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How to share notes on an iPhone

You're not limited to sharing notes with other Apple users.

Published onJuly 18, 2023

Anyone who’s had an iPhone for a while knows that the Notes app is invaluable, since it’s a quick way of jotting down everything from phone numbers and passwords to brainstorming sessions. But many notes aren’t useful unless you can share them with others, so here’s how to do that as quickly and efficiently as possible.


To share a note on an iPhone:

  1. Write your note, then tap the Share icon.
  2. Select whether you want to send a copy of the note or allow collaboration.
  3. Select your method of sending the note. For collaboration, the recipient must be logged into their Apple ID and have Notes on in iCloud settings.


How to send a copy of a note on your iPhone

Once you’ve composed a note, tap the Share icon at the top of the screen. As usual in Apple apps, this looks like a square with an upwards arrow.

iphone note

If you’re not planning to collaborate, select Send Copy in the drop-down menu that appears. Next, choose a contact and/or a method of sending the note. If a contact isn’t already suggested, select an app and work from there — if you tap Gmail, for instance, you’ll be able to send a text copy to anyone with an email address.

iphone note copy or collaborate

How to share and collaborate on a note

If you want to go a bit further and allow another person to edit your note, the process and rules are a little different. Critically, collaboration is only open to people with an Apple ID who have Notes on in their iCloud settings.

In the Share menu, choose Collaborate instead of Send Copy. Next, tap Only invited people can edit.

iphone note copy or collaborate

Check to make sure that permissions for the note are correct, since if you want you can open a note to anyone, or let others send invitations too. When you’re ready, tap Done.

iphone note collaboration permissions

Select a contact and/or a method of sending the note. Using Messages, for example, is an easy way to reach everyone in your contact list.

iphone notes in imessage

How to see recent activity on a note

After sharing a note, you may want to see if any changes have been made to it by the collaborator(s).

To see the last time a note was edited, do a quick swipe down on it, and you’ll see the date and time at the top of the screen.

iphone note last edited

Swipe up from the bottom of the note to see an overview of all collaborator activity.

iphone note check activity

Why can’t I share a note on my iPhone?

Keep these tips in mind:

  • If you’re trying to collaborate, people without an Apple ID might get a link, but won’t be able to do anything.
  • Update your devices. Software glitches do happen.
  • Make sure recipients can get something through your selected sharing method. Someone without WhatsApp installed will never see a note sent that way, for example.
  • Make sure everyone has enough storage on their device. Large image attachments could hypothetically cause issues.
  • Check to see if your note is locked. Locked notes can’t be shared for collaboration.


Either rely on iCloud sync — the preferred method — or use AirDrop in Control Center to move them from the old device to the new one.

If it’s one note or a handful, check the Recently Deleted folder. It may have accidentally ended up there. If it’s all of your notes, check it Notes sync has been disabled in Settings > Apple ID > iCloud.

Go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud and toggle off Notes under Apps Using iCloud.

Tap the triple-dot icon in a note, then select Lock.

Not on the iPhone. But you can use an Apple Pencil in the Notes app on an iPad.

Tap the triple-dot icon and select Scan. You’ll need to grant the Notes app access to your camera to make the scan.

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