Use Notes on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Use Notes to capture a quick thought, create checklists, sketch ideas, and more. And with iCloud, you can keep your notes up to date across all your devices.

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  • Make sure that your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is updated to the latest version of iOS.
  • If your device has iOS 9 or later, make sure that you upgrade your notes.
  • To use the latest features of Notes, make sure that you set up Notes with iCloud or have notes saved locally on your device.

The sketching feature in Notes is only available in iOS 9 or later on iPhone 5 and later, iPad Pro, iPad (4th generation) and later, all iPad Air models, iPad mini 2 and later, and iPod touch (6th generation).

Create a new note

You can create a new note directly in the Notes app. Or you can ask Siri to start one for you.

Create a note manually

From your Home screen, open Notes. Tap New note icon, then enter your note. When you're finished, tap Done. The first line of the note becomes its title.

Ask Siri to start a note

Have an idea and need to quickly make a note of it? Just ask Siri to "Start a new note." Then tell Siri what you want the note to say.


Delete a Note

To delete a note, tap Delete icon or swipe left over the note in the Notes list.

To recover a deleted note, go to the Folders list and tap Recently Deleted. Tap the note that you want to keep, tap in the note, then tap Recover.

Do more with Notes

With Notes in iOS 9 and later, you can create checklists, change formatting, add attachments, insert photos or videos, and sketch.

Create a checklist

On your iPhone or iPod touch, tap in a note, then tap Add > Checklist. On your iPad, tap in a note, then tap Checklist. Enter your to-dos, grocery list, and more. When you complete a task, tap the empty circle to mark it off your list.

Format a note

You can add a title, heading, or a bulleted list directly in your note. On your iPhone or iPod touch, tap in a note, then tap Add > Formatting. On your iPad, tap in a note, then tap Formatting. Choose a formatting style, then tap Done.


Add an attachment

You can add something you find in another app, like a location in Maps or a website in Safari. Tap Share Share icon in the app that you want to share something from, then tap Notes. You can add the attachment to a new note, or to an existing one.

Add a photo or video

On your iPhone or iPod touch, tap in a note, then tap Add > Camera icon. On your iPad, tap in a note, then tap Camera icon. You can take a new photo or video, or tap Photo Library to add existing photos and videos to your note.



Sketch in a note

With the tip of your finger, you can sketch an idea or plan in your note. You can choose from a selection of drawing tools and colors or use a ruler to draw straight lines. If you have an iPad Pro, you can use Apple Pencil to sketch in Notes.

Start a new sketch: Tap Sketch icon to start a sketch using the pencil, marker, or pen tool. When you're finished, tap Done.

See more color choices: Tap the current color. Swipe the palette left or right to see more choices.

Use the ruler to draw straight lines: Tap the ruler to make it appear on your note. Then draw a line along the edge of the ruler.

Use the eraser if you make a mistake: Tap the eraser, then move your finger over the area you want to erase. To delete a sketch from a note, tap and hold on the sketch, then tap Delete.


Search for a note or attachment

Looking for that note you made last week, last month, or even last year? You can search for a specific note from the top of the Notes list. Scroll to the top of the Notes list to reveal the search field, then enter what you’re looking for.

You can also search for attachments. Tap Attachments Browser icon in the lower-left corner to see sketches, photos, links, documents, and other attachments that you’ve added to your notes. To go to the note with the attachment, touch and hold the thumbnail of the attachment, then tap Show in Note.


Organize your notes

You take notes to help keep you organized. To help you stay even more organized, you can sort your notes by date created, date modified, or alphabetically. You can also store notes in different folders.

Sort your Notes list:

  1. Go to Settings > Notes.
  2. Tap Sort Notes By.
  3. Choose how you want to sort your notes.

Create a new folder:

  1. If you're in the Notes list, Tap Back arrow to see your Folders list.
  2. In the Folders list, tap New Folder.
  3. Choose where you want to add the folder to.
  4. Name your folder, then tap Save.

Add a note to a folder:

  1. If you're in a note, tap Back arrow to see your Notes list.
  2. In the Notes list, tap Edit.
  3. Tap the notes that you want to move. 
  4. Tap Move To, then select the folder you want to move them to.


Share notes

Have a note that you'd like to send to someone? Instantly send a note by tapping Share icon at the top of the note, then choose how you want to send it.

You can also invite others to join you in a note, so you can collaborate on things like grocery lists, project notes, travel plans, and more. Learn more about collaborating with others on a note.

Keep your notes secure

Notes is one of those apps you might use to keep your financial details, medical info, and passwords. In iOS 9.3 and later, you can create a password to secure notes that contain your most personal data. Then you can use that password or your fingerprint to unlock your protected notes.

Create a password in Settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Notes.
  2. Tap Password.
  3. Enter a password and verify it by entering it again. You can also turn on Touch ID to view password-protected notes.
  4. Tap Done.

Lock a note:

  1. Open Notes and tap the note you want to lock.
  2. Tap Share icon .
  3. Tap Lock Note.
  4. Enter your Notes password and tap OK.

Password-protected notes are visible at and on devices with iOS 9.3 or OS X 10.11.4 or later. If you forget your password, you won't be able to view your password-protected notes


Set up Notes with iCloud

You can use iCloud to update your notes across all of your devices. To set up Notes with iCloud, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud, then turn on Notes. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud. You’ll see your notes on all of your Apple devices that you’re signed in to with the same Apple ID.

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