this helps somebody

  • 60hz

    i’m totally flabbergasted at what a cluster this is. I noticed notes disappearing, at 1st i thought i deleted them by mistake, but more notes disappeared, i know i didn’t delete them. Doing a little research on the web i found yahoo was the culprit (keep in mind i NEVER gave any program permission to synch my notes). It’s an OBVIOUS bug, yahoo should SYNCH that is COPY not MOVE anything, and not randomly moving notes…

    On top of that there seems to be no way of retrieving the stolen notes, i checked the accounts on the phone and they don’t have the missing notes, i can only get to the notes on a PC…

    What a crap job both apple and yahoo have done, just plain sloppy. i’ll look into updates and see if there is fix but this should have NEVER happened, what kind of QA are they doing over there?

    • Carolyn Du

      Go into your Yahoo mail account and scroll to the folder named “Notes”. All of your notes, even ones that got deleted should be there.

      • Actually thoughtful

        Thank you!

      • LMG

        Is there anyway to keep them from dissapearing from Yahoo as others have reported happening and also is there anyway to stop Yahoo from taking them off my iPhone? I do not have the ‘On My iPhone’ option? Thanks for your help though. I was able to find all notes in the Notes folder on my Yahoo mail account.

      • Jesemae

        thank you ;/…. now how do i get them back on my phone??

  • neil

    search your email account the ipad/phone is linked to…………. phew

    thanks guys

  • freeda

    There isn’t an option for “On my iphone” so what else can I do? Please help.

  • Pkaiser

    If “accounts” doesn’t appear in your notes, do this to make sure your notes stay on your phone: Go to settings and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” then select your email carrier (mine is Yahoo) and finally turn off notes (you will get a warning that you will lose all the past notes, so don’t do it if you are trying to retrieve your notes – do this only if you don’t want it to happen anymore). To check if it worked go to Settings,then Notes, then Default Account and it should now say “On My iPhone.

  • Jesemae

    mother f*ckers!! i NEED my notes back!! WTF

  • Rockefeller
  • stephieie

    Have you got available iCloud backups or iTunes backups? A tool FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery allows users to recover deleted notes from iPhone in 3 flexible ways. You can choose to recover deleted notes on iPhone directly or retrieve them with iPhone backups.

  • owotaye

    Well, for recovering notes from your iPhone, you can use FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery, which helps you to recover deleted notes on iPhone.

    The whole process is cpmposed of 3 steps, it is very easy to handle.