Some of my notes have disappeared from my iPhone 4s. I haven't made any backup and contents of those notes are very important to me.

How can I restore or at least access some of my lost notes?

(My iPhone 4s isn't jail broken and I don't install any games or any apps on it)

4 Answers 4


If you backup with iTunes and you restored from the backup and the notes were gone, then there is no where to retrieve them from unless you have another backup that contains those notes.

Launch iTunes on the computer and go to iTunes>Preferences>Devices. You will see a window with all of your backups listed in it.

If you see a recent backup that you are certain contains the notes that you need, recover deleted notes from iPhone backup.

If your note is gone from iCloud.com there is only a few ways to possibly recover it.

The first things I would check is a iCloud Backup, a iTunes Backup, or a 3rd party email that may have contained the note. To restore from a iCloud or iTunes backup follow this link. This article explains how to restore a device from either back up.

Note if you have backed up since the note went missing, you will not have the note on the backup. Make sure you do not back up if trying to restore from a back up as this will back up the content without the note.

To get to the "Set up assistant" on an iOS device, you must go to Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings. Once the phone restarts, you will be at the "Set up Assistant"

Gmail emails are very commmon sources for notes and you may have been adding them to the gmail notes without even knowing it.


I just lost all notes. I tried the backups but as soon as restore was completed, it would lose notes again. I disconnected after recover but still no notes.

Out of desperation, as I have all my passwords etc on it (yes, I know) but I trusted the iTunes backup system. I looked on the net and found a recovery company called Wondershare, Dr Phone. I tested it and there it all was, but it has now cost me £71 to purchase key number to download my info.

All notes info and everything else is available. It saves it in a file which you open.

Now I have to type it all in again. I will keep manual backups now as well as using Dropbox from now on. Nightmare. I hope this helps you all.


Solution 1 Recover deleted iPhone notes from Gmail

Gmail email is a very common storing place for notes, usually you may have added your notes to the Gmail account without even knowing it. Because the first time when you sync your notes to iCloud, you should set a mail account. If you have set a Gmail account, the synced notes are actually stored as email in the notes label of your Gmail, which provides a possibility to restore iPhone notes from Gmail. Then just go to your Gmail to find back your deleted iPhone notes.

Solution 2 Recover deleted iPhone notes from iTunes Backup using iTunes

If you have synced or backed up your iPhone via iTunes, you can easily recover notes from iPhone by restoring iPhone from iTunes Backup. Because when you restore iPhone from iTunes backup, you restore the total iTunes backup data to your iPhone. Here are brief instructions for your reference. Connect your device to the computer and run iTunes. When the connected device has been recognized by iTunes, click your device on the “Devices” column of the left sidebar, then you can see the Summary tab on the right, select Backups > This computer > Restore Backup…

Then choose a backup of your iPhone from the pop-up “Restore from Back up” window. Please note that, to restore iPhone from iTunes backup in this way, not only your notes, but also all the other types of files in your previous backup will be restored, but they’ll overwrite and replace the current data on your iPhone.

Solution 3 Recover deleted iPhone notes from iCloud Backup

In order to recover deleted iPhone notes from iCloud backup, firstly you should make sure you have an iCloud backup by tapping Settings > iCloud > Storage & backup > manage storage space, then you can see the iCloud backup list of all your iOS devices. After ensuring there’s an iCloud backup, you can refer to the short guide below about how to recover iPhone from iCloud backup.

  1. On your iOS device, go to Settings > General > Software Update. You should update your device to the latest iOS, so you can restore from a recent backup of another device, such as a lost or broken device.

  2. Go to Settings > General > Reset, then tap “Erase all content and settings”.

  3. Then you’ll be led to the Setup Assistant, sign in to iCloud, tap “Restore from a Backup”, then choose from the list of your backups in iCloud.

Then all the data on your iCloud backup will be restored to your iPhone, including the iPhone notes. In Step 2 above, you must have noted that you have to remove all contents and settings on your iPhone device so as to recover deleted iPhone notes from iCloud backup.


If you connect your iPhone to a computer running Linux (Ubuntu version in my case) it will become recognized as a normal USB memory pen-drive.

From there, you can use many methods to recover your lost deleted files.

TestDrive allows you to search the drive (iPhone memo) and gives you the possibility to recover deleted files. I'm not an expert, nor did it with iDevice by myself. But it worked for me with Symbian phone (Nokia)...

Check steps explained in this article.
Also more detailed here.

As the reason of your files disappeared is kind a fuzzy, I just hope that your lost text documents will be recoverable this way...

  • 1
    Can you explain in more detail how the generic, Unix/Linux related data recovery tips in the linked articles will help in recovering data for the iOS Notes app?
    – nohillside
    Jul 28, 2013 at 15:29
  • Do some basic research for yourself, at least under Google... For example TestDrive allows you to search the drive (iPhone memo) and gives you the possibility to recover deleted files. I'm not an expert, nor did it with iDevice by myself. But it worked for me with Symbian phone (Nokia)... Note: What's the downvote for? Is it that my answer is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect. -You are not loosing anything to try to recover your files this way... Jul 30, 2013 at 6:42
  • The goal is to have answers which stand on their own and do not rely on external information/explanations. That's why we ask people to included the relevant information directly into the answer.
    – nohillside
    Jul 30, 2013 at 10:58

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