How to Get Notes Off an Old IPhone to a Computer


When you add an email account to your iPhone, you can enable Notes syncing so that any notes on the device are automatically transferred into your email client. With iPhone devices running iOS 5 or later, iCloud can also be configured for Notes synchronization. Though it is not supported with Mac OS X v10.8 and later, the iTunes software can sync with Outlook on a PC, offering a third effective method for synchronizing Notes. Regardless of how you transfer the information, you can find the Notes data using the iCloud Web interface, in the email client on your PC or within the Notes app on your Mac.

Sync with IMAP

  • Ensure your email client supports IMAP and that the feature is enabled. To enable Gmail's IMAP, for example, log into the Gmail Web interface, select the gear icon at the top, choose "Settings," click the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab and then ensure IMAP is enabled in the "IMAP Access" section. Refer to the link in Resources for more information about IMAP configuring.

  • Tap "Settings" from the Home screen on your iPhone, and select "Mail, Contacts, Calendars."

  • Tap the name of your configured email account. Ensure that the Notes syncing is enabled.

  • Verify that the email account is configured using IMAP settings. If it is properly IMAP-enabled, the Incoming server address should include "IMAP" somewhere within it.

  • Verify that Notes syncing is toggled to "On" and then exit the Settings menu by pressing the "Home" button.

  • Log into your email client on your computer to access your synced iPhone Notes.

Sync with ICloud

  • Launch "Settings" from your iPhone's Home screen and tap "iCloud." Enter your Apple ID and password if prompted.

  • Ensure that the Notes switch is toggled to "On." Tap "Storage & Backup" and toggle "iCloud Backup" to "On."

  • Access the iCloud information on your computer. On a PC, you can either configure your email address in a non-Outlook email client or download and install the iCloud Control Panel for Windows (link in Resources) and synchronize "Mail, Contacts, Calendars & Tasks" with Outlook. On a Mac, you can configure iCloud syncing in the System Preferences.

  • Access Notes using the email client on your PC or the Notes app on your Mac. You can also launch the Notes app from within the iCloud Web interface (link in Resources).

Sync ITunes with Outlook on a PC

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable and allow iTunes to automatically launch.

  • Select your iPhone from the list of available devices and choose the "Info" tab.

  • Ensure iTunes is set to enable syncing of Notes and select "Sync" at the bottom of the window.

  • Launch Outlook and access your Notes from within the email client.

Tips & Warnings

  • Notes can only be synced using IMAP. If POP servers are used in the configuration of your email address on your iPhone, you will have to rely on an alternate method to synchronize your Notes.
  • Manually synchronizing using the iTunes software on your PC will only transfer Notes to Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007, or 2010. If you use another email client, rely on an alternate method for Notes syncing.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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