iCloud: Notes overview

Notes overview

You can read, write, and edit notes by using the Notes app on iCloud.com from a Mac or Windows web browser.

Notes on iCloud.com

Two versions of the Notes app are available on iCloud.com. The one you see is determined automatically when you sign in to iCloud.com.

You see the updated Notes app if you upgraded your iCloud Notes account on an iOS 9 device or a Mac with OS X v10.11. Otherwise, you see the original Notes app on iCloud.com. The updated Notes app has new, more powerful features for reading, writing, and editing notes.

You can tell which version you have by looking at the top of the Notes window.

  • In the updated Notes app, you see the Checklist button and the Format button at the top of the window. You also see a list of Notes folders to the left of the list of notes. For more information, see Write notes and Organize notes in folders.

    Toolbar and folder list in the updated Notes app on iCloud.com
  • In the original Notes app, you see the words Email and Delete at the top of the window. For more information, see Delete a note and Email notes.

    Toolbar of the original Notes app on iCloud.com

Notes on your devices

When you make changes using Notes on iCloud.com, they appear automatically in the Notes app on your iOS devices and Mac computers where you set up iCloud for Notes, and vice versa. You can also view your up-to-date iCloud notes in Microsoft Outlook on your Windows computer set up for iCloud Notes.

However, if you upgrade your iCloud Notes account on an iOS 9 device or a Mac with OS X v10.11:

  • Your notes on those devices and on iCloud.com aren’t kept up to date with notes on any of your devices with iOS 8.4.1 or earlier, OS X v10.10.5 or earlier, or Windows.

  • Your notes are no longer stored in your @icloud email account.

Notes in other accounts

Whether you upgrade your iCloud Notes account or not, the notes in your iCloud account are separate from the notes in other accounts you may have, such as a Yahoo! or Google account. iCloud only keeps the notes in your iCloud account up to date.

Use iCloud Notes from a web browser

To use iCloud Notes on iCloud.com, go to icloud.com/notes and sign in using your Apple ID (the one you use with iCloud).

If you’re using another iCloud app, you can switch to Notes by clicking the app’s name at the top of the iCloud.com window.

When working with iCloud Notes, make sure you use a browser recommended in the Apple Support article System requirements for iCloud.

If you don’t see Notes on iCloud.com, your account just has access to iCloud web-only features. To gain access to iCloud Notes and other iCloud features, set up iCloud on your iOS device or Mac.

If you try to use Notes on iCloud.com, but get a message that says an iCloud email address is needed, your iCloud account isn’t set up with a free @icloud.com email account. iCloud uses the email account to store notes for the original Notes app on iCloud.com and devices using iOS 8.4.1 or earlier, OS X v10.10.5 or earlier, or Windows. If you don’t have an @icloud.com email address, you can create one by turning on Notes in iCloud preferences on your Mac or in iCloud settings on your iOS device.

Last Modified: Feb 11, 2016
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