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How to recover deleted notes on the iPhone

Taking notes on Apple’s stock Notes app remains one of the slickest and easiest ways to jot down little tidbits of information. But what happens if you delete a note accidentally?

Thankfully, Apple has built-in a system to recover deleted notes on your iPhone. Provided you do so within 30 days of deleting the note, it’s actually pretty easy to get it back.

Here’s how to recover deleted notes on your iPhone.

What we used

  • We used the iPhone 13 Pro, but these methods will work on any iPhone

The Short Version

  • Open the Notes app
  • Back up to Folders
  • Enter Recently Deleted
  • Open deleted note
  • Recover your note
  1. Step

    Open the Notes app

    First you’ll want to open the Notes app. This is presumably placed quite prominently on your home screen, but if you can’t find it drag down from the middle of the home screen to bring up the search field. Type ‘Notes’ and the icon should appear.iOS Home Screen Notes app

  2. Step

    Back out to Folders

    You’ll more than likely be in the Notes folder, or even in a specific note when you enter the app, so hit the yellow back-out prompt in the top left corner until you’re back in the main Folders hub.iOS Notes back out

  3. Step

    Enter Recently Deleted

    Tap Recently Deleted, and you’ll enter a list of all of the notes you’ve deleted recently.iOS Notes Recently Deleted

  4. Step

    Open deleted note

    The note you most recently deleted will be at the bottom of the list, and the oldest will be at the top. Tap on the note that you deleted in error.iOS Recently deleted back out

  5. Step

  6. Recover your note
  7. Tap anywhere on the opened note and you’ll receive a pop-up message telling you it can’t be edited. Tap the Recover button and it will instantly return to the Notes folder.iOS Recently Deleted Note recover


How do I permanently delete notes?

You can delete messages for good by going into Recently Deleted, swiping a message to the left, and tapping the red rubbish bin icon.

How do I select where deleted notes go?

You can send your deleted notes to another Notes folder by going into Recently Deleted, swiping a message to the left, and tapping the purple folder icon, then selecting a folder (or creating a brand new one).

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