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I have a lot of Notes on my machine which I don't want to loose. It's not logical to export them one by one. I don’t have space for iCloud to sync them and wish for a different tool even if I had space.

I learned that I could backup ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes but I am not really sure if this would be helpful. This is what I get as for this directory.

$ du -sh ./*
4.0K    ./Library
256K    ./NoteStore.sqlite
 32K    ./NoteStore.sqlite-shm
3.0M    ./NoteStore.sqlite-wal

I am running macOS Mojave.

Is there any way to export them in one go, which would make me either use them on my new <ac when I get one?

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7 Answers 7

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You can use a third-party app called Notes Exporter to export all notes in one go. After granting access to the Notes data, the app exports each individual note as a separate text file in the location of your choosing.

The only limitation being that you'll need to re-import them one by one if you wish to use them on a new machine.

A better and much simpler approach, if you have the necessary storage space available would be to use iCloud to sync them to the new machine.

Note: No affiliation whatsoever to the developer of the app.

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  • 1
    Amazing! that's exactly what I needed.
    – Awad
    Apr 23, 2019 at 18:45
  • I found with the latest Notes app on Catalina I could import all notes in one go by selecting all notes from the explorer, rather than one by one.
    – Nick
    Mar 4, 2020 at 10:28
  • @Nimesh Neema is there any app for windows such as Notes Exporter ? I am trying to copy notes from iphone ios10 to pc.Thanks Jul 12, 2020 at 11:41
  • @Nimesh Neema How can one parse the image files which were exported in plain text..?
    – nvs0000
    Mar 19, 2022 at 1:42
  • I have so much and important information in Notes and this app from 2014 doesn't seem enough trustworthy to give access permissions
    – biotech
    Apr 20, 2022 at 17:09
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I copied the three files NoteStore.sqlite, NoteStore.sqlite-shm, and NoteStore.sqlite-wal from ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes of one Mac to another and my notes appear there now. All my notes were there, albeit half a day out of sync.

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  • 1
    can we do the samething for iphone devices ? Jul 12, 2020 at 11:43
  • If your notes contain images, then you need to copy Media and Previews folders from path group.com.apple.notes/Accounts/LocalAccount Aug 31, 2023 at 8:15
  • How to keep the existing notes in the other system if we replaced all the folder? I got all the notes from one to another,, but current notes in the other system are not showing up. i backed up the files in the location to another though
    – KTM
    Mar 13 at 5:47
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Another great third party app is Exporter. It exports as markdown and keeps both folders and attachments.

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  • This app is great! It was exactly what I wanted. Even creates all of the folder structure, resets note timestamps and can be used to re-export notes without creating duplicates. Thanks for suggesting. Jan 20, 2021 at 17:36
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What worked for me is:

  • Finder > Go > Go to Folder > paste this

    ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes
    
  • Select all files > Right click > Share > AirDrop to the device

  • Go to the same directory on the other device

  • Paste the files there (replace similar file name)

  • Quit and restart Notes App

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  • 3
    It's probably safer to close Notes on both computers before doing this.
    – nohillside
    Jan 24, 2022 at 10:03
  • Perfect solution! This worked when moving notes from Mojave to Monterey via AirDrop. May 25, 2022 at 17:06
  • Awesome, exactly what I needed. Fast, precise, and FREE :). Mar 8, 2023 at 9:59
  • How to keep the existing notes in the other system if we replaced all the folder?
    – KTM
    Mar 13 at 5:46
1

This should definitely Help

THE PROBLEM

This is one of the most sought answers for Mac users. I didn't find any of the answers attempting to solve directly. Neither did I want to use some third-party apps.

Also, when we have fewer notes, maybe, we can copy-paste but what if our whole learnings/sample codes and many more things are there in notes?

Also, copy-paste doesn't take care of many things, for example, date on while it was created maintains the order or notes, those metadata will be simply lost if you copy-paste.

Secondary, If you try to copy-paste the notes from the location it is stored, it's not guaranteed, that your backup will definitely work. maybe you copied the wrong directory, or maybe notes on newer a Mac/different system doesn't work. We can take that risk.

THE SOLUTION

This solution goes through iCloud.

Don't worry, this is the fastest and reliable solution, and will work for almost all of your cases. The setup won't take more than 5 mins.

  1. You definitely might be having iCloud account. if not go to System Preferences > iCloud > Create Apple ID.

iCloud Preference Pane on macOS

  1. Then, Login into the iCloud account.
  2. Then, Open Notes app. Go to Notes > Preference. Change default account to iCloud

There may be chances that you don't see you iCloud account in Notes.

  • So, for that Open Mail app.
  • Go to mail > preference > account and activate the iCloud account.
  • Now, go to Notes app, and you should see iCloud in folder pane in left side.

Wait, there are chances that you still don't see the iCloud in notes app. That's the issue.

  • Then, you can try logging out of iCloud from iCloud in System Preferences.
  • Go to Mail app.
  • Now, try signing into it by providing your icloud email and password.
  • As soon as you enter correct credetnials and is verified, you will get this pop up,

enter image description here

  • Here you, make sure to check the checkbox Notes.
  • Then, click proceed.
  • Now restart Notes app.
  • You will see iCloud in left pane where all folders are there.

Now, main part:

  • You have to create a folder in iCloud in Notes, with the same name for notes folders that you have in On My Mac.
  • Go the the Notes folder and in click on any note in second column. Then press Command+A for select all. and then, right click > Move to > iCloud > <same_folder_name>.
  • Repeat, the same for all you local folders in Mac Notes.
  • Done.
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  1. Create a separate note folder
  2. Move your notes you want to export
  3. Share that folder with another account via Mail (preferable) or via AirDrop
  4. If via email - accept the share by following the link
  5. Wait for some time and newly shared folder will appear on a new machine.
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Notes.app saves its files to ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes/NotesV7.storedata. Attachments to notes are saved in ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/ (citation/verification needed).

NotesV7.storedata is an SQLite database, so you would need to interact with and scriptable reformat that data in a different format, accordingly.

MacOS offers some Notes scripting options through scripting applications like Scriptable.

All in all, it is surprisingly inconvenient to just dump your notes en masse for import into some other notes or document app. It seems interacting with the SQL database directly would be the most direct way to programmatically export the data.

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