I've been using Notes to keep track of billable time. I just realized that I accidentally deleted some text within a Note (not the Note itself, so it won't be in Recently Deleted) that I still need. Is there a way to recover this info? Command + Z won't take me back far enough.

Would restoring from Time Machine work? (I'm thinking not, since Notes are in the cloud?) Could I maybe just access it somehow via Time Machine?


Assuming you have Time Machine backups, and assuming the text you recently deleted was in an earlier version of your notes that was backed up by TM, you should be able to recover your Notes data from an earlier backup.

However, you will want to make sure you have a current backup as well - otherwise any new notes you've added may be lost.

So, the way I would approach this is:

  1. Disconnect your Mac from the internet
  2. Make sure you have a current backup
  3. Restore the entire Notes folder from an appropriate earlier backup - it's located at:


  4. Access the data you need

  5. Copy the content you accidentally deleted and paste it into another file (e.g. a TextEdit doc, etc)
  6. Restore your notes from the backup at Step 2 above
  7. Edit the note to include the missing data you copied at Step 5
  8. Once you're happy with everything, reconnect your Mac to the internet

NOTE: Steps 1 is necessary to ensure that iCloud doesn't sync old data across your devices.

  • Thanks for your input! Is that from the last option on this site? - macworld.com/article/2455084/… I tried earlier, and everything in my notes was the same as it is currently.. unless I missed something? WiFi was definitely off. – AMC Oct 24 '17 at 3:40
  • Thanks for the reference - I've just read the article you linked to and yes, it's last option is basically what I'm also suggesting. However, if you look at the Retrieve from storage option also in the article, you'll see the filepath it refers to for where your Notes data is located: ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes/ - I forgot to mention this in my answer, so will update it, but basically what you'll want to do at my Step 3 is recover the whole folder at that location, not just what's within the folder. Note also that the ~ refers to your home directory. – Monomeeth Oct 24 '17 at 3:50

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