I just upgraded my harddrive for my Macbook Pro mid-2009 running High Sierra to a solid state drive. My old harddrive is now in an enclosure and I'm trying to access my old Notes from there, I forgot to back that up. I never connected that laptop to iCloud, and from seeing other articles/answers, I tried to find the ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.notes but I could not even find this Library folder.

For curiosity sake, I tried finding it on my current SSD and at first I couldn't, but then I clicked Show View Options and added Library to the view. I then went back to the old harddrive folder where Library should be, clicked Show View Options, but adding Library to the view wasn't an option. Any idea where/how I can find my old Notes data?

1 Answer 1


If you didn't use iCloud, the notes are stored in: ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/ in a database file named NoteStore.sqlite

If you used iCloud, your notes are stored at:


To view the Notes you need an SQL app or typing sqlite at the command line.

  • Thanks jmh. Problem is I don't see that Library folder. On my bootable drive with a fresh install of Mac OSX, I can find it fine. But on my old harddrive, now an external drive in an enclosure, I don't see that folder. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 1:47
  • @loveknowledge use the Finder and navigate to your old user folder and press command-shift-G, then type Library and press enter. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 4:09
  • @At0mic awesome, thank you! that worked. Now I'm trying to open it. So I opened the terminal and typed 'sqlite' but it's not recognized, I guess that's something I'd have to download first? I did try sending the file to my desktop computer (Windows 10) and downloaded a program called DB Browser (SQLite), opened the file there, but only found SOME data on a table called ZICCLOUDSYNCINGOBJECT. It was only the first line and titles of my notes but not the bulk content of them. jmh any SQL app you have in mind? I also tried opening it in VSC and downloaded the SQLite extension but no luck Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:33
  • @jmh wouldn't let me address 2 users in one comment, so this one's to notify you. Thanks both so much for your help! Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:34

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