Previous 1 2 Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2014 12:59 PM by Eric Root
Leigh Mackay Level 1 Level 1

Notes are not syncing between iMac, iPod, and iPad.


Apparently, according to what I'm reading on this site, the issue isn't being addressed by Apple.


If the technical challenges of getting text files from one device to another is too complex (even for computers), I would suggest abandoning the attempt as noble but failed rather than frustrate users with the promise of functionality that goes unfulfilled. Drop Notes from the OS and restore Outlook note syncing. That worked.


I abandoned a journaling application after repeated and on-going syncing issues. All the data goes into a Word file now. It's just easier.


For notes, I'm getting close to keeping a piece of paper and pencil in a pocket. It just works.

iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3), LED Cinema Display
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    How are you trying to sync Notes?

  • William Lloyd Level 7 Level 7

    Note synching works fine.  I've been using it for a year without major issues (I've had the occasional "burp" with note duplication, but never lost anything).


    Notes uses IMAP (which is a mail server) to do the synching.  You must ensure all devices are storing notes on the same account, and the notes must be on the server, not "On my Mac" or "On my iPhone."


    iCloud works best for this.

  • Leigh Mackay Level 1 Level 1

    How am I syncing?


    All devices and the iMac are on the same account. Mail, Calendars, and Contacts sync without issue.


    Notes are usually created and maintained in MS Outlook. Notes can be given a title in Outlook. Mountain Lion's Notes syncs with Outlook's notes but patience is required as this process seems to take some time. OS Notes indicates it is "Updating" but it takes a while. Might not happen for days. I thought the Notes-syncing functionality was broken when I first installed Mountain Lion but eventually entries did transfer from Outlook into OS Notes. Notes in iOS devices are not synced with OS Notes nor with Outlook Notes. They used to.


    To test cross-functionality, I created a new note in OS Notes to see if it will appear in Outlook. Thirty minutes later, OS Notes says it is Updating but nothing in Outlook yet. I expect the new note will appear in Outlook but not today.


    Syncing is performed by connecting devices to the iMac via the USB connector.

  • Leigh Mackay Level 1 Level 1

    You may have hit on the issue, William. My ISP does not offer IMAP—POP only.


    Calendars sync. I just don't have the time to ferret all of this out. Why is an account required to transfer a note from a desktop computer into a device directly connected to the computer?


    There is a push on to get people to use iCloud. Call me old fashoined but I resist putting all my stuff onto a hard drive so far away it is in another country. When I reluctantly agreed to try putting my Calendar data onto the cloud becuase it was pushed as part of the Mountain Lion installation process, I was shocked to see that that data overruled whatever I might do in my computer. It was a time-consuming struggle to restore things to previous funtionality.


    Appreciating your interest,


  • William Lloyd Level 7 Level 7

    Notes don't sync tethered any more.  The only way to sync them is via an IMAP server, be it iCloud or otherwise.

  • Leigh Mackay Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks, William.


    I'll keep a piece of paper and a pencil in my pocket. Always with me; always up to date.


    Reminds me of a story about how simple things used to be done simply but then the process became so complicated they couldn't be done anymore.




  • William Lloyd Level 7 Level 7



    To be fair, if you *do* decide to use iCloud to sync notes, it works quite well.  It's nearly instantaneous, and your notes are in sync on all iOS devices and Macs you own.  They can also be pulled up and edited from any computer if you go to

  • LennCKup Level 1 Level 1

    Notes, when synced using iClould, sit out there unencrypted!  I do not trust a cloud (including iCloud) to store personal data.  I dumped Mountain Lion and went back to Snow Leopard, so I could sync my notes using iTunes.

  • npaler Level 1 Level 1

    I know this doesn't actually answer your Notes syncing question, but you could use Evernote. I'm trying to sync my notes too but after reading about it, I may just continue to use Evernote.

  • Leigh Mackay Level 1 Level 1

    Evernote, to my knowledge, uses cloud storage too. I don't like the idea of my data residing on a hard drive out of my control. My initial experiences with syncing iCal in iCloud confirmed my uneasy feelings as iCloud took control of my calendar. Duplicate entries appeared with no easy means of resolution. It was a struggle to get things back to functioning on my hard drive not iCloud.


    Now I see that iCal will not sync with my devices. Used to work. Now it just doesn't.


    I've been an Apple fan from the beginning but I have to say I'm starting to loose faith and I'm becoming tired of resolving issues. It all used to just work. Now it's one issue after another.


    Seems to me that Apple is married to clould computing. If you don't want to embrace putting your data out there, too bad for you.


    Notes don't sync. iCal does not sync.


    For sale 27" iMac. Moving to Windows. It just works.

  • Anarimus Level 1 Level 1

    Sorry Leigh everyone even Windows is going to Cloud Computing i use it on my Linux system at home and my iMac at work.

  • Rodolphe Paccard Level 1 Level 1

    Hi, new to Mountain Lion, I happily discovered the Notes app. However no syncing between this app and the Notes app on my iPhone 4 occurs.


    As it is recommended in dozens of threads here and elsewhere, I checked that I use my account to do that.


    • Notes are checked in the iCloud pref pane on my Mac
    • Notes are checked in the iCloud settings on my iPhone
    • All my notes are in the, none local on the iPhone or on the Mac


    Still, I have two separate sets of notes, one on my Mac, one on my iPhone and they don't sync.


    What am I missing?

  • LennCKup Level 1 Level 1

    I have not implemented this feature on Mountain Lion.  However, I do know that notes can no longer be synced locally (tethered or wi-fi) in this OS.  You must use a cloud to sync notes (eg. iCloud).  iCloud does NOT encrypt your notes when it stores them.  I will NOT store sensitive data on a cloud unencrypted. 


    I have loaded Lion as my OS on my Macs.  Notes are still there as part of the Mail app.  Syncing using the iTunes app works fine, either using the cable or local wi-fi in my house.


    I urge Apple to restore the sync via iTunes option to Mountain Lion.  Failing that, they should at least store your data encrypted on iCloud, like PGP whole disk encryption for computers.

  • Eric Root Level 9 Level 9
    Mac OS X

    Trying to isolate the problem. Are the Notes on your Mac syncing to iCloud when you log onto If so, there is something that isn't set right on the iPhone. On the iPhone, try deselecting Notes sync, shutting down the iPhone, then reboot and select sync Notes.


    Another way to tell is are the Notes on your iPhone on

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