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How to use Smart Folders in the iOS Notes app

Folders are a great way to organise your iPhone notes, but did you know there’s a way to automatically filter the same note into multiple folders? 

The Smart Folders feature in iOS allows you to filter your notes into folders based on the custom tags you create. You can use #shopping to have all your shopping lists available in one folder, or #recipes to organise your favourite meals, for example. You can even set multiple tags for one folder. 

The feature launched with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 in 2021, meaning as long as you’re running this version or later, you should be able to create Smart Folders in the Notes app. Read on to learn how to do it. 

What you’ll need: 

  • An iPhone (at least iOS 15)
  • The Notes app

The Short Version 

  1. Tap the new folder icon 
  2. Choose Make Into Smart Folder 
  3. Tap Tags 
  4. Tap Any Selected Tag or All Selected Tags 
  5. Hit the plus icon 
  6. Name your tag and tap Add

  1. Step
    1

    Tap the new folder icon

    This is the icon in the bottom-left corner of the Notes app. How to use Smart Folders in the iOS Notes app

  2. Step
    2

    Choose Make Into Smart Folder

    You can also name the folder at this stage. How to use Smart Folders in the iOS Notes app

  3. Step
    3

    Tap Tags

    It will most likely say Off. How to use Smart Folders in the iOS Notes app

  4. Step
    4

    Tap Any Selected Tag or All Selected Tags

    Your selection depends on whether you want to filter out notes containing any of the tags you set or only ones containing all of the tags you set. How to use Smart Folders in the iOS Notes app

  5. Step
    5

    Hit the plus icon

    Or tap any existing tags you want to use. How to use Smart Folders in the iOS Notes app

  6. Step
    6

    Name your tag and tap Add

    Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add multiple tags and tap Done when you’re finished. How to use Smart Folders in the iOS Notes app

Troubleshooting

How to convert an existing folder into a Smart Folder

To change an existing folder into a Smart Folder, simply open the folder, tap the three-dot icon and choose Convert To Smart Folder. 

You cannot do this with shared folders, folders that have subfolders or folders that contain locked notes.

How to edit a Smart Folder 

To edit an existing Smart Folder, touch and hold the folder. Then tap Edit Smart Folder and make your changes. Once you’re done, hit Done.

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