Does the Apple Notes app on iPhone/iOS have a limit on the number of notes in a folder at one time?

Suzannesstud

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I have begun to notice that, with one specific folder which has now reached 1003 notes, it has started deleting the oldest note, at that time, whenever a new note is created.

It seems that it will not keep more than this number, but I can’t find anywhere any information which suggests a maximum number of notes in a given folder.

I tried creating a couple of test notes, and each one causes the oldest note, at that time, to be deleted. When I deleted the two test notes, the automatically deleted notes did not come back, making the count 1001, so I am assuming the automatically deleted notes are getting permanently deleted and not directed somewhere else.

When I created two more notes, it allowed me to keep everything with the count increased back to 1003, but upon creating another note, it again deleted the bottommost (oldest) note that remained, at that time, and kept the count at 1003. It briefly showed 1004, but then I watched it change, all by itself, back to 1003, and the oldest note remaining was indeed deleted.

In terms of iCloud, I have 50GB, and I only have about 7GB to 8GB used.

If the automatically deleted notes are being moved somewhere else, where would be the place to find them?

They don’t appear to be in any other folders, and the default account shows as iCloud but nothing in the iCloud folder.

The folder I use for all my notes is Yahoo!, which appears to be based on being associated with my Yahoo! E-Mail account, and Yahoo! is my main E-Mail account being used out of the Apple Mail app.

At this point, given what it is doing, I can only assume there is a limit of 1000 notes in a folder, at any given time, plus a 3 note padding.

Any thoughts on this?

😊
 
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gnirkatto

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I'm not aware of such a limit.
Even if there is such a limit, simply deleting old notes, rather than moving them elsewhere, or rather than presenting a user dialogue to ask what to do with excess notes would be a serious bug.
No app should autonomously decide to delete user data.
I would contact Apple support and request a fix.
 

Annie_M

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From what I've been able to find, the only time Notes are deleted, is when they are in the "recently deleted" folder, which self-deletes after 30 days. If you are missing notes, I would definitely reach out to Apple Support.
 

Mars20

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I have begun to notice that, with one specific folder which has now reached 1003 notes, it has started deleting the oldest note, at that time, whenever a new note is created.

It seems that it will not keep more than this number, but I can’t find anywhere any information which suggests a maximum number of notes in a given folder.

I tried creating a couple of test notes, and each one causes the oldest note, at that time, to be deleted. When I deleted the two test notes, the automatically deleted notes did not come back, making the count 1001, so I am assuming the automatically deleted notes are getting permanently deleted and not directed somewhere else.

When I created two more notes, it allowed me to keep everything with the count increased back to 1003, but upon creating another note, it again deleted the bottommost (oldest) note that remained, at that time, and kept the count at 1003. It briefly showed 1004, but then I watched it change, all by itself, back to 1003, and the oldest note remaining was indeed deleted.

In terms of iCloud, I have 50GB, and I only have about 7GB to 8GB used.

If the automatically deleted notes are being moved somewhere else, where would be the place to find them?

They don’t appear to be in any other folders, and the default account shows as iCloud but nothing in the iCloud folder.

The folder I use for all my notes is Yahoo!, which appears to be based on being associated with my Yahoo! E-Mail account, and Yahoo! is my main E-Mail account being used out of the Apple Mail app.

At this point, given what it is doing, I can only assume there is a limit of 1000 notes in a folder, at any given time, plus a 3 note padding.

Any thoughts on this?

������

Have you got enough general storage left on your phone, as opposed to iCloud storage?
 

Suzannesstud

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Have you got enough general storage left on your phone, as opposed to iCloud storage?

Yes. I have about 300GB of on-device space left out of 512GB total. I am using an iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB.

From what I can tell, it is acting like the notes app will not allow more than 1003 notes total in a single folder at any given time because when I create a new note, which would technically be 1004, it saves the note but then removes the bottommost note.

I watched it briefly show 1004 notes total then return to 1003 notes total, on it’s own, with the bottommost one disappearing.

I don’t know if the notes getting deleted are getting redirected elsewhere within the Yahoo! account they are associated with, but if I delete one or more notes myself, none of the ones it deleted come back.

Without being able to find them elsewhere, and without any other indications of what is happening, since I have tons of storage on my device and in iCloud, I can only assume that maybe the notes app has an undocumented limit that caps the number of notes a single folder can contain at any one time.

None of my other folders get touched, so if there is actually a limit, it appears to be per folder rather than for the app as a whole.

I can’t find any information online that points to such a limit, though.
 

Mars20

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I have been trawling through the various forums and I can't find any specific limits to Apple Notes or the folders either, but I hope you find the answer.
 

Suzannesstud

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Okay.

I did a chat with Apple on this, and together we solved it!

The notes app does not have a limit, but each E-Mail/storage provider may have.

In other words, there may be plenty of storage left, but the provider may cap the total number of notes allowed to be held at any one time in their particular folder.

We enabled the On My iPhone option and selected that as the default account. No luck at that point. It did the same thing regardless of the default account selected and regardless of enabling the On My iPhone option so I got an idea based on the representative suggesting to use On My iPhone instead.

I tried moving the notes to the On My iPhone folder which showed up after turning on the On My iPhone option. Then I tried creating a couple of test notes above the 1003 limit I was getting, and sure enough it worked!

It looks like what we have here is that the folder the notes are in determines the behavior of how everything acts from that particular folder regardless of any settings. The provider’s variables associated with that particular folder overrides any settings including enabling the On My iPhone option and setting that as the default account.

That means notes in a Yahoo folder can never exceed 1003 in total which is likely 1000 notes plus a 3 note cap. As long as the notes are in the Yahoo folder, Yahoo’s allowances and limits will always apply, regardless of Notes app settings, because that folder’s behavior is controlled by Yahoo.

I confirmed this by using On My iPhone, iCloud, Yahoo, and Gmail all as default accounts, and if the notes are in the Yahoo folder, the limit is there regardless, but upon moving the notes to the On My iPhone folder, the limit is gone, and I can store all the way up until I run out of space on my iPhone.

I don’t know if/what cap limits there may be with other providers such as Gmail and such, but if those providers have similar cap limits, notes in their particular folders will also behave like they do with Yahoo regardless of notes app settings.

Both the representative and I learned something on this issue, which neither one of us knew before today, so maybe this might show up in a future “how to” update for the Notes app, but we can now say that, to ensure no cap limit applies, enable On My iPhone under Notes app settings, select On My iPhone as the default account, move all notes to be preserved into that folder, and create any future notes from that folder. That will prevent any limits imposed by Yahoo, Gmail, etc., which cause auto-deletion of the oldest notes as a result of anytime the cap limit is exceeded, from applying.
 
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Annie_M

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Okay.

I did a chat with Apple on this, and together we solved it!

The notes app does not have a limit, but each E-Mail/storage provider may have.

In other words, there may be plenty of storage left, but the provider may cap the total number of notes allowed to be held at any one time in their particular folder.

We enabled the On My iPhone option and selected that as the default account. No luck at that point. It did the same thing regardless of the default account selected and regardless of enabling the On My iPhone option so I got an idea based on the representative suggesting to use On My iPhone instead.

I tried moving the notes to the On My iPhone folder which showed up after turning on the On My iPhone option. Then I tried creating a couple of test notes above the 1003 limit I was getting, and sure enough it worked!

It looks like what we have here is that the folder the notes are in determines the behavior of how everything acts from that particular folder regardless of any settings. The provider’s variables associated with that particular folder overrides any settings including enabling the On My iPhone option and setting that as the default account.

That means notes in a Yahoo folder can never exceed 1003 in total which is likely 1000 notes plus a 3 note cap. As long as the notes are in the Yahoo folder, Yahoo’s allowances and limits will always apply, regardless of Notes app settings, because that folder’s behavior is controlled by Yahoo.

I confirmed this by using On My iPhone, iCloud, Yahoo, and Gmail all as default accounts, and if the notes are in the Yahoo folder, the limit is there regardless, but upon moving the notes to the On My iPhone folder, the limit is gone, and I can store all the way up until I run out of space on my iPhone.

I don’t know if/what cap limits there may be with other providers such as Gmail and such, but if those providers have similar cap limits, notes in their particular folders will also behave like they do with Yahoo regardless of notes app settings.

Both the representative and I learned something on this issue, which neither one of us knew before today, so maybe this might show up in a future “how to” update for the Notes app, but we can now say that, to ensure no cap limit applies, enable On My iPhone under Notes app settings, select On My iPhone as the default account, move all notes to be preserved into that folder, and create any future notes from that folder. That will prevent any limits imposed by Yahoo, Gmail, etc., which cause auto-deletion of the oldest notes as a result of anytime the cap limit is exceeded, from applying.

I am so glad you have figured it out and shared the information with us!
 

Suzannesstud

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Thanks very much for the update.

You are very welcome.

I am so glad you have figured it out and shared the information with us!

Glad to share! This appears to be a first, but I imagine there probably aren’t a lot of people who keep that many notes, at one time, so it would never be noticeable unless one was to keep that many then notice where new ones were causing the oldest ones to start being deleted but only because of looking back for a much older note and seeing the oldest note date is not as far back as when they know they first started keeping notes along with the note count no longer increasing and holding at the same number. It is kind of like stumbling upon a trifecta of things happening to be able to determine that such a scenario even existed.

Other have posted, in places online, about notes mysteriously disappearing for no apparent reason and with no action taken to delete them along with no apparent solution as to why, but I am imagining, now, that at least some of those may have occurred as a result of the same scenario I encountered.
 

EdwinG

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I don’t know if/what cap limits there may be with other providers such as Gmail and such, but if those providers have similar cap limits, notes in their particular folders will also behave like they do with Yahoo regardless of notes app settings.

I will put this for future reference.

Exchange Online and Microsoft 365 (business and entreprise) accounts have an official limit of 1 000 000 items per folder.

Source: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-ca/o.../exchange-online-limits#mailbox-folder-limits
 

Ledsteplin

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Okay.

I did a chat with Apple on this, and together we solved it!

The notes app does not have a limit, but each E-Mail/storage provider may have.

In other words, there may be plenty of storage left, but the provider may cap the total number of notes allowed to be held at any one time in their particular folder.

We enabled the On My iPhone option and selected that as the default account. No luck at that point. It did the same thing regardless of the default account selected and regardless of enabling the On My iPhone option so I got an idea based on the representative suggesting to use On My iPhone instead.

I tried moving the notes to the On My iPhone folder which showed up after turning on the On My iPhone option. Then I tried creating a couple of test notes above the 1003 limit I was getting, and sure enough it worked!

It looks like what we have here is that the folder the notes are in determines the behavior of how everything acts from that particular folder regardless of any settings. The provider’s variables associated with that particular folder overrides any settings including enabling the On My iPhone option and setting that as the default account.

That means notes in a Yahoo folder can never exceed 1003 in total which is likely 1000 notes plus a 3 note cap. As long as the notes are in the Yahoo folder, Yahoo’s allowances and limits will always apply, regardless of Notes app settings, because that folder’s behavior is controlled by Yahoo.

I confirmed this by using On My iPhone, iCloud, Yahoo, and Gmail all as default accounts, and if the notes are in the Yahoo folder, the limit is there regardless, but upon moving the notes to the On My iPhone folder, the limit is gone, and I can store all the way up until I run out of space on my iPhone.

I don’t know if/what cap limits there may be with other providers such as Gmail and such, but if those providers have similar cap limits, notes in their particular folders will also behave like they do with Yahoo regardless of notes app settings.

Both the representative and I learned something on this issue, which neither one of us knew before today, so maybe this might show up in a future “how to” update for the Notes app, but we can now say that, to ensure no cap limit applies, enable On My iPhone under Notes app settings, select On My iPhone as the default account, move all notes to be preserved into that folder, and create any future notes from that folder. That will prevent any limits imposed by Yahoo, Gmail, etc., which cause auto-deletion of the oldest notes as a result of anytime the cap limit is exceeded, from applying.

I only use iCloud notes. On My iPhone won't sync them in iCloud. I used to use Gmail, along with iCloud notes. But that didn't work so well. Try iCloud notes only. And be sure to go to Settings > iCloud, and turn Notes on.
 

gnirkatto

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Honestly, I wasn't even aware that enabling 'notes' in eg a Google account refers to Apple Notes, rather than Google Notes (the ones that you access and work with on an Android device for example). I always kept this off, as I never thought there will be any use for that.
 

gnirkatto

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Honestly, I wasn't even aware that enabling 'notes' in eg a Google account refers to Apple Notes, rather than Google Notes (the ones that you access and work with on an Android device for example). I always kept this off, as I never thought there will be any use for that.

On this, and slightly off topic:
does that mean that Apple Notes will turn into Google Notes? Can they then be accessed on an Android device or from Google/Web?
This sounds like an option for migrating away from Apple Notes (not that I have an urgent need to do that, but it's always good to have an option to escape imho, just in case...)

The current option of exporting single Apple Notes into single PDFs is not feasible, if you have 100s or 1000s of Apple Notes and want to get them elsewhere...
 

Ledsteplin

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On this, and slightly off topic:
does that mean that Apple Notes will turn into Google Notes? Can they then be accessed on an Android device or from Google/Web?
This sounds like an option for migrating away from Apple Notes (not that I have an urgent need to do that, but it's always good to have an option to escape imho, just in case...)

The current option of exporting single Apple Notes into single PDFs is not feasible, if you have 100s or 1000s of Apple Notes and want to get them elsewhere...

With Gmail notes, if you turn OFF Notes in Settings for the Gmail account, they will show in the Notes folder in that Gmail email, but not in the Notes app. Turn it ON, and they're back in the Notes app. If it's turned on in Settings, the notes folder will not show in the email.
 

gnirkatto

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With Gmail notes, if you turn OFF Notes in Settings for the Gmail account, they will show in the Notes folder in that Gmail email, but not in the Notes app. Turn it ON, and they're back in the Notes app. If it's turned on in Settings, the notes folder will not show in the email.

I'm totally confused.
Are we talking Gmail/Email now?
How does Gmail Email have a 'Notes folder'?
I thought this was about Apple Notes, apparently syncing with Google Notes (after having enabled 'Notes' in the Google account on the iPhone or Mac), which, in my understanding, is a separate thing than Gmail (although also being part of the Google ecosystem).
Like Apple Notes and Apple Mail are separate things, even though they sync via iCloud (to other Apple devices/platforms).
 

Ledsteplin

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I'm totally confused.
Are we talking Gmail/Email now?
How does Gmail Email have a 'Notes folder'?
I thought this was about Apple Notes, apparently syncing with Google Notes (after having enabled 'Notes' in the Google account on the iPhone or Mac), which, in my understanding, is a separate thing than Gmail (although also being part of the Google ecosystem).
Like Apple Notes and Apple Mail are separate things, even though they sync via iCloud (to other Apple devices/platforms).

You mentioned Google Notes, and transferring them. Email may be one way to do that. But Notes has to be turned off in Settings for Gmail (or Google) for the folder to show. Not sure how it works on Android. I think this works with any kind of email. I used Gmail as an example. I haven't tried, but I think if I turned iCloud notes off in Settings, a notes folder wouid appear in my iCloud email. And all my notes would be there.