How To Backup Notes On Mac

The Notes app on Apple devices is a great way to jot down information, maintain lists, store text, photos, and many other things. It works really well as a day-to-day utility app, so you may come across a reason to backup your notes. 

Maybe you just want to keep them safe, or maybe you want to send them to a non-Apple user as a PDF. Whatever your reason might be, there are several ways to backup notes. 

So, in this guide, we will walk you through all of them, then we will also talk about how you can import notes on Mac. So follow along: 

Use iCloud to Backup Your Notes

The best and most simple way to backup notes is to sync them with your iCloud. This is the method most Apple users go for as it is easy and fast. Another big reason to use iCloud for backups is that your notes will be synced across all your various devices. 

To enable Notes backup on iCloud, follow these simple steps:

  • On your Mac, at the top-left corner, click on the Apple icon.
  • In the drop-down menu, select System Preferences.
Open-System-preferences
  • Click on Apple ID.
Open-Apple-ID
  • Now, look for iCloud in left panel and click on it.
  • In the iCloud settings, check the box next to Notes.
Check the Notes

Now, let’s say for example you’re taking notes on your Mac, then you pick up your iPhone and with iCloud backup enabled, you can continue to jot down information on your Notes app there. This seamless integration of different apps across multiple devices is what keeps users in the Apple ecosystem, and it works like a charm.

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Export As PDF to Backup Your Notes

If you want to create a local backup, then the most recommended way is to export your notes individually as PDF files. Not only does it preserve your notes in its current state, but it also allows you to easily share your notes across different platforms. 

So to backup your notes manually as a PDF, follow these steps:

  • Launch the Notes app from your Dock or Finder.
  • Open the note you want to locally backup as a pdf.
  • On the top-left corner, click File.
  • In the drop-down menu, click Export as PDF.
  • Write down the name of the note file, and select a backup destination. 
  • Click Save to export the note as a PDF file.

Once you’ve followed the mentioned steps properly, you will have a PDF file saved in the backup destination that contains all the information of your selected note.

Copy & Paste Your Notes into RTF Documents

Even though this method is a bit of a chore, you can go for it to maintain the editability of your notes. Follow these steps:

  • Launch the Notes app from your Dock or Finder.
  • Open the note you want to save as a RTF document.
  • Select and Copy all the contents of that note.
  • Launch TextEdit from your Applications folder.
  • In the TextEdit app, click on File at the top of your screen.
  • In the drop-down menu, click on New to open a new document.
  • Paste your note contents on the new document.
  • Again click on File at the top of your screen.
  • Click on Save to save your document.
  • Enter the name of the document, and select a location.
  • Click on Save.

TextEdit uses .RTF file format as default so you don’t have to change that. However, we must give you a heads up, this method can get quite tedious as you have to follow these steps for each document.

Now that we have talked about several ways to backup Notes on Mac, we should also guide you on how you can import different text files to your Notes app.

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Import Notes On Mac

When it comes to text file formats, you can import four types of text files into Notes. These file formats are:

  • .RTF
  • .TXT
  • .RTFD
  • .HTML

You can also import Evernote Export files (.ENEX files) into your Notes app. A single .ENEX file can have one or multiple notes, so each of those is converted to a new note in the Notes app after importing.

Now to import text files into your Notes app, follow these steps:

  • Launch the Notes app from your Dock or Finder.
  • In the sidebar, Click on a folder in the account (iCloud or On My Mac) that you want to import files into.
  • Head over to the menu bar on the top of your screen, and click on File.
  • Select Import to Notes from the drop-down menu.
  • Select one or more files, or if you want to import a folder with all the text files in it, then select that folder. 
  • Remember to click “Preserve folder structure on import” while importing a folder to keep the notes organized the way they were in the folder.
  • Click Import.

You can open your new (imported) notes under the Imported Notes folder in the Notes app. From there you can rename or organize your notes into any folder you want.

On the topic of backing up notes on Mac, you should also know about how you can delete a note.

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How to Delete a Note

Deleting a note is very simple, just follow these three steps:

  • Launch the Notes app from your Dock or Finder.
  • Select the note that you want to delete.
  • From there you can delete a note via several ways, you can press Delete, click the Delete button, or you can also swipe left on the note using one finger on a magic mouse (or two fingers on the trackpad) and then click the Delete button.

Once you have deleted a note, it is moved to the Recently Deleted folder. After 30 days, your note will be deleted from across your devices, and after 40 days, it will be deleted permanently from iCloud. You can also recover your deleted note by dragging it from the Recently Deleted folder to another folder in the sidebar.

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