If you can’t find a specific entry in the Notes app on your iPhone, chances are it’s hiding somewhere other than you thought, connected to a third-party email service like Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. When one of these notes gets lost or accidentally deleted, you will encounter problems, but it is possible to recover it.
A missing note may not seem like a big deal, but it could be a tower in your page if that note contained critical information, such as an account number, verification code, or password. If that information is not available elsewhere than in the third Apple Notes partner, you need to know how to find and retrieve it.
Tip 1: Know where your third-party notes are
When browsing files from the main menu folders View, all notes in third-party accounts are displayed between your iCloud and On My iPhone notes, and they will be obvious. Unlike iCloud and On My iPhone, the only folder displayed in each third-party account is “Notes”. Tap it to see what’s in it.
Tip 2: Find notes from third parties in the search
When you perform a search in the Notes app, you should find what you are looking for without too much hassle. Each search result will contain the folder that the record is in along with the account that contains it.
Tip 3: Make sure the third party account is connected
If you still cannot find the note you are looking for, the next thing you want to do is determine if the note is being held hostage by an account that is not enabled for the Notes app.
Most email services that you connect to your iPhone will be able to sync with Notes, but if you disabled it for some reason or had to add an account again and did not notice that the Notes switch was disabled, it does not appear in the Notes app. It is possible that the note you were looking for was saved in one of these accounts earlier but does not appear because it is no longer connected.
Open the Settings app, tap “Notes” and then display “Accounts”. From here, you can directly notify which accounts Notes has activated because it is clearly marked. Then select the account you think it might be in, or just go to each one to activate them all, and make sure the switch next to “Notes” is on.
Tip 4: Delete and reconnect the third party account
If the account you think the note is in says Notes is enabled for it, but your records do not appear in the Notes app, you can try deleting the account and reconnecting it. On the account details page, which has all the switches on, there is an option to “Delete account” at the bottom. Do this and see the next tip on how to reconnect it.
Tip 5: Reconnect the third-party account to the notes
If you know you have used a third-party account before, but it does not appear in Notes or the Notes settings, you will need to reconnect your account. To do so, from Settings -> Notes -> Accounts, click “Add Account”, then select the type you want to add and follow the on-screen instructions to connect your account.
Log in with your account information and then make sure “Notes” is enabled before pressing “Save” to end the connection to the account.
Tip 6: Make sure you have added the right from a third party
Once you’ve added an account, you may not see a “Notepad” option until you’re done connecting it to your iPhone. This usually happens for email services like Outlook. If it is Outlook and you have added it with the “Outlook” option, you can try using “Exchange” instead. That was what worked for me. And if you set it up as a POP account, you can try IMAP instead.
Tip 7: Find deleted notes in third party app
When you delete a note, it is thrown in the “Recently Deleted” folder of the account and you can restore it from there if necessary. The only problem is that this folder is only available on iCloud and on my iPhone.
Notes that you delete from a third-party email service are deleted from Notes for good. At least so it is. Some of your notes can be recycled, but there is no guarantee that the one you are looking for can be. Also, it’s a bit of a hassle.
If you’re lucky, Notes may not have synced with your email provider yet, so your “deleted” note may appear as a regular note in your email provider’s own app. From there, you can copy all the information and paste it into a new note. Once synced, your note can still be found in the Trash in your email provider’s app, which you can move back to the folder where your notes are or copy data and paste it into a new note.
App 1: Gmail
Open the Gmail app, make sure you’re signed in to the correct Gmail account, then tap the three-lined icon at the top left. Then scroll down and tap “Notes” below labels. Here you should find all your notes from the Notes app. If Notes has not been synced with Gmail yet, you can find the note you are looking for here.
When Gmail syncs with Notes, your deleted note is moved to either the “Trash” or “Trash” folder above labels section. It will sit there for 30 days until it is automatically deleted. However, it is a bit sensitive when it comes to notes, so it may take a while before the trash is noted here.
App 2: Yahoo Mail
Open the Yahoo Mail app, make sure you are logged in to the correct Yahoo account, and then tap the “Inbox” tab at the bottom left. Options are displayed to switch to another location, in which case you should select “Notes” below folders. Here you should find all your notes from the Notes app. If Notes has not been synced with Yahoo yet, you can find the note you are looking for here.
When Yahoo syncs with Notes, your deleted note is moved to the Trash. Click the “Notes” tab at the bottom left, then select “Trash.” It will sit for seven days (default) until it is deleted automatically. It may take a while before the trash can be noted here.
App 3: AOL
Open the AOL app, make sure you are logged in to the right AOL account, and then tap “Inbox” at the top left. Select “Notes” under the sidebar folders. Here you should find all your notes from the Notes app. If Notes has not been synchronized with AOL yet, you may find the note you are looking for here.
When AOL synchronizes with notes, your deleted note is moved to the Trash. Click on “Notes” at the top left if you are looking at your notes and then select “Trash”. It will sit there for seven days until it is automatically deleted. It may take a while before the trash can be noted here.
App 4: Microsoft Outlook
Unlike the above email services, you can not view notes in the Microsoft Outlook app. Instead, you need to use the Outlook app. So visit the website, log in to your account and then tap on the three-lined icon at the top left. Select “Notes” under the sidebar below folders. You should find all your notes from the Notes app. If Notes has not been synchronized with Outlook, you may find the note you are looking for here.
When Outlook synchronizes with notes, your deleted note is moved to the “Deleted Items” field. Touch the three-lined icon again and select “Deleted Items.” It will sit there for 30 days until it is automatically deleted. It may take some time before the trash can be recorded.
Other e-mail services
No matter what third-party service you use, the official mobile or web app should have either a Notes folder or a trash can where you can look for deleted notes, but not hold your breath. If you do not want to lose notes, the best way is to create a note that will be saved on your device or uploaded to iCloud to ensure that it can be restored if it has ever been deleted or lost.
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