I'm trying to sync Notes from mac to iPhone. But when I turn on Notes in iCoud, it says that I require an iCloud email address. This is unexpected since my Gmail account is alreadyh linked with my iCloud account.

Why is an iCloud email address required to sync Notes?

(I'm able to sync Reminders with no problems.)

6 Answers 6


iOS Notes syncing works through the IMAP protocol, which in iCloud is integrated into the email service. Although Apple could technically choose to allow for notes syncing without explicitly requiring an email address, they have chosen to make it a part of the email, almost like Notes is its own email folder.

You should also be able to sync your Notes using your Gmail account since it is also based on the IMAP protocol:

enter image description here

  • Both "notes" and "reminders" are simply text. Why is there a difference between the methods used to sync these two?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 21:42

If you're like me and use your gmail account for your apple account, and if you have a gmail account setup on your mac so you can sync your gmail notes (for example) to your mac, you have to remember to store your notes in gmail on your device, not icloud. To get anything from icloud it looks like you have to have an icloud.com address.


if you have an iCloud account already, then you don't need a new one. Just enter the one you have. If you have an apple id from iTunes then it is different. iCloud is how apple is gathering all your none app or music related data like notes, calendar and documents. App and music with itunes requires credit card. iCloud does not. So that's apparently why they made a distinction.


the account needs to exist in order to use existing mail protocols. you do not need to even have the mail account sync with your phone, it just needs to exist, then you can just use it to sync notes.


This is simply the way Apple has setup Notes sync over iCloud. It syncs using the IMAP protocol, so probably in an effort to not confuse some customers, it has chosen to make an iCloud email account mandatory as the iCloud email using a variation of IMAP.

There may also be self-serving reasons too, such as being able to inflate their actual usage numbers, but I do believe it's more to do with causing less confusion with some customers.

However, if you go to Settings --> Accounts on your Mac, you should be able to add Notes sync to your Gmail account that you mentioned you owned. Although this may not work as "quickly" as iCloud would and may not have all the features that could be added at a later date by Apple.


K, I was having this problem too, and I figured it out.

Apparently I had two iCloud accounts going, one @gmail and the other @icloud. They both were syncing on my mobile devices, but only the @gmail could be seen on my computer. This is what I did. Systems Preferences> Internet accounts> (on the left I could see the default iCloud that came with the new OSX and my gmail) on the right I selected 'iCloud' and put in the details of my previous @icloud account. It appeared on the left and now all my devices sync.

Hope this helps.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .