I did some research, and discovered that people have had nightmares with syncing notes from the Notes app via iCloud, in that all of the notes get permanently deleted. Before seeing these articles/forum posts, I had considered activating cloud sync for my notes, but given the danger, I don't think I'd like to do that.

Thus, I'm looking for an alternative solution. I have heard of OneNote, Box, and so on, but what I have not found is a way to sync one's notes from the Notes app on both Mac and iOS across some other cloud. If anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate it.

  • 'people' have issues with everything. Just read this site every day to see what they can get up to. The myriad with no issues don't post about it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 8:03
  • @Tetsujin Haha, good point. There's this poem I read once that said that "there's a crack in everything [and] that's how the light gets in" or something along those lines. Perhaps this is the (or only one) crack in iCloud... but I don't see any light coming in here. Kidding. Then again, that could be a fault of people as well, but that's better said on the Philosophy forum.
    – jmindel
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 5:55
  • Many users are also in search of solutions without any cloud because they are working on sensitive information.
    – dan
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 6:41

2 Answers 2


NOTE: i assume in my answer that you just don't want the Apple iCloud servers

you need an other email account to do this

  • you add one more email account (any but not iCloud)
  • and then you activate at this email account the section NOTES
  • the notes are created in an imap folder named notes
  • do it on both: iPhone and Mac
  • then you move all notes on Mac to the other account
  • then you can switch off the NOTES with the iCloud account

iPhone (iOS10):

Settings -> Notes -> Accounts -> (some account) -> notes -> switch: on/off

OSX 10.11.6

Settings -> Internet Accounts -> (some account) -> notes -> checkbox: on/off

  • This answer it unclear and therefor incomplete. It may work, but I cannot follow the steps. Must I add the new email account to Apple Mail? Is the NOTES section where I activate it inside Apple Mail? Does it still work in 2021?
    – August
    Commented May 22, 2021 at 17:52

I tried @muescha answer and it worked for me. To follow up with questions from @August Mohr (sr I don't have enough reputation to comment), You need to add new email account to your Internet Accounts in Settings. It's here Internet Accounts email

The NOTES section is inside the Notes app, it's in the left side drawer. The new email

You must drag all of your notes under this email section. Then at your new Mac, you can drag them out to On your Mac. It works for my M1 2020 today.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .