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How to share notes on an iPhone

Want to share a note with another Apple user? Use Notes.
March 20, 2023

One of the advantages of the internet is being able to collaborate with people in real time. Whether that’s a chat app such as Slack or sending emails through Gmail, there’s no excuse for delaying a vital project or decision. But what if your needs are easier than that? What if you want to share a simple note with someone? A grocery list with your spouse? An invite list for a party? If both you and the note recipient are Apple device users, you can’t go wrong if you share your note on the iPhone with the Notes app.


To share a note on an iPhone, write your note, then tap the Share icon. Select whether you merely want to send a copy of the note or if you wish for them to collaborate and edit the note with you. Then select your method of sending the note. The recipient must be logged into an iCloud account and be in your Contacts app. Also, locked notes cannot be shared.


How to send a copy of a note on your iPhone

Once you have written your note, tap the Share icon at the top-right of the screen.

iphone note

In the menu that appears, select Send Copy. Then select your contact and method of sending.

iphone note copy or collaborate

The note will then be sent to the recipient. They will need an iCloud account and an Apple device to be able to view the note, and their details must be in your Contacts app.

How to share and collaborate on a note

If you want to go a bit further and get the other person to edit and collaborate on the note with you, you’ll need to send it slightly differently.

In the Share menu, open the smaller sub-menu next to the Notes icon, and choose Collaborate. Then tap Only invited people can edit.

iphone note copy or collaborate

Check to make sure that the permissions for the note are correct. If so, tap Done and exit.

iphone note collaboration permissions

As before, select your contact and method of sending. In this case, I am using iMessage. Enter the details of your contact, and send.

iphone notes in imessage

How to see recent activity on a note

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

To see the last time the note was edited, pull down on it, and you’ll see the date and time.

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?

  • Does the other person have an Apple device? Unfortunately, the Note sharing function doesn’t work if you send it to an Android device.
  • Make sure both users are logged into iCloud.
  • Update your devices. If you and the other person are on different iOS versions, it may interfere with Note sharing.
  • Sharing the note via email? Send it to your contact’s Apple ID email.
  • Sharing the note by iMessage? Make sure the contact has iMessage enabled on their device.
  • Make sure everyone has enough storage on their device. Especially if the note has scanned images inside, which will obviously make the size of the note much larger.
  • Check to see if your notes are locked. Locked notes cannot be shared.


Either use iCloud sync to move them over or use Airdrop in Control Center to move them from the old device to the new device.

If it is one or two notes, check the trash folder. It may have accidentally ended up there. If it’s all of your notes, check to see if iCloud sync has been disabled in your device settings for the Notes app.

If you want to keep certain notes private on your iPhone, make a “local device” folder and move the notes there. Local device folders are not synced.

Tap the icon, which is a circle with three dots in it. Select Lock.