Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Apr 17, 2016 3:03 AM by Akira1138
dagaz Level 1 Level 1

Now that I've upgraded my Mac to Mountain Lion, I decided to turn on Notes syncing through iCloud. However, even though I'm already signed in to my iCloud account, it asks me to create a new one. It won't accept my existing address as it tells me it's already taken. Why do I have to create a new iCloud account just to turn on Notes syncing and, if I do this, will it sync Notes through my existing iCloud account or the new one?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • pvonk Level 6 Level 6

    From your description, it sounds like you are trying to set up a new ID.  That's why you get the error you did.  Just log into icloud (settings>icloud) using the old ID.

  • dagaz Level 1 Level 1

    I'm already signed in to iCloud. When I turn Notes on I don't get any option to sign into an existing iCloud account, only create a new one. I've tried turning the others on and off (except Mail, I don't want to use iCloud for Mail) and they all work fine.

  • cosmovart Level 1 Level 1

    I have exactly the same problem. Did you figure out, dagaz?

  • raweb Level 1 Level 1

    I don't understand how Notes has anything to do with having an iCloud email account. I simply want to backup and/or access my notes via iCloud, yet I am told to create a new iCloud email account. Pages, Contacts, Calendar, iWork and Reminders all work fine without an iCloud email account. In another thread someone mentioned activating Notes in their existing gMail account, but that didn't work for me. Frustrated by this!

  • Stephen Spark Level 4 Level 4

    It is probably a carry over from OS X's Mail. Notes were first introduced as a part of the Mail app on Apple computers. iCloud is probably still using code that requires Note syncing to use part of the Mail app to work. If you want iCloud Note syncing create the iCloud mail account. You don't have to use the Mail account for email or any other purpose. But it will still be there if you do find a use for it in the future.

  • dagaz Level 1 Level 1

    I have spoken to an Apple Genius about this (I also had an unrelated hardware problem) and it turns out that what Stephen says is correct - because of the way Notes was originally set up it needs an email address to sync (through IMAP). However, the Genius also agreed that there should be a way to sign into an existing iCloud address but, as there isn't, I had to sign up to a new iCloud address just to get Notes syncing to work.


    I am still syncing my Calendars, Contacts, etc. through my gmail address, but have a separate iCloud address just for syncing my notes.

  • llnk Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same problem. I don't understand why Apple has to force me to create an email just to sync simple notes!

  • Stephen Spark Level 4 Level 4

    As already stated here, the software required to sync Notes is still embedded into the Mail app. It is probably low on the list of things todo to cut this link between the programs. It's no big deal to create the email address, then don't use it. I would still choose a good name since you never know, it could come in handy someday.

  • fgersch Level 1 Level 1

    Yep. But that's not the whole story. Notes under OS X gives me free choice of any of my gmail accounts to use for notes sysncing. And it works perfectly between my macbook air and my mac pro. On the iphone however as stated above it insists on creation of a new account. Even though it is signed into an icloud account already.


    Now I don't know if this is apple trying to string arm us into an icloud email which is actually under the domain or just an oversight. Either way I think your Apple Genius was blowing smoke.


    It's very annoying.

  • Stephen Spark Level 4 Level 4

    You can also setup Notes to sync with GMail on an iOS device as well although I found it to be pretty clunky to view them on the net, and of course it also requires a Gmail account. You can turn on Notes in Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendars selecting your Gmail account. With multiple accounts enabled Notes settings will have an option to set the default account and the app should show an Account button.

  • sla797 Level 1 Level 1

    That's not my experience Stephen...Following your instructions, I get precisely the same result on the iPhone as on the MBP, where I am forced to create an *@iCloud email account before Notes will sync across my devices. While I take your point that it can be a totally unused (redundant) account, I shouldn't have to give more of my personal info over to Apple, and have just one more email address to manage (remember, worry if Privacy is being compromised etc etc).



  • Stephen Spark Level 4 Level 4

    This thread is almost 2 years old and a lot has changed in iOS as well as how Google manages notes not to mention how it wil sync with ios. I'm not sure what additional information you expect to hand over to Apple to setup the iCloud email. If you already have an Apple ID they already have all the info they need. You are simply turning on the email account that is already reserved for your use. The fact is most note apps with syncing capabilities will require you to setup an account, almost always tied to an email account.


    Optionally you could use Evernote which can be setup using any email account, but you'll have to setup a new account with them too.

  • ElectricPossum Level 1 Level 1

    Well regardless, this was a useful discussion as I myself was indeed stumped by this phenomenon just now, so thanks to all involved for introducing/explaining the inner workings of why this issue exists etc. As it is, I only really use 'notes' as temporary 'stickies' for jotting down things; and there's '1password' for anything important etc. It's interesting however that there is seemingly an additional 'email' account waiting to be activated as there is indeed occasions where a backup email account can be useful (i.e. For being able to retrieve access to other email accounts etc), so it's useful to know; but despite all this, I only tried to enable it purely because it was the only thing that wasn't 'synced' and for the largely irrelevant/unneeded activation step, I think it can simply continue to remain blissfully unaware in a 'cyber coma' for the moment!   Thanks for the heads up anyway guys/girls

  • VMJ2 Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    And here it is: 30 Jan 2015, with a MacBook Pro on Yosemite, and other devices running iOS 8, was signed into an existing iCloud account, tried to access Notes, and had to create a new iCloud email account to do so!!! So, what happens to my previous iCloud email??

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