Facing Notes app syncing issue between iOS 13 and Catalina? Try this

Since the release of iOS 13 and Catalina, users have been reporting a variety of issues, both with them and between them. Initially, users reported syncing issues with Reminders between iOS and Mac. Now there are reports of a Notes app syncing issue between iOS 13 and Catalina.

Catalina iOS 13 Notes app syncing issue

parthshah000 / Pixabay

Notes app syncing issue: what’s happening?

Affected users have raised the Notes app syncing issue on Apple’s support forums. They say the notes saved to the Notes app are not syncing when a Mac is involved. The issue is mainly seen when the Mac is running macOS 10.15 (10.15.1) or an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 or iPadOS 13.

Most of the complaints are from users who say the notes are not syncing between their iPhone and macOS Catalina, while some are seeing issues between an iPhone and iPad as well. Users state that all the settings are right. Their iCloud account is checked to sync Notes, and all the devices are running the latest OS version.

“I installed macOS Catalina on 9 October 2019. I made my first note in the Notes App from my mid-2015 MacBook Pro. The new note did not sync to my iPhone XR nor to my iPad Pro,” one affected user said.

As a workaround, the user said he used AirDrop to sync the note with the iPad Pro.

This issue is not a new one, and users have been raising it for about a month now.

Syncing issues between iPhone and iPad

Those experiencing syncing issues between iPhones and iPads say that after updating to iOS 13, the Notes app is either not syncing, is syncing randomly or is taking a long time to sync.

“I’m having an issue where, after updating my devices to iOS 13, notes from the Apple Notes app are either not syncing, randomly syncing, or syncing only after a prolonged delay (e.g. days) between my iPhone and iPad,” the user said.

Further, they say they have tried the usual troubleshooting tricks, such as signing out and back into iCloud and reinstalling the Notes app on both devices, but nothing seems to be working. The same user adds that when the Notes app is open on the iPhone, he gets a notification on the iPad dock that the Notes app is open on the iPhone. Still, the app fails to sync.

The user also talked about a workaround, saying a note created in the Notes app via the iCloud website is downloaded on both devices immediately. On the other hand, a note created on either of the devices fails to show up on the other one.

As of now there are no comments from Apple about the issue. Moreover, there are no beta releases currently in testing. Thus, it is difficult to say when the issue will be resolved. Until Apple releases a fix, some users have developed their own solutions to the Notes app syncing issue.

Log out and log back in

A Reddit user reports that logging out from all the devices and then signing back in has resolved the issue. Although a few affected users have already tried logging out and back in with no success, the Reddit user claims that the trick will only work if you log out from all devices completely.

“Did you log out of them completely all at once? In other words, were you logged out everywhere, so that the only record of your notes were in iCloud? Then log back in? Sadly this seems like it may be the only way to really troubleshoot this,” the Reddit user said.

This means affected users will have to log out of iCloud on both the Mac running Catalina and the iPhone (or iPad). Logging out and logging back in resets the sync history, and this seems to solve the issue.

Those who have tried this trick are reporting mixed results. For some, everything is working fine, while others say it is taking a few minutes for the notes to sync across devices. A few are not seeing any improvement at all. If you are facing the syncing issue, you can try this trick. If it works, then good, but if not, there is one more trick you can try.

Another trick that may help

One user on Apple’s forums claims to have found a surefire solution to the problem.

“Finally found a solution for this after months of trying various different things,” the user says.

The same user has also listed the steps that helped to address the issue:

  1. Turn off note syncing in all internet accounts, including iCloud.
  2. Go to users/[name]/Library and search for a file containing “Notes” in the name. The user said he found two matches: users/[yourname]/Library/Containers and /users/[yourname]/Library/GroupContainers.
  3. Go to Library/Caches, select all and move them to trash.
  4. Empty the trash and reboot.
  5. Open Notes and turn on syncing for iCloud.

That’s it. We haven’t tried this trick yet, so we can’t confirm if it works or not. However, a few users on the Apple forum say this helped them address the issue. You can also try this fix. Let us know in the comments section below if it worked or not or share any other trick you came across that could solve this issue.



About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com