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Issues with Restore of Evernote ENEX Backup (Export)


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Issues with Restore of Evernote ENEX Backup (Export)

This post is a supplement counterpoint to Issues with Restore of Evernote HTML Backup (Export) 

Some users are exporting their notes as ENEX as their primary Evernote backup.
I have found the EN ENEX export has limitations that may impact recovering your data.

Evernote offers two formats for export:

  1. ENEX -- Recommended for data import
  2. HTML -- Recommended for access to notes in your backups. Can also be used for restore or import of single notes.

I use both formats in my backups

The ENEX format has a single purpose: data import
You are not able to view the notes, or access them without Evernote software

The ENEX format works very well for import, and stores/retains the Note data,  attachments and metadata EXCEPT for Notebook and internal NoteId.  

  • For that reason, many users export Notes for each Notebook to a separate ENEX file, with a file name the same or similar to the Notebook name
  • When restoring notes, new notes are created.
    Links to the old notes are invalid and have to be recreated
  • Notes are recreated with attachments and tags, dates and other metadata (excepting Notebook)

When restoring notes using the ENEX file, there is no option for a single note.

  • The entire collection of notes is loaded to a temporary notebook
  • Users would then identify the required notes and move them to the proper notebook
  • It would be a good idea to temporary suspend syncing so the temporary notebook data is not uploaded to the server edited: Alternative; a Local Notebook could be used
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3 hours ago, DTLow said:

When restoring notes using the ENEX file, there is no option for a single note.

  • The entire collection of notes is loaded to a temporary notebook
  • Users would then identify the required notes and move them to the proper notebook
  • It would be a good idea to temporary suspend syncing so the temporary notebook data is not uploaded to the server

Handled fairly easily by creating a local notebook whenever you do an import (which may be the default in EN Windows, but I forget)....  

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11 hours ago, DTLow said:

I don't see it as a counterpoint since it really does not oppose the statements in the other topic.

But it is good to make sure users are aware of any limitations of both forms of export.

11 hours ago, DTLow said:

I have found the EN ENEX export has limitations that may impact recovering your data

I didn't see any limitations that affect recovery of Notes, other than the fact that neither export includes the Notebook of the Note.  This was pointed out in the Issues with Restore of Evernote HTML Backup (Export) topic.

11 hours ago, DTLow said:

The ENEX format has a single purpose: data import
You are not able to view the notes, or access them without Evernote software

This is incorrect.  The ENEX files are just plain text files that use a XML format.  They can be viewed with any text editor.  But to be viewed in a user friendly format, you would need to either import in Evernote, or convert the XML to HTML.

11 hours ago, DTLow said:

It would be a good idea to temporary suspend syncing so the temporary notebook data is not uploaded to the server edited: Alternative; a Local Notebook could be used

By default, Evernote puts the Notes imported from ENEX files into a Local Notebook, so there is no sync issue.  Once in a Local Notebook, it is very easy to find the Note(s) of interest using the standard Evernote Search and Filter tools.

 

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