7 Methods to Recover Mac Notes Disappeared after Update (Sonoma Incl.)

Connie Wisley
March 01, 2024 Preview 108.2K Preview 8
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The folder in my Notes app containing my notes stored on my MacBook has disappeared after update. Now I'm going to be faced with searching through various folders in ~Library. --- User From MacRumors
I created a note on my laptop on my iCloud account very recently and closed the Notes app, the next morning I went to open it and it randomly disappeared. Does anyone know how I could possibly recover the data? --- User From Apple Discussion

As you can see, Mac notes often disappeared or went away after macOS update or iCloud setting changes. In addition, there are more causes leading to Mac missing notes.

Why did my Notes disappear on my Mac/Macbook?

  • Accidental deletion
  • Notes app crash
  • Hardware failure
  • Software glitch
  • Virus or malware attack
  • Disabled iCloud Sync
  • ...

If your Mac notes are disappearing after a latest Sonoma, Ventura, or Monterey upgrade or out of any unforeseen events, no worries, in this article we will show you 7 ways to recover disappeared or deleted Mac notes with ease.


#1 Easiest Way to Recover Disappeared Notes on Mac

If you’d like to guarantee the highest success rate to retrieve lost notes on Mac, you will need a professional and advanced solution. While, the most effective solution to recover disappeared notes on Mac is using a piece of third-party dedicated data recovery software.

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is the best Mac data recovery software that can recover corrupted or lost notes, photos, audios, videos, documents and archives from any Mac-supported storage media, including internal/external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, digital cameras, iPods, etc.

Generally speaking, you may suffer Mac notes missing from local hard drive or iCloud account. The good news is that Cisdem can handle both of these 2 conditions. For Mac notes disappeared on hard drive, Cisdem will conduct a thorough scanning of your Mac drive and locate the lost Notes files efficiently. For Mac notes disappeared on iCloud, Cisdem will find recently and permanently deleted notes quickly using its iCloud Recovery feature. Check out the detailed instructions below.

Case 1: How to Recover Disappeared or Deleted Notes on Mac?

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery to your Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  2. Choose a location.
    Go to Hardware Disk, choose the Mac hard drive to search for deleted notes.Mac Notes Disappeared Recovery- Data Recovery Software 01
  3. Scan Notes.
    Click on Search for lost files button to start the scanning. Then go to Type > Documents and check the notes files. Or you can use the filter tool to search specific notes files.Mac Notes Disappeared Recovery- Data Recovery Software 02
  4. Preview and Recover Notes on Mac.
    In or after scanning, you can preview your target files by double clicking on it. Then click “Recover” to retrieve Mac disappeared notes.Mac Notes Disappeared Recovery- Data Recovery Software 03


Case 2: How to Recover Disappeared Mac Notes from iCloud?

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on your Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  2. Under Data Recovery, choose iCloud > Recover data from iCloud account, and click Next.recover icloud notes with cisdem 01
  3. Sign in to iCloud with your account and password.recover icloud notes with cisdem 02
  4. Choose Notes category and click Next.recover icloud notes with cisdem 03
  5. Preview and find the wanted Notes files from the list.recover icloud notes with cisdem 04
  6. Select the files and choose a preferred location to save your notes disappeared from Mac.recover icloud notes with cisdem 05


#2 Recover Disappeared or Lost Mac Notes from Recently Deleted Folder

Whenever we found the notes files get disappeared or deleted on Mac, we are always caught in a panic and forget to check the Recently Deleted folder, where we probably are able to get them back effortlessly. What’s equally important is, we must stop writing data onto the Mac, which will cause a permanently loss of your Mac notes.

  1. Launch the Notes App on your Mac.
  2. Go to Recently Deleted tab, check if your disappeared notes are there, if yes, move them to your Mac or iCloud account.check recently deleted notes

If unluckily you can't find recently deleted notes on Mac, it’s likely that the notes have been removed over 30 days. Just proceed with other methods.


#3 Locate and Recover Disappeared Mac Notes

If the Mac disappeared notes are not moved to Recently Deleted folder in Notes App, we should search the files by using Mac spotlight feature, then recover from Recent Opened files.

  1. Go to Finder App.
  2. Click on the Recent Tab.recent tab
  3. Input the keyword that contained in your Mac disappeared notes' file name.search disappeared notes
  4. Find the lost Mac notes, open it to save or edit as needed.


#4 Change View Mode to Show Mac Notes Disappeared

If your Mac notes disappeared after the latest update, the macOS system may reset Notes settings, so that your notes are hidden from plain view. Here Mac notes are not really lost, and you can reaccess them simply by changing the view mode in Notes.

  1. Open Notes app.
  2. From the top-left menu bar, click View > Show Folders.change view mode
  3. Check if your disappeared Mac notes are present in those unhidden folders.


#5 Recover Notes Disappeared on Mac from Temporary Folder

Though Mac Notes app creates database-like files, instead of saving each note as individual note file in a folder, it has a storage location to store temporary data in Mac library. That’s to say, if your Mac notes get disappeared, you can go to its storage location and recover from the temporary folder.

Alternatively, Mac Group Containers is also the place to store database from applications, like user data, caches, logs and so on. There are 2 ways to recover disappeared notes from Group Containers, open the database files with a professional tool or copy the whole Group Containers to another Mac for opening.

In fact, the Group Containers basically belongs to a kind of temporary folders. Therefore, totally 3 options are available for how to recover disappeared notes on Mac from Temporary files.

Where are Notes Stored on Mac:



~Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/

How to Recover Disappeared Notes from Storage Location?

Option 1: Recover from the .storedata files

  1. Click on Finder App, go to Go > Go to Folder from its menu bar, copy and paste "~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes/" into the box .storage location notes
  2. You will get the Notes files inside the folder, you should see a small assortment of similarly named files with names such as NotesV7.storedata.stored mac notes
  3. Copy these files to a separate location, and add a .html extension to them.
  4. Open one of the files in a web browser, and you will see your notes disappeared from Mac.
  5. Copy and save the deleted notes to a separate location.


Option 2: Recover by installing a 3rd party database tool

  1. In the Apple menu, go to Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Input “~Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/” and click Go.finder go to folder
  3. Then download and install a .sqlite viewer, like DB Browser to open the sqlite file and extract the notes information.


Option 3: Recover by transferring Group Container to another Mac laptop or desktop

  1. In the Apple menu, go to Go > Go to Folder, input “~Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/”.
  2. Then copy all items under Group Containers > group.com.apple.notes.
  3. Paste all the files to a new Mac.
  4. Run the Notes app on the new Mac, check if the notes appear in your app.


#6 Recover Mac Disappeared Notes from Time Machine

Time Machine is a backup software application distributed with the Apple OS X computer operating system which backs up all of your files to an external hard drive so that you can restore them later or see how they looked in the past. If you always backup your Mac data with Time Machine regularly, you can recover notes disappeared from Mac with it. 

How to retrieve lost notes on Mac from Time Machine?

  1. Choose Enter Time Machine from the Time Machine menu, or click Time Machine in the Dock.
  2. And use the timeline on the edge of the screen to locate a version of the Notes storage folder that just precedes your deletion.
  3. Click Restore to restore the selected file, or control-click the file for other options. When you next launch the Notes app, your missing or deleted notes should reappear.Mac Notes Disappeared Recovery- Time Machine


#7 Recover Disappeared Notes on Mac in iCloud

If you are using upgraded Notes (iOS 9+ and OS X 10.11+), you are able to recover and edit the iCloud notes disappeared from Mac in the past 30 days.

Nevertheless, you have no chance to recover notes permanently removed from iCloud.com, or shared by someone else (the notes won’t be moved to the Recently Deleted folder), unless you make use of Cisdem Data Recovery

How to restore notes from iCloud backup on Mac?

  1. Go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts.recover notes in icloud 01
  2. Click iCloud on the left sidebar > untick the checkbox beside Notes app. This will prevent your Mac from syncing with iCloud and deleting files.recover notes in icloud 02
  3. Open your browser, sign into iCloud.com with your Apple ID and select Notes app.recover notes in icloud 03
  4. Choose "Recently Deleted" folder.
  5. Click “Recover” in the toolbar to get back notes disappeared from Mac. Or you can drag the notes from “Recently Deleted” folder to another one.recover notes in icloud 04

If you’re not using upgraded Notes, you can’t recover deleted notes on Mac. In this case, you have to disable the Internet access immediately when you find your Mac notes disappeared. Next, you should:

  • Solution 1: Go to the System Preferences > choose iCloud panel > log out the current Apple ID, and the data won't sync.
  • Solution 2: Check the missing notes in iCloud.com on other Apple devices but Mac.


Tips to Avoid Mac Notes Disappeared

  1. Export your notes as PDF or make a copy of them for further saving. Just go to File and choose “Export as PDF”.
  2. Always keep your notes backed up with Time Machine and iCloud, in that way, you will able to quickly and easily recover Mac notes disappeared.

  3. After Mac notes disappeared, the first thing you are supposed to do is to check the lost files again in a Finder or Spotlight.



That’s all for the solutions to fix Mac/Macbook notes disappeared. Although free methods do bring some assistance, they are conditionally restricted and don't recover successfully every time. Personally, I prefer using data recovery software (like Cisdem Data Recovery), which can scan and retrieve any lost, deleted files with one click.

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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Comments (8) Leave a Reply

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  • Martin

    How about deleted documents from trash? Can I still restore it?

    7 years ago commonReply

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    Comment *

    • Rosa Reyes

      Hi, you can try Cisdem DataRecovery to restore deleted documents from Trash.

      7 years ago
  • Kiley

    I recovered the file from storage, but changing the extension to .html does not allow me to read the notes. It glitches when I try opening it in a browser and shows a short line of garbled symbols. I'm a college student, and I kept notes for classes in this program! I have a test coming up and I can't live without my lecture notes!! Please help!

    7 years ago commonReply

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    • Rosa Reyes

      Hi, Kiley. Changing the extension to .html may have damaged your file. You can contact tech support by emails and describe your problems in details. Wish this help you!

      7 years ago
  • David

    Thank you so much. I could recover my notes by following your instructions.

    7 years ago commonReply

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  • Hebe

    Thank You! I couldn't find my notes anywhere on Mac and I thought I had lost them forever. But thanks to this data recovery tool, I restored my missing notes.

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Jonas

    I've missed almost all my Mac notes after an Outlook actualization, most of them, very important to me. But I finally got them back with Cisdem data recovery, thanks.

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Dolores

    I couldn't recover my notes from Time Machine, but this Mac notes recovery really saved my Mac notes from disappearing.

    8 years ago commonReply

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