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I was editing a note in the iOS Notes app (iPhone 13, iOS 16.1.1) when I had an app crash and lost the entire content of my note. Possible to restore in any way?

I was editing a lengthy note, and while in the process of highlighting several blank rows to delete them from the text, my entire phone froze for several seconds. The entire screen greyed out and did not respond to any inputs. Then the app crashed altogether. When I restarted, my lengthy note that I had been editing was gone, and a new, blank note was open. The recently deleted folder was empty both on my phone and in iCloud.

Im not entirely sure what happened, but as best as I can piece together, at some point during the freeze while I was trying to get the phone to respond, the “select all” option may have been activated and the entire text was deleted or cut. Which I guess aligns with the empty “new” note when I reopened the app.

I tried to shake/undo inside the new note, but this didn’t do anything, as there was apparently nothing in the clipboard to restore.

Is there any possibility of restoring the lost text?

The entire note, though quite long and compiled over several days, is still newer than my most recent total phone backup.

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  • Welcome to Ask Different! Do you use iCloud with Notes? If so, can you check a different device or iCloud.com to see if it's there?
    – fsb
    Jan 27, 2023 at 16:26
  • At the app level, notes was set to backup to iCloud. But it looks like the actual note itself was not in the “iCloud” folder within the app, so it didn’t back up to iCloud. :( Jan 27, 2023 at 16:34
  • I’m assuming that if there is no way to get at the internal file structure on my phone I am probably out of luck. I don’t think Notes supports versioning, and if I am right that the actual text loss was somehow a select all/delete, I assume that the note was too long to remain in the clipboard anyway. Not totally sure about that since the clipboard can safely store image files which must be much larger than even very long text files. Jan 27, 2023 at 16:35
  • While waiting for someone to, hopefully, answer your question, please be sure to use the search function and see if any of the other posts, there's a lot of them, can provide some guidance.
    – fsb
    Jan 27, 2023 at 16:48
  • If you were editing this note "over several days" then it would have auto-saved and should have been synced to iCloud. I don't see why it would have been in the deleted folder since this note was never deleted. Are you certain this was being synced to iCloud? Do you backup your phone to iCloud? If so, doing a restore from iCloud should bring back the note though it may not be the most up-to-date version.
    – Allan
    Jan 27, 2023 at 17:21

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This isn’t going to help you now, but for future reference, if you swipe left/right in Notes with three fingers it will undo/redo.

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