I had a bad experience with iCloud overwriting files between 2 laptops in my account (moving to my new laptop soon), so I took my new laptop off of iCloud. Now I don't have all my notes. I'm afraid of reconnecting to iCloud while the other laptop is still connected for fear of having important files overwritten again. Can I just copy the folders that hold the Notes.app from one to another. My old one is running High Sierra and the new one is Mojave. I tried copying the folders relating to notes in both Containers and Group Containers and it didn't seem to work. No notes still on my new laptop.

I do not want to export them one at a time and then have to reimport them so I was hoping to do it that way. I have a lot of notes. Or is there a "safe" way to reconnect to iCloud? I'd like to at least disable Desktop and Documents prior to reconnecting but would rather avoid that altogether.


2 Answers 2


Thanks for the suggestions. I was finally able to get my notes. After backing up my old laptop to a hard drive, I signed off of iCloud. I then signed in to iCloud on my new laptop and it gave me a screen where I could uncheck Documents and data. So I unchecked those. iCloud settings After hitting Next it brought me into iCloud where I could individually add what I wanted iCloud to store. I only checked Notes. I then started Notes and didn't see all my notes at first, but then noticed there was an iCloud section listed in the sidebar of my Notes app. Clicking on that showed all my notes from iCloud. However, these notes do not stay with the Notes app when you sign out of iCloud. They disappear even if you tell it to keep a copy of all files on your Mac. So I had to log in again and let it load all my iCloud notes. From there it was an easy task to copy from the iCloud section into new notes in my local h/d section since they were all in the same app. Once I copied them all over (one at a time) they stayed on my new laptop even after signing out of iCloud.


You can export all your notes to text files using a 3rd part app, Notes2txt.app, on the App Store. You input a folder name and run the app. Each note is saved in the folder as a separate text file.

You can then move the folder to dropbox for example. Make sure other computer has the same service, dropbox, google drive, Box, ...

Now you can open notes on the new computer and select import. This asks you for the txt file or folder, you wish to add as notes. You then choose the dropbox folder with your notes as textfiles and all the text files in that folder will be stored as notes in the Notes app.

If you don't have a service like dropbox you can compress the folder with the notes in it and email it to yourself. Check your email on the new computer and extract the attachment. It now exists on your new computer.

  • thanks. i'll give that a shot. Jul 24, 2019 at 1:38

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