Top 5 Fixes to Notes Didn’t Transfer to New iPhone 15/14/13/12

Is something lost when you start using a new iPhone? If your notes didn’t transfer to new iPhone, you can try the top five solutions to fix it or transfer everything with the tool mentioned in this guide.


By Demi / Updated on September 15, 2023

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Notes lost during iCloud transfer to new iPhone

Backed up iPhone in iCloud prior to setting up new iPhone, but the transfer and restore for new iPhone didn’t transfer all of my notes. Out of 343 only 196 were transferred. How can I find my lost notes?

- Question from Apple Community

You may be used to taking notes on iPhone to help remind you of something important, like important dates, your monthly bills, etc. You must don’t want to lose them, right? However, when you got a new iPhone and intended to transfer everything from iCloud backup to it, you may find some notes didn’t transfer to new iPhone. To fix this frustrating issue, this guide provides you with 5 fixes. Keep on reading, and get your lost notes back.

iPhone Notes Logo

Why did your notes not transfer to new iPhone?

Before every specific solution, you may wonder why you fail to transfer notes to the new iPhone. The main reasons can be concluded as follows.

▸Notes are saved locally. If some of your notes haven’t been synced in iCloud, you cannot restore them from iCloud backup.
▸Relative settings are improper. The settings that are related to notes may be set up improperly by default.
▸Different backup account. If you backed up your notes to different accounts, you may fail to transfer all notes to new iPhone.

5 fixes to notes didn’t transfer to new iPhone

Due to the reasons above or any other unknown errors, you may encounter the issue notes, photos or contacts didn’t transfer to new iPhone.

To fix notes didn’t transfer to new iPhone, you can try the solutions below one after another until your issue gets fixed. Optionally, you can turn to Bonus part to learn about how to transfer everything from iPhone to iPhone directly.

Solution 1. Check if notes saved locally on the old iPhone

The first thing you need to do is to check whether the notes are saved locally on your old iPhone. You may need to change the settings on your old iPhone before transferring notes to new iPhone.

On your old iPhone, go to Settings > Scroll down to locate Notes, tap it > Tap Default Account > Make sure you select the iCloud option.

iPhone Notes Default Account

Now, the notes on your old iPhone will be synced to iCloud, then sync across your iPhones as well.

Solution 2. Check iCloud sync for Notes

If you are not familiar with how to restore notes on iPhone from iCloud, you may forget to check iCloud sync for Notes before transferring them to new iPhone.

You’d better check iCloud sync by going to Settings on both of your iPhone > [your name] > iCloud > Make sure the Notes option is toggled on.

Sync Notes iCloud

Tip: Just in case, if you synced notes to any other accounts or email address, like Gmail, you may also need to check the sync settings. Go to Settings > Mail(or Mail, Contacts, Calendars) > Account > Toggle on Notes.

Solution 3. Sign out & in iCloud account

If you have tried the two solutions above but notes still aren’t transferred to new iPhone, you can try to sign out iCloud account and sign in again to refresh the account on your new iPhone.

Here is how to sign out & in iCloud account. On your new iPhone, go to Settings > Swipe down and click Sign out, enter your password to confirm.

Sign Out Of iCloud

After signing out account, you can restart iPhone and go to Settings to sign in again. It takes some time to sync notes to new iPhone. You can refresh the Notes app later to check if you get them back.

Solution 4. Force restart iPhone

Chances are that your iPhone gets stuck temporarily, you can try to force restart iPhone to have a try. It’s one of the simplest ways to fix common iPhone issues. The steps to force restart iPhone differs from the types of iPhone you’re using.

iPhone 8 or later: Press and quickly release the Volume + button > Press and quickly release the Volume - button > Hold the Power button until you can see the Apple logo.
iPhone 7/7 Plus: Press both the Volume - button and the Power button for seconds until the Apple logo appears.
iPhone 6s or earlier: Hold both the Power button and the Home button for seconds until you can see the Apple logo.

Reset iPhone

Solution 5. Transfer notes to new iPhone via AirDrop

Alternatively, you can transfer notes to new iPhone via AirDrop when you cannot restore notes to new iPhone.

• Turn on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirDrop on two iPhones. You may need to set AirDrop Receiving setting for Everyone. If either of the two iPhones has an enabled Personal Hotspot, turn it off.
• Keep the two iPhones in a Bluetooth range.

Transfer notes to new iPhone via AirDrop
The tutorials below are about how to recover lost notes on iPhone via AirDrop. Follow them to make it.

Step 1. On your old iPhone, go to the Notes app > Click the notes you’d like to transfer to new iPhone.

Step 2. Tap Share button > Choose AirDrop > Select your new iPhone as the target.

AirDrop Notes

Step 3. On your new iPhone, a window will prompt > Tap Receive to save the notes to your new iPhone.

This solution may not be suitable enough if there are a large number of notes need to be transferred. To save your time and transfer everything to new iPhone, you can try the tool mentioned in the next part.

Bonus: Transfer lost notes in batch to new iPhone with FoneTool app

Alternatively, you can try the FoneTool app to transfer the lost notes from your old iPhone to new iPhone wirelessly. Different from AirDrop, you are able to transfer multiple notes at a time with it. Just scan the QR code below or search the name of FoneTool in the App Store to download and install the app on both iPhones. Here are the steps.

MBackupper QR Code

Step 1. Go to the Notes app on your old iPhone > Tap the note you'd like to transfer > Tap the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner > Scroll down to choose Send a Copy > Tap Save to Files and choose a folder to save the notes.

Save Notes To Files

Repeat the step to save the wanted notes to the Files app.

Step 2. Put the both iPhone chose to each other > Enable Wi-Fi on both of the iPhone > Open the FoneTool app and go to Connect Device > Connect your old iPhone and new iPhone.

Connect iPhone

Step 3.  On your old iPhone, go to File Transfer Files > Locate the folder that saves notes > Select the wanted notes > Tap Send to start sharing them to the new iPhone.

Tap Send Notes

Step 4. On the target iPhone, receive the notes, and you can go to the Notes app to check the files.

Besides the AirDrop-like app, you can also try the powerful transfer software - FoneTool. You can rely on its iPhone to iPhone function to transfer everything from iPhone to iPhone without backup. You can also be able to transfer selective files among iOS devices and computer with other transfer functions in it.

Click iPhone to iPhone Transfer


That’s all for notes didn’t transfer to new iPhone. Hopefully, you can restore notes with the five solutions. If not, it is suggested to transfer everything to new iPhone again with FoneTool. For any queries or feedback, please feel free to leave your comments or contact us.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.