Why do I have to enable 'Notes' in both "Settings > iCloud > Notes" and also in "Mail, Contacts, Calendar" > [iCloud account name] > "Notes"?

If I do not set both of these 'Notes' to 'On', the iCloud Notes account does not appear in Notes.app > "Accounts". I just have "On my iPhone".

However, if I do set both to 'On', then I have 2 Notes accounts under iCloud.

Why can't I set just one? Why do I have to set the second one?


What is interesting, is that both of the places you mentioned are redundant. You cannot have "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" > [iCloud name] > "Notes", Off, while "iCloud" > "Notes" is On. If one is on, and you have an @icloud.com (or @mac.com style), the other will automatically be in agreement.

So in short, set one, and other will be set.

This is probably because, Apple provides Settings.app > iCloud for users who haven't chosen to set up an @icloud.com (or equivalent) email address. For users who have chosen to set up that email, the settings become redundant.

Other email accounts under "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" may have the option of notes, in which case it syncs notes you create in the Notes.app with your email accounts (often found under "Notes" somewhere).

  • I've never been able to set one off and the other on, so perhaps the OP has two accounts or needs to restore the device and set it up as new? – bmike Jan 7 '14 at 3:46
  • @bmike, that is an interesting possibility. – bassplayer7 Jan 7 '14 at 14:48

Another thing to note is that you cannot sync notes from your "On My iPhone" account to iCloud. I thought all of my Notes were automatically backed up in the cloud once I turned on iCloud sync.

In fact there seems no other way to backup iPhone notes located on your "On My iPhone" account than to use standalone, non-Apple backup iPhone notes utilities.

I would always advise to make sure your iCloud Notes sync is enabled before you start taking notes on your iPhone or iPad as there is no way to back them up or sync the notes you have created prior to enabling the iCloud.

Finally, both sets of options under Settings > iCloud > Notes and under Settings > Mail, Contactrs, Calendars > iCloud Account > Notes are identical provided you use one and the same iCloud account. Note that if you use more than one iCloud account, and enable Notes sync under both accounts, there is indeed a possibility that two "iCloud" accounts appear in your Notes account.

You must log in to answer this question.

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