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

Connie Wisley
August 17, 2023 Preview 104.2K Preview 8
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The folder in my Notes app containing my notes stored on my MacBook has disappeared after the latest update to Sonoma. 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. Moreover, there are several other major causes leading to missing notes on Mac.

Why did my Notes disappear on my Mac?

  • Accidental deletion
  • Note app crash
  • 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 unknown reasons, in this article we will show you 6 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 third-party dedicated data recovery software.

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is the best Mac data recovery software that can recover corrupted or lost photos, audios, videos, documents and archive from any Mac supported data storage media, including internal/external hard drives, USB drives, SD card, digital cameras, iPods, etc. It also supports previewing files before recovery.

Steps about 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

#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 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 is Note 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.

#5 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 recover deleted 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

#6 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).

How to restore notes from iCloud backup on Mac?

  1. Go to System Preferences > iCloud > uncheck Notes app to turn off the iCloud syncing.turn off icloud syncing
  2. Sign into iCloud.com and select Notes app.
  3. Choose "Recently Deleted" folder.
  4. 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.Mac Notes Disappeared Recovery- iCloud

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 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?

    6 years ago Reply

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    • Rosa Reyes

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

      6 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 Reply

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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 Reply

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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.

    7 years ago Reply

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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.

    7 years ago Reply

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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.

    7 years ago Reply

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