I've tried the following to sync notes between two macs with the new notes.app in Mountain Lion:

  1. System Preferences > iCloud and check the "document and date" service.
  2. System Preferences > Mail Calendar, select the iCloud account and check the sync notes box, then click add. It unchecked itself after I quit system preferences.
  3. System Preferences > iCloud and check the sync notes box. It asked me to specify or create a @me.com account.

How do I sync notes between two macs with the new notes.app in Mountain Lion?

Is the only way to do this is to create a @me.com account?

  • I am having the same problem. I cannot share "notes" from my Mac because it's insisting on a me.com account to login with, yet my iCloud sign-in in System Preferences shows my comcast.net account as my iCloud-linked account (which it is!), and no other option to use but a me.com account. Must be a bug.
    – user28066
    Aug 26, 2012 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


Yes. You have to have an iCloud account for iCloud syncing to work.

  • i do have an icloud account, but do i need a @me.com account?
    – Jim
    Aug 3, 2012 at 13:47
  • What does your iCloud account end in?
    – duci9y
    Aug 3, 2012 at 13:48
  • i sort of figured it out. i used my apple id/personal email to sign in to icloud, that was my perception of what an icloud account was. it appears that in order to sync notes, one needs to create a user@me.com account for it to work. i don't know, i don't feel it very intuitive.
    – Jim
    Aug 3, 2012 at 15:51
  • No you don’t have to create a “@me.com” account. I am currently syncing with my @gmail.com address and it works.
    – duci9y
    Aug 3, 2012 at 18:21
  • How did you concretely do to go sync simply using your @gmail.com email address?
    – user26786
    Aug 5, 2012 at 7:09

How this all works.

Notes uses a subset of email technology to work, much like reminders. This is why both reminders and notes used to be part of the Mail app in previous versions, before they got their dedicated apps. Lets just say they are a "special kind of email" that doesen't get sent out to anyone, but is stored for your future reference.

As such you need an email account that both supports these features and that iCloud can access. You see, when you use your email to register to iCloud you are using it much like on Facebook: you are providing your email, and it will be your "username", but just like Facebook, iCloud doesen't have access to your mails. To do so you need to register your email under "Mail, Contacts & Calendars" in system preferences.

I know it's a bit confusing, but think of it this way: when you register to anything else it asks for an username, a password and an email, no? Apple wants to make it easier for its users to remember their usernames so your email becomes your username. Your email account and iCloud are not linked in any way.

So what does this all mean?

It means that in order to sync your notes you must add your actual email account (gmail, yahoo, exchange, etc) under "Mail, Contacts and Calendars" to give Apple access or create a @me.com account to which Apple will have access.

If you choose the former method it will work given your email provider supports notes.Some users report problems when syncing to macs that are not running Mountain Lion. If both are on Mountain Lion it should be fine though.

If you choose the latter method you will have a new email account, and you will be able to log into iCloud using either your old email or the new one.

Hope it helps! Any questions (I know it can be a bit confusing) feel free to comment.

  • "much like reminders" - this confuses me, because Reminders syncing works fine with my @gmail.com iCloud account, but Notes syncing won't switch on.
    – alexmuller
    Sep 12, 2012 at 10:24

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