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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 28, 2009
From time to time, when I select Notes on my iPod Touch, the app opens, a keyboard comes up, and all of my Notes disappear (arrow keys at the top go gray). The screen then says "No Notes." I have not touched the screen at all except to select the app from the home page.

I have not been able to find this problem referred to in any Mac forum so far. Has anyone else experienced this?

The first time it happened, I lost about 30 pages of notes. It has now happened two more times, seemingly at random. Needless to say, these notes are often creative ideas, spur of the moment lists, and other content that cannot be re-created. Isn't that what this app is for?

The notes are not backed up often, as I only have to connect my iPod Touch to my laptop every few days or so for charging, but I often edit or add to notes several times a day.

I like using the Notes app, but am afraid to keep using it if the contents disappear without notice.

If anyone has ideas what might be going on, I'd love to hear.

Would it be better to download an alternative Notes type application?

Thanks for any replies.


macrumors newbie
Apr 8, 2010
I don't know either. This has been driving me crazy lately. When the "notes" app opens, the most recent note I've been working on (usually my shopping list) appears for a split second, then everything vanishes. It seems to happen most often after a synch. And no, they don't seem to have been copied to the computer in any way.

clarification: this happens with my iPhone 3G and only started happening after I upgraded the computer to snow leopard


macrumors newbie
Jul 14, 2010
My notes disappear on my iphone 4. All of this started once I did the ios 4 update on my 3GS. Ever since that update, the numbers/times are highlighted now. Once I type information in the notes, go out and come back in, all my information I typed disappears. When i went to the apple store yesterday, they do not know why this happens. Also, inquired about why the little thinking/syncing symbol is on the top right besides the 3G and they do not know why it occurs on my notes. The guy told me to bring my laptop (which i sync my phone to) in and it would be easier to see what's going on. I am not sure why the notes are synced to my email as well as the mac.

If anyone has any information regarding the notes disappearing, please let me know! It's driving me crazy! I use the notes daily so any information would be greatly appreciated! :D


macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2010
Central Ohio
iPhone iOS 4 and Missing Notes

I had the same problem of iPhone Notes that I type mysteriously appearing for a second, then disappearing. I don't have all the answers, but here's what I found.

If you have iOS 4, and GMail (or maybe Yahoo mail), your notes can be synced to your GMail account. While this seems like a cool feature, it isn't working correctly for me. The notes are placed under the Notes label in GMail. The problem is that they don't appear to sync back to you correctly. They can replace your current iPhone note with an old version, effectively deleting recent typing and deleting previously entered text permanently.

Here's my suggestion. First, do NOT make any changes to your notes on your phone or touch until you have copied them from Gmail. On your computer, go to your GMail account and look for a Notes label on the left column, under your Inbox, Sent, Drafts, etc. Click on that and you should see a bunch of notes that have been uploaded from your phone. Open each note and if it contains text you want to keep, copy the contents to the clipboard, then save it in a new text file on your computer. It doesn't work to forward the note to yourself; you just see it as a Note in your inbox. But it appears to work to forward it to another email account. You need to save this text elsewhere because when you update that note on your iphone, it will overwrite the note in GMail, erasing any previous contents. In my case, that caused me to lose an hour of notes taken at a client site, because I added a line to a note on the phone even though all my text didn't appear. I had seen that text in the Note online, but didn't copy it. When I typed my new text, it uploaded the new note, and my hour of notes disappeared both online and on-phone.

You can apparently write notes the way you used to (no sync) by storing them in an account called "On My iPhone". In the Notes app, you will see a back button at the top labeled "Accounts". Press that and you will see a new page showing all your GMail accounts, plus On My iPhone. Notes created in the GMail accounts will be synced, and may be lost due to this strange behavior.

In the Settings app, you can disable Notes syncing in Settings, Mail.

I'm not going to rant about what an unpleasant surprise this was to me, Apple and Google. I hope this helps others with this problem. I hope someone figures out what's going on and can add to this post.



macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2009
This is very similar to what is happening to me. It too happened to me right after I upgraded my 3GS to IOS4.

Now, I can add a note and put whatever I want into it, no problem. But, after I click "done", it cannot be edited. If I try to add something to an existing note, it let's me type it in, then when I click "done" it stays for a few seconds then disappears (only the new content). It's maddening and making the application pretty useless.

Looks like we may need to go to 3rd party 'note' apps. Seems silly for such a seemingly simple application to have this kind of problem.


macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2007
Notes disappear

Same prob here, iPhone 4. Looked today and a note from yesterday was gone, not all the notes, just the most recent. Painful.

I think it happens with calendar events created on the phone as well, makes me wonder sometimes if I actually put the event in.


macrumors 68030
Jan 20, 2010
For people looking for an alternative, Shovebox works pretty well for me. The desktop version allows it to sync via WiFi as well.


macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2010
This bug just started appearing recently after my upgrade to iOS 4. I think what is happening is this: syncing notes to Gmail isn't really syncing at all-- you're really looking at the notes from the server. (You can turn this off an just work on local notes, which might be what I have to do.) The problem happens when I write a note, save it, then go back and edit it. My edits disappear... gone, zapped, goodbye. The note just reverts back to the first version.

I *suspect* this has something to do with my internet connection. I was writing the note on an unstable internet connection and what I think is happening is that when you go to "save" the Notes app tries to save it to the Gmail server. Not being able to actually reach the Gmail server, it just fails with no warning, and your revision is lost. So it's not really syncing at all, it is just assume that internet connections are always stable and failing when it is not.

Anyone else have similar experiences? Probably going to switch to a better notes program as this is really unusable.


macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2010
Oh I am so glad this wasn't just me. The first time it happened I chalked it up to user error, but the subsequent times I decided there was some nasty bug and I too have gone back to using Evernote exclusively. One of the notes that got lost was a pretty important legal note, so I was more than upset at that one.


macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2008
Notes disappearing

It also happens to me a lot. I am surprised that there are not more complaints. Apple may be removing them. I do not check my notes often, so I do not know when it happens. Therefore when I do a backup, it also automatically erases my notes on my computer. This removes personal notes from everything. This is a very bad, for apples reputation, and for consumers who rely on their products to function correctly. I anticipate that this note will be erased. :(


macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2007
I did the update on my iPhone to 4.2.1 today and now all my notes are gone except the 2 most recent. The last one was from Saturday, so I know the rest of them were still on my phone then.

Before I updated today iTunes asked me to sync in order to transfer something I had purchased on my phone to iTunes, so I did. Now my backup doesn't have the lost notes either. Nothing super important - but extremely frustrating just the same! My notes have always made the OS upgrades before, so I of course assumed this would be no different.

I do have a SuperDuper back up of my Mac harddrive from last week. Any ideas if I could recover the notes from that? I've tried a few things like importing the old mail inboxes, but no luck.



macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2009
Montréal, Canada
Before I updated today iTunes asked me to sync in order to transfer something I had purchased on my phone to iTunes, so I did. Now my backup doesn't have the lost notes either. Nothing super important - but extremely frustrating just the same! My notes have always made the OS upgrades before, so I of course assumed this would be no different.

You could try getting the iPhone backup on your SuperDuper backup. If you use Time Machine your backup wouldn't be more than an hour old, so you wouldn't lose much.

I personnaly sync notes via Info > Other > Sync notes, without the use of an email account. Haven't lost any data yet.

For those looking for alternatives to the Notes app, I've heard good stuff about Simplenote.


macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2008
I know one way to fix it, but it requires a JB.

Go into SBSettings, then click "More", then go into system settings and hit "Fix User Dir" or whatever it says. That should fix it.


macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2011
Notes disappearing from iPhone

My husband was having the problem and I wasn't. When you have the Notes setting turned on in your email account settings and you use gmail, the notes become part of the gmail account. You can see your notes from the gmail web interface but if you use Outlook or another POP email program to move your email to your laptop, the notes are transferred as an email, or in some cases, just disappear. Once I turned the notes setting on the email account to off, the notes have so far stayed on the phone, even after doing send/receive on Outlook. Before, with the setting on, the note would go away.

Don't know if this will help everyone but it helped us.

PS I also learned that the notes were account specific. That was a new one, so some notes may stay and others may go based on the settings.
Last edited:


macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2011
Same prob here, iPhone 4. Looked today and a note from yesterday was gone, not all the notes, just the most recent. Painful.

I think it happens with calendar events created on the phone as well, makes me wonder sometimes if I actually put the event in.

re: your calendar issue.....i can't save anything older than jan 2010 at time. stayed up last night around 11:55pm making sure that the test entries i put in are there...right after midnight they disappeared! just bought a 4th gen and now have a hopefully working with apple to fix this...very frustrating!!!


macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2011
To stop losing your notes go to settings
Then to mail contacts and calendars
Then google above add account. Then
Slide notes off dose not apply to 3G
Hope this helps.
Do not know how to retrieve lost notes though


macrumors newbie
Apr 24, 2011
Try Using The Calendar

I too have had my notes depart a few times. When I did a Google search for this note problem I stumbled on this site and I found there were a lot of us in the same situation.

It came to me that I could use the calendar for my notes. If I used a date of my choice say the end of the current month for an event called notes, and then the calendar day has a section for notes and I could enter my notes there. Then they would be available with little scrolling (until the calendar dumps all the appointments which happened to me once).

Every time I enter a note (edit the event) in the future or look for a note I have entered I can advance the date forward a little for ease of scrolling.

I don't know if there is a limit on how many characters you can have in the calendar notes section, but I guess in time I will find out.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 27, 2011
Happened to me too. And the answer was syncing. I lost all my notes after I set up a Gmail account on my iPod touch.


macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2011
Lost Notes

Well, from what I've been reading here, I think I know how I lost my notes. I set it up so I could access my gmail on my iPod and then deleted the account so removed access from the iPod. When I went into my Notes to add something to a list of movies I wanted to see, it was gone. Guess I'll be starting the list over.


macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
It has happened to me as well, I never use it anymore...too unreliable. One moment you write down a note with it and save it, then when you come back to look at your is gone.

Use Evernote.


macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2011
This hopefully will help...

Open up notes and in top left corner it should say account, tap that and it will come up with three options. Select "On My IPhone" and it should keep them instead of doing whatever it does with the Internet to delete the notes. Also make sure you go into settings, then tap "mail, contacts, calendars", scroll to bottom to where it says "notes" and make sure it says "on my iPhone" next to default account. That hopefully will help, it has kept my notes from being deleted so far.

Ps sorry if someone else already figured it out, I didn't read every comment :p
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