How to Fix iPhone Notes Disappeared After Update

Many users reported notes disappeared after updating iPhone to iOS 16. Find out why they have disappeared and how to get back all of notes on iPhone.
How to Fix iPhone Notes Disappeared After Update

“Hi, I have recently updated my iPhone to iOS 16. Today, I found out that all my notes have disappeared, surprisingly. I am sure that I did not delete them, and no one else accessed my iPhone. I had some important notes that I need now. How can I get back my notes disappeared on my iPhone?”

Most iPhone users use the Notes app to write down anything important in digital format. When such important notes disappear, panic sets in naturally. If iPhone notes disappear after updating iOS, it implies that the issue is with the operating system. Sometimes, changing your email account or your Apple ID after an update can make your notes disappear.

But there is nothing to panic about because notes disappearing does not mean notes are deleted. Notes are saved locally on your iPhone. If iCloud backup is activated, notes will be saved in the iCloud server. You can retrieve the disappeared and recently deleted notes in the Notes app. We will illustrate all the legitimate methods to get back iPhone notes disappeared after the update.

Part 1. Why Did My Notes on My iPhone Disappear After Update?

Updating iOS brings new features and patches up security loopholes. Updating iOS as soon as available is always recommended. But it is concerning if updating iOS brings trouble like the disappearance of notes and messages. That is why it is more important to understand why all of my notes disappeared on my iPhone after the update.

  • Update Error: Interrupting the iOS update process in between leads to update failure and errors. Any update error leads to losing iPhone data such as notes, messages, and even contacts.
  • Change in Account: If you synced your Notes to an email account and change the email account on your iPhone after the update, the notes will not sync and disappear. Similarly, if you have synced your notes to your iCloud account and changed the Apple ID after the update, notes will not sync and disappear.
  • Sync Is Off: If the syncing of notes from iCloud or email address is turned off, the notes will not appear in the Notes app after you update iOS on your iPhone.
  • System Issues: If an internal issue exists in your iPhone’s system files and settings, data such as notes can disappear temporarily.
  • Accidental Deletion: It is possible that someone else who has access to your iPhone could have deleted your notes accidentally or intentionally.  

Part 2. How to Get Back Disappeared Notes on iPhone

The first thing you should do is restart your iPhone. If there is any minor internal issue, it should get fixed after reboot, and notes should reappear. If it does not solve the disappearance issue, here are all the working methods you need to perform one by one until the disappeared notes reappear.

2.1. Retrieve Notes From the “Recently Deleted” Folder in Notes App

If the notes are deleted accidentally or intentionally and have not been over 30 days, you can retrieve them easily in the Notes app. There is a special folder named Recently Deleted, where the deleted notes are kept for thirty days before deleting them permanently. You can retrieve the disappeared notes from the Recently Deleted folder instantly, and here are the steps to follow.

Step 1. Launch the Notes app. Locate the Recently Deleted folder. You will find it under iCloud or On My iPhone and tap on it.

Step 2. Tap the Edit option located at the top-right corner. Choose the disappeared notes to retrieve them.

Step 3. Tap the Move option located at the bottom-left corner.

Step 4. Select the Notes folder to move the selected notes.

recover disappeared notes from recently deleted folder

Try the other methods if the disappeared notes are unavailable in the Recently Deleted folder.

2.2. Use Search to Find Your Disappeared Notes on iPhone

We have already stated that iPhone stores your notes in local files. Therefore, you can search for any disappeared notes and retrieve them easily. You can use the Spotlight Search feature on your iPhone to locate any notes saved locally. Here are the steps to find your disappeared notes on your iPhone.

Step 1. Go to the home screen of your iPhone.

Step 2. Swipe to the right to access Spotlight Search at the top of the screen.

spotlight search on iPhone

Step 3. Type the name or keyword of the disappeared notes and tap on the Search icon.

If the disappeared notes are present in your iPhone, they will appear in the search result. As a matter of fact, you can perform this search operation inside the Notes app.

2.3. Turn iCloud Notes On

Notes are stored in the local storage as well as in the iCloud server. If the disappeared notes are available in the iCloud server, but the sync option is disabled, the notes will not appear after the update. You have to turn on iCloud Notes manually to bring back the previously saved notes in the Notes app. Here are the steps to bring back all my notes that disappeared iPhone via the iCloud Notes option.

Step 1. Open the Settings app. Tap on your Apple ID.

Step 2. Go to iCloud> Show All. Go to the Apps using the iCloud section.

Step 3. Tap on the Notes option. Toggle on the Sync This iPhone option.

icloud notes sync

Restart your iPhone and ensure you have an active internet connection to sync iCloud Notes. Open the Notes app and check if the disappeared notes have come back.

2.4. Check Your Email Account Settings

If you have synced your notes with your email address before updating your iOS, the notes will not appear after the update if the sync option is turned off. If you have changed the password of the linked email address, the syncing will turn off automatically. Therefore, you need to check your email account settings to ensure that the notes syncing is enabled. Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1: Open the Settings app. Go to the Mail option.

Step 2: Go to Accounts and tap on the email account linked to your Notes.

mail accounts on iPhone

Step 3: Toggle on the Notes option if it is disabled.

notes in email settings iPhone

Restart your iPhone and ensure you have an active internet connection. Launch the Notes app, and the disappeared notes should be back now if you synced them to the email address previously. 

2.5. Get Back Disappeared Notes without Backup

You need a professional iPhone data recovery tool if you have not backed up your notes anywhere before their disappearance. We recommend Tenorshare UltData to recover disappeared and deleted notes directly from your iOS devices. Apart from notes, you can recover over 35 file types on iPhone with UltData. The tool is compatible with the latest iOS 16 and is available for Windows and macOS users. Here are the steps to recover disappeared without backup via UltData.

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Step 1. Download Tenorshare UltData on the PC. Install and Launch UltData and select the Recover Data from iOS Devices option.

iPhone Data Recovery - recover disappeared notes from iOS devices

Step 2. Connect your iPhone from where the notes disappeared to your computer via a lightning USB cable. Wait for the application to detect the connection.

Step 3. Under the System Data section, select only the Notes and Attachment option. Click the Scan button to proceed.

Step 4. You will get a preview of all the existing and disappeared notes. Select the notes that you want to retrieve. Click the Recover to PC button to get back the selected notes on your computer.

2.6. Get Back Disappeared Notes From

If you have set up Notes for iCloud, all the notes on your iPhone are synced on your iCloud account. iCloud keeps the deleted notes for 30 days before deleting them permanently. You can get back the disappeared notes from directly to your email address. You can access from any device using a web browser. Here are the steps to retrieve iPhone notes that disappeared after update via

Step 1. Visit from the web browser of your device.

Step 2. Sign in with the Apple ID and password linked to your iPhone.

Step 3. Click the Notes option from the home screen.

iCloud notes

Step 4. Click the Notes folder from the left. You can also select the Recently Deleted folder to recover deleted notes.

Step 5. Select the notes from the list of backup notes one by one that you want to retrieve.

Step 6. Click the Email option and mention your email address where you want to notes.

email disappeared notes on iCloud

You can now open your email account and download the disappeared notes as an attachment.

2.7. Get Back Disappeared Notes From iCloud Backup

If you have created an iCloud backup of the disappeared notes before updating your iPhone, you can restore the iCloud backup notes directly. However, when you restore iCloud backup, your iPhone data will be permanently erased. This is because you have to factory reset your iPhone to restore the iCloud backup data. If the disappeared notes are very important and you are willing to delete your current iPhone data to get them back, here are the steps to follow.

Step 1. Open the Settings app. Go to the General option.

Step 2: Go to the Reset option and tap on Erase All Content and Settings.

Erase all content and settings on iPhone

Step 3: Enter the passcode or Apple ID password to confirm your choice.

Step 4. After resetting the iPhone, you will come across several options on Apps and Data screen. Select Restore from the iCloud Backup option.

Follow the on-screen instructions, and your disappeared notes should appear if they are in the iCloud backup you restored.

2.8. Get Back Disappeared Notes From iTunes Backup

If you have taken an iTunes backup of your lost notes before they disappeared, you can restore them from that iTunes backup. Please note that when you restore iTunes backup, you lose the current data on your iPhone. Therefore, before proceeding, you should back up your current data on your iPhone. Here are the steps to restore iPhone notes that disappeared after the update from iTunes backup.

Step 1: Connect iPhone to the PC, where you took the backup of lost notes through iTunes.

Step 2: Open the iTunes application on the computer and go to the Summary option from the left.

Step 3: Go to the Backups section and click the Restore backup button.

Finder restore backup

Step 4: Select the backup file where the lost notes are present. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore the backup file instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Disappeared Notes on iPhone

Does iPhone backup your Notes?

Your notes are stored locally on your iPhone when no backup option is activated. If you have set up iCloud for Notes, your notes are saved in the iCloud server instead of locally. You can also backup notes on iTunes as well as on your email address.

How do I restore my Notes on my iPhone without iCloud?

If your Notes are not available on iCloud, this means you did not set up iCloud for Notes beforehand. The only option is to use a professional iPhone data recovery tool. TenorshareUltData is the best data recovery tool for iPhone users to get back their deleted and disappeared notes.

How do I stop my Notes from disappearing on my iPhone?

You cannot stop your notes from disappearing due to system issues, but you can get them back instantly if they disappear. Before taking any iOS update, you should set up iCloud for Notes beforehand so that all the notes are available in iCloud to retrieve when they disappear.


Even since the update of iOS 16 has been made available, we have received a common complaint: “all of my notes disappeared on my iPhone after update”. You can easily get back the disappeared notes as they are not permanently deleted. If you have set up iCloud for backup beforehand, you can retrieve them instantly. If you do not have any backup, you can use the iPhone recovery tool to get back disappeared notes in a few clicks.

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