Since notes.app seems to accrue a "rolling history" of data and doesn't automatically save out versions of your files to disk in any reasonable way (date stamped, etc), I was wondering if anyone knows of a way to access the history of the note data you have accrued.

Specifically this came up because I am trying to restore something that I have lost, because the undo command doesn't work in the app.

Any tips would be appreciated.

  • 1
    The Notes data file gets backuped up via Time Machine (and any other backup mechanism). Can you get it back from there? – nohillside Aug 14 '14 at 4:18

No, there is no history of notes. Once modified and synchronised, the note is overwritten and older versions are not available. Per my answer on your last question, you may be able to obtain older versions if a device has been offline, but besides this, unfortunately not. You can provide feedback to Apple at apple.com/feedback.

  • apple rarely listens to user feedback. one might hope that they would monitor discussions that happen in a place purportedly as ubiquitous as this, but alas. i have little patience for the apple support community site. – jml Aug 13 '14 at 23:12

You can use Time Machine to recover notes by restoring the 3 .sqlite files in

~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/
  1. Quit Notes.app
  2. Restore those 3 files
  3. If you use iCloud, disconnect from Wifi so the notes aren't synced from your iCloud devices when you re-open Notes.app
  4. Re-open Notes.app

Source for notes database location:

Recover Notes from TimeMachine


My notes was not syncing with Exchange, and I unchecked 'Notes' in Internet Accounts and then check it back. When I did that, Notes resynchronised from the last synchronised version and so I lost a whole lot of Notes. My Time Machine was not turned on, but I managed to find another way:

  • /Users//Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library
  • Make a copy of NotesV7.storedata-wal with .html extension, like NotesV7.storedata-wal copy.html
  • Open in any web browser and you will see past notes - this is limited to the last saved version of NotesV7.storedata-wal, so make sure you get to here fast (as soon as you discover your Notes' been overwritten.

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