*EMERGENCY* Apple Notes just vanished - any way to recover???

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Apple!Fre@k, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. Apple!Fre@k macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    #1
    Hey guys, I'm panicking right now. I think I just lost the last 10 days worth of my Notes, upon which was an unbelievable amount of data. Think it's about 60 hours of worth of work that has disappeared. It appears the notes were not updating to iCloud for 10 days and now just started updating again, but my Mac first erased all the Notes and then added back the old versions from iCloud.

    Here's what happened:

    I noticed that the version on iCloud.com differed from what was on my MacBook Pro. So I went into Settings on my MBP, to iCloud and unchecked Notes and then rechecked it, hoping that would jumpstart the update process and send the notes on my MBP to iCloud. Except what it did was instantly delete everything on my MBP Notes and start populating with the old Notes from iCloud.

    IS THERE ANY WAY TO REVERSE THIS? I would literally pay $1,000 right now if could get those notes back. It seems just poof, they are gone in a millisecond. Are they stored on my MBP locally anywhere? I'm afraid to restart my MBP right now as I'm hoping maybe they are stored in a temp file somewhere locally?

    I figured I'm royally screwed and they are gone forever. But I would literally kiss the feet of whoever could get my Notes back. :(
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2016 ---
    From what I understand, the Notes are stored locally at Library > Group Containers > group.com.apple.notes

    The Get Info shows that folder was modified at the time I lost the notes. Is there some way/some app I could use to drill back and get the earlier version from today and then replace that folder with the older recovered one??
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    You didn't mention whether or not you have a Time Machine backup.
     
  3. wlossw macrumors 6502a

    wlossw

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    #3
    If you are running the latest version of iOS of macOS, recently deleted notes are kept for 30 days. On your Mac open the sidebar in the notes app, and under iCloud you should see a category for recently deleted...
     
  4. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    #4
    I do not. If I did, this would be simple.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2016 ---
    It's not there. Because it completely deleted my local database of Notes when iCloud starting syncing again. I'm running 10.11.6.
     
  5. wlossw macrumors 6502a

    wlossw

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    #5
    If I were you I would goto the genius bar. I fear you may be SOL...

    Are you absolutely sure you don't have a recently deleted tab like in the attachment?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #6
    I am presently trying to make sense of the Notes databases, but I haven’t been able to find just yet where the application stores the notes. I did find a database in ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes that seems to contain the titles and some snippets of notes, but I have not found the body text of the notes outright. Perhaps they store them as binary objects. I think you will likely be out of luck.

    This is exactly the kind of thing that I am warning people about. iCloud is erratic and weird. I have seen so many strange things happen when iCloud was involved and I do not trust that service at all. You should have local backups.
     
  7. webbuzz macrumors 65816

    webbuzz

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    #7
    Had a similar issue as the OP a few months ago, luckily they were in the recently deleted folder in iOS notes. I started copying important notes to a second iCloud account for the very reason you mention.
     
  8. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #8
    Yep. You are at risk of losing everything on your computer.

    I hope someone knows a method that can help you.

    It is true that unsynced iCloud Notes created on the Mac in El Capitan will disappear, without a warning, if iCloud Notes is turned off, as you did. I'm pretty sure that iOS will at least give you a warning when you do this.

    In my experience, iCloud syncing is currently the least reliable of any of the cloud services I've tried (Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive). It's too mysterious for me, also.

    I think Notes are stored in a database form in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes

    The files in that folder, for me, are:

    NotesV6.storedata
    NotesV6.storedata-shm
    NotesV6.storedata-wal

    I doubt that, when the Mac overwrites these (as it did for you), the files are deleted in a way that the old ones could still be on your hard drive. If they were, something like Disk Drill might be able to find them.
     
  9. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #9
    I checked that one out as well, but I only found a couple of very old notes in there. I am guessing that this is the old location. The one I mentioned hat recent data in it. Confusingly, it does seem that NotesV6.storedata-shm is still updated.
     
  10. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
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    Baltimore, Maryland
    #10
    You must be correct.
     
  11. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    #11
    Yeah, it sucks so much man. You're right. Just looked there and I see those files. And they were last modified at 1:21pm yesterday, exactly the time when I lost the files/they were overwritten. If there was just some kind of versioning where I could go back and retrieve the very last version of those 3 files, that would save me. I wish I had these stored on Dropbox, as Dropbox saves the last 30 days of versions of every file. Alas, there's not even any way to do that going forward since this is a system file and I don't know how I could put it on my Dropbox and point Notes to it?

    I'm mobile on my MBP and travel all the time so I don't know how I could use Time Machine either since I don't have a local drive it could update to. Is there some way to set up Time Machine to backup to Dropbox?

    I tried using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and did a Deep Scan that took 2 hours and paid $90 for the software, but oddly all it found was the NotesV6 files from the day they were created, over a year ago. You'd think if it found those files from a year ago that it would have ever version between now and then, but nope. I don't get it. Don't understand how it could find a version from a year ago but not the version from yesterday????

    All of my other files are stored on Dropbox, and before that I always did regular local backups, and that's probably why this is the worst data loss I think I've ever suffered. Because I didn't expect data to go poof that's supposed to be stored in the cloud.

    ****!!!! I wish there was some way to get this back. There's really just 5 notes with a huge amount of text in them that I wanted back. It's an enormous loss of so much work. :(
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2016 ---
    I do, but you don't understand... the entire Notes database was overwritten. The notes in the Recently Deleted tab are from 2 weeks ago because the entire database was overwritten with one that is 2 weeks old from when my MBP stopped syncing with iCloud.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

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