I have an iPhone 5 running iOS 8.4.1. I have many Notes that are formatted using bold, italics, carriage returns, etc.

How can I save these Notes off to my Windows laptop via iTunes or some third-party software, while preserving the formatting of my Notes? Such software would need to be able to sync those Notes back to my iPhone, while still preserving all the rich text.

I want everything to remain local to my devices, so I don’t want to use iCloud.

Thank you.

  • Notes took a huge upturn in functionality with iOS 9 - apple.com/uk/ios/whats-new – Tetsujin Feb 11 '16 at 19:19
  • That's great, but 3rd party apps are saving the Notes as plain text...no Bold, Italic, spaces, carriage returns, etc. – DaleB Feb 13 '16 at 2:37
  • The new version of iCloud Notes, available at https://www.icloud.com/#notes2, supports viewing rich text notes with formatting.
  • Notes in OS X, besides viewing and editing rich text notes, supports exporting notes as PDF. Select the note you wish to export and choose File → Export as PDF….
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  • I am running a laptop running Windows Vista 32-bit Home Premium OS. I need to be able to save, edit and retrieve Notes from this laptop to the iPhone 5. What program(s) will allow me to do this ? – DaleB Feb 13 '16 at 2:34
  • I have upgraded my iPhone 5 to iOS 9.3 I am not using the Cloud and don't want to risk personal information being posted on it. 3rd party programs that I have looked at are not maintaining the formatting. Once downloaded, I would like to be able to view, edit and save them on the laptop (or other USB device) and then be able to upload the edited version back to the iPhone. The main idea here is to be able to BackUp the iPhone's Notes to my laptop, and be able to upload them if I need to have to wipe my iPhone or the Notes app gets corrupted. – DaleB Mar 27 '16 at 17:26

Copy and paste them into TextEdit and save in RTF. This requires synchronising notes with iCloud or IMAP.

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  • Thank you, but I am not using iCloud and it is a POP3 account. – DaleB Feb 13 '16 at 2:26
  • I am using a Windows laptop, not a Mac running OS X. – DaleB Feb 13 '16 at 2:28

Newer versions of iOS don't even support syncing notes to Outlook as plain text anymore. iOS notes only sync to iCloud now, and we Windows folks who like accessing our data directly via files are left to fend for ourselves.

I would look at CopyTrans Contacts which has nascent iCloud notes support. I was able to use it to retrieve my notes from iCloud with SOME rich text formatting, albeit slightly mangled in places, and missing attached images, as HTML files on my PC.

Also, it loses the creation and last edited date for the notes (syncing to Outlook Notes preserved the date). If the CopyTrans folks can figure out how to preserve the date, pull down any images and fix the formatting problems, we'll have a decent solution.

For now, it's better than nothing, and your only other option is to e-mail all your notes to yourself (it's okay if you have 100 or less notes and an evening to do it, but for those of us with a few thousand accumulated over the years, not so doable).

Also, if you can program, you might try googling Apple iCloud API, and see if they have an interface where you can pull your notes down from code (who knows)...

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  • iTunes doesn't allow me to really view, edit an save them, and has been unreliable at creating backups. Many times, over several iOS versions, when I have tried to recover from a backup, iTunes says that it can't because the backup is corrupted. So, I must then re-enter all of the information...if I have it saved somewhere else. I don't understand why these 3rd party companies that make backup software for iDevices, fail to include maintaining the formatting of the text when they save Notes. They typically save them as an html or plain text file. – DaleB Mar 27 '16 at 17:29

I just figured out how to keep iOS note formatting in ipad Microsoft Word. you can open your iOS note and send it to an email. Once it opens the email, select all and copy to clipboard. For some reason it keeps the formatting this way even though it won't if you had copied directly from notes. I then pasted it into a Microsoft word document, and it kept all the formatting. So far this was the only way I could get it to keep the formatting outside of notes.

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