On the iPhone and presumably applies to the iPad as well, running iOS 5.1.1.

Right now, I've got my iCloud and Gmail account on my phone syncing everything including notes. When creating a note using the stock Notes app, notes are saved to my default account (which happens to be my Gmail account). However, I would like to save some notes to the phone itself and not synced with any account. I do not see an option to explicitly enable this option.

But I've also discovered a funny quirk that seems to allow this option to unexpectedly show up:

  1. Disable the syncing of notes for all accounts
  2. Add a note (which I'll refer to as "the note") to the Notes app (making sure there are no existing notes)
  3. Re-enable notes syncing with accounts
  4. Go back to Notes and the option to save to the iPhone only will show up

Quirk: Delete the note, reopen the Notes app, and that option to save to your iPhone only disappears.

Is this supposed to be normal? Is there a way to keep the "On My iPhone" option on at all times?

3 Answers 3


In Notes.app when you are in the "On this iPhone" section, any notes you create will exist only on the phone (not synced with google or iCloud). The option disappears when all your notes are synced, presumably to encourage you to save to iCloud by default, but the solution is simply to leave one in the "on this iPhone" folder.


When you go in the Mail, Contacts & Calendar menu, you can go in the account settings and select what is syncing, including Notes. Just disable them there. It will probably ask you to remove synced notes to de-activate syncing (I hate that)

  • That's what I've done to enable the option to save to the iPhone only. I would like to be able to sync some notes and not others. But deleting the non-syncing note will remove the option to save to the phone only later.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 19:50
  • you can easily get any other note taking application for the local ones and save the stock note app for synced one... That would work around everything! Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 19:52

In iOS 10, all you have to do is go to

  1. Go to Settings > Notes
  2. Toggle "On My iPhone Account" to on (for me this was the last option).

This will create a section in the Notes app called "On My iPhone". Notes saved in this section are exactly that – on your phone and not backed up to the cloud.

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