Some sources say that macOS 10.15.4 will be the last macOS Catalina update for MacBooks. I thought this update would make my MacBook Pro stable but I was disappointed when I found all my Notes got deleted. However, I was able to recover deleted notes (Mac). I had stored all notes on my Mac instead of assigning it to an Apple ID. This was the mistake I realized. I did not store all of my Notes on my Apple ID because that was my work laptop and I did not link my personal Apple ID to it. I got panic when I found that all my notes on my Mac were deleted and so, like most of us, I searched on the Internet and found that I need to use third-party software to recover deleted Notes on my Mac. I do not want to use any third-party software to recover deleted notes on Mac.

How did I recover deleted Notes (Mac) without any software?

I was under the assumption that the recent macOS update might have either corrupted my Notes data file or the Notes app is reading data from any new data file created. In the first case, I might not be able to recover deleted Notes but in the latter case, I can find the data file and make the Notes app to read the correct data file. So I fired up Finder. On the top menu, click Go > Go to Folder and type: ~/Library/Containers/   I found three files in this directory, namely:

  • NotesV7.storedata
  • NotesV7.storedata-shm
  • NotesV7.storedata-wal

I had more than 60 notes on my Mac and I was sure enough that the data file must be large enough. So I checked the file size for all three NotesV7.storedata* file and found that the first two files mentioned above were occupying less than 1 MB of space. The third file, NotesV7.storedata-wal was 16 MB in size. Now I made an assumption that this file should be the actual data file that the Notes app reads to fetch my Notes. Before doing any changes to the files, as a safety precaution, I took backups of all three files to my Desktop.

  • Renamed NotesV7.storedata to NotesV7.storedata-random
  • Renamed NotesV7.storedata-wal to NotesV7.storedata

Now, I opened my Notes app and found all my notes up to date. Note This is a scenario where Notes app created a new data file and ignored the old data file and hence the Notes app was not able to show any Notes on my Mac. Your scenario might be different and may involve a third party recovery software to recover deleted notes on Mac. You can try this approach to recover deleted Notes on Mac but make sure that you backup NotesV7.storedata* files in case if this method fails. Also, this approach has been tried to recover Notes that were stored on Mac and not assigned to a cloud account. As a whole, the lesson learnt was, all Notes should be assigned to a cloud account. If you have any queries, please let me know the comment section below.