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My El Capitan machine unexpectedly died, and I salvaged the disk drive from it to put into an external enclosure attached to my new Mac, which runs High Sierra. (I never used Sierra at all, since my old Mac couldn't support it.)

Now, how do I get the Notes from my El Capitan system into the High Sierra notes system?

(As I said, even though the old Mac threw-a-piston, I still have its drive, and therefore, all that notes-data. But how do I get to it?)

  • On Notes >File> Import, then select the external drive here ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes/. Also if you use iCloud you have a copy of your Notes there. – Ruskes Sep 12 '18 at 18:38
  • As mentioned below, this doesn't work. The files in that folder are grayed-out and can't be selected. Interestingly, the "Import" button still goes through its paces even though nothing actually happens. – Mike Robinson Sep 14 '18 at 14:08
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Move old Notes (from your external drive) to iCloud

Drag and Drop

Allow it to sync (wait 5-10 minutes)

You should now see a duplicate Notes folders names (on your Mac (but not with exactly same content)

Those are the 2 Notes databases on iCloud

Now Select all Notes you want to keep and drag them over to new notes

  • It doesn't work. When I navigate to the location you specified, I see filenames such as NotesV7.storedata but they are grayed out and cannot be selected. "Import" apparently declines to process this type of file. (Oddly, when I click "import," it seems ready to do something even though no files were successfully selected!) Nothing happens. – Mike Robinson Sep 14 '18 at 14:06
  • Other tasty-looking locations such as com.apple.Notes.datastore also do not seem to have any data-files in them! (A subfolder named "Application Support/com.apple.Notes.datastore" is ... empty!) – Mike Robinson Sep 14 '18 at 14:13
  • @MikeRobinson You are right, it wont work, so let me delete this answer. Strangely Apple does not allow Notes to Import Notes ? Only if they are on iCloud. – Ruskes Sep 14 '18 at 18:06
  • @MikeRobinson OK, see my Updated answer, if it works for you, I did the process on my comouter – Ruskes Sep 14 '18 at 18:42

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