5 Ways to Recover Notes Disappeared from Mac after macOS Upgrade

2019-06-20 02:57:32 / Posted by Rosa Reyes to Recover Follow @ Rosa

After you upgrade your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air to a higher version (e.g. macOS High Sierra, Mojave), I guess you might find something lost. Because you are not the only one who has encounters such a problem, many users claimed that they found their Mac notes disappeared as well.

After upgrading my MacBook Pro to High Sierra this morning, I found some MacBook notes disappeared. I can't find the missing notes anymore. Where are notes stored on Mac High Sierra mac notes disappeared Is there any way to recover lost Notes on Mac? -From Apple Support Communities

In this article, we will show you several ways, along with best data recovery software to recover deleted or missing notes after macOS EL Captain, High Sierra or Mojave upgrade. Hope these solutions would help you recover notes disappeared from Mac. After you upgrade your MacBook from macOS Sierra to High Sierra or El Capitan to the macOS Sierra, I guess you might find something lost. Because you are not the only person who encounters such a problem. Many Mac users claimed that they found their notes missing and wondered how to recover Mac notes disappeared.

Mac Notes Disappeared Completely? Best Ways to Recover! (3 Ways)

If you can’t find any disappeared notes files on Mac, then please seek help from a piece of data recovery software, Time Machine (have already backed up), or iCloud (have turned the sync on).

#Way One: Recover Lost Notes on Mac with Data Recovery Software (Editor’s Choice)

It’s the most formidable, effective solution to recover disappeared notes on Mac with a third-party 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 many kinds of common file types and raw file types, including pef, nef, dcr, sr2, etc.

Free Download

You can download the free trial version and follow below guidance on how to recover deleted notes on Mac.

Step 1Choose A Recovery Solution.

Install Cisdem Data Recovery on Mac, and then launch this app.

The Mac notes recovery software will show 5 recovery solutions to you, I recommend you to select:

  • Basic Data Recovery (quick scan), Advanced Data Recovery (deep scan): If you saved the notes as PDF, TXT, etc. files before, these two modes can help you recover files in various formats. Advanced Data Recovery will scan a longer time, but it can dig more notes disappeared from Mac.
  • Trash Recovery: If you just delete your notes folder or files, just try out the Trash Recovery mode. It will display the path of lost Mac notes.

Mac Notes Disappeared Recovery- Data Recovery Software 01

Step 2Choose the Disk to Scan Notes.

This app allows you to choose which disk to scan. Thus you should know the disk where you stored your notes. Otherwise, no app can help you find the recoverable files of notes.

Mac Notes Disappeared Recovery- Data Recovery Software 02

Step 3Preview and Recover Notes on Mac.

This app will start to scan your target disk. This process will take some time which depends on the size and quantity of files on disk.

In or after scanning, you can preview your target files. Search the PDF, TXT, etc. notes under the category: Type > Document. With regard to recovering deleted notes folder or files, you need go to Path > System > Library or Path > Library, as notes stored on:

  • ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes/
  • ~/Library/Group Containers

Finally, choose the folder or files to recover only. Then click “Recover” to retrieve Mac disappeared notes.

Mac Notes Disappeared Recovery- Data Recovery Software 03

Way Two: Recover Mac Notes Disappeared 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. 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

Way Three: Find Notes on Mac Disappeared 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 move to the Recently Deleted folder).

  1. Sign into iCloud.com and select Notes app.
  2. Choose "Recently Deleted" folder.
  3. 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.

If Notes Folder or Files are Still on the Mac Library (2 Ways)

When Mac notes disappeared after the update or accidentally deletion, its folder or files that are used to store data may still on the Library. All notes are combined into a single database-like file and this file could retain the text of recently deleted items. So you can get your deleted notes back from the storage file. But before that, you have to know where notes stored on Mac are.

Way One: Add a .html Extension to the Notes Files

  1. First, go to Notes’ storage location at ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes/. You can choose "Go to Folder..." in the Finder and enter the path string.
  2. You will get the Notes folder. Inside the folder, you should see a small assortment of similarly named files with names such as NotesV7.storedata.
  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 deleted notes.
  5. Copy and save deleted notes to a separate location. If this way is not working, you can try way two below.

Recover Disappeared Mac Notes from Library 01

Way Two: Recover Lost Notes from External Notes Record Files

  1. Launch Finder app on Mac and right-click it from the dock.
  2. Choose "Go to Folder...” option, and enter the command ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/CoreData/ExternalRecords/NotesV4/XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX(32 random code)/ICNote/_records/.Recover Disappeared Mac Notes from Library 02
  3. There are some numbered folders in “_records” directory, and each folder will have multiple files suffixed with .notesexternalrecord. Press the space key to “Qucik Look” these files.Recover Disappeared Mac Notes from Library 03

You can’t copy the notes from “Quick Look” directly. To recover the notes disappeared from Mac, you can only re-type the contents of the notes, or use the OCR tools to identify the contents after taking screenshots.

Crucial Tips on Recovering Deleted Notes on Mac

  1. After Mac notes disappeared, the first thing you are supposed to do is to check the lost files again in a Finder or Spotlight.
  2. Export your notes as PDF or make a copy of them for further saving. Just go to File and choose “Export as PDF”.
  3. 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.

If interested, you can also visit recover deleted notes on iPhone for iPhone data recovery.

Extended Knowledge: Notes vs. Sticky Notes:

Notes is a built-in, note-taking app developed by Apple while Sticky Notes mainly works for Windows. You still have the ability to install Sticky Notes or its extensions on Mac and recover a deleted sticky note using the methods introduced above but iCloud.


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, corrupted files with one click.

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8 Comments Leave a Reply

  • Martin

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

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Rosa Reyes

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

    3 years ago REPLY
  • 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!

    3 years ago REPLY
  • 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!

    3 years ago REPLY
  • David

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

    3 years ago REPLY
  • 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.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • 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.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Dolores

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

    4 years ago REPLY