I'm using a company-issued MacBook where we cannot use iCloud to backup notes. But I would like to have a way to create backups of the notes, since they are not included in the company backup software. Is there a way to do this by hand?

I tried copying the folder:


but when I copied that one to a new Mac, the notes didn't show up when running Notes.app.


You may have copied the wrong directory, depending on your operating system.

Newer operating systems (I believe El Capitan and above, but certainly Sierra and above) use this folder:
~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/

Without iCloud there should be no issue with disappearing notes, which you would have to work around, if you were signed into iCloud Notes.

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    Thank you, i copied this folder and the other one and all my notes including attachments were restored on the other MacBook. – Harpe Nov 20 '18 at 13:07
  • @Harpe, what is "the other one"? What other folder? – Adam Johns Aug 5 '19 at 14:37
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    I think s/he means the folder mentioned in his/her original post: $HOME/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes – Redarm Aug 7 '19 at 10:24
  • Yes, what Redarm says – Harpe Aug 17 '19 at 13:19
  • this is great relieve. It worked for me for new OS - macOS Mojave by copying ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/. Before copying this, I had copied $HOME/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes (didnt worked) but kept as it is, it is not hurting. – Ketan Oct 1 '19 at 16:34

Apple's official recommendation to backup notes is to save them in a text/document file or export as PDF. From the Apple support article, Archive or make copies of the information you store in iCloud - Notes and Voice Memos

Notes and Voice Memos

Make a copy of a note on your Mac or at iCloud.com:

  1. Open the Notes app and select the note that you want.

  2. Copy and paste the text into a document on your computer, such as a Pages or TextEdit document.

  3. Save the document to your computer.

You can also export a note. Just select the note, click File > Export as PDF, and choose a location.

The approach is a bit clumsy and doesn't let you backup all the various notes in one go.

  • Thanks for the answer, but the problem with this approach is that you cannot restore the backups easily. I'm looking for a way to backup and restore notes, in case the original notes get lost. – Harpe Nov 20 '18 at 10:20
  • Alternatively, if there is another note taking app that allows easier local backups with restore, and where I can easily import my current notes including nested folders of notes, that would also be very helpful. – Harpe Nov 20 '18 at 10:21
  • @Harpe You can find a plethora of note taking apps which do not backup to iCloud. Try doing a Web search. – Nimesh Neema Nov 20 '18 at 10:22
  • Thanks I did, but I was hoping for a recommendation, especially wrt to importing existing notes. I'll add a comment if I find a good one. – Harpe Nov 20 '18 at 10:38
  • There is a 3rd party app named Note2txt which exports all your notes to a text file. Each note generates a separate file. i backup my notes by using this and exporting files to a folder with the date in the name. like notes_11202018 – jmh Nov 20 '18 at 14:31

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