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how to I sign-in when offline?

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  • Evernote Expert

If you fully sign out via the File menu in the desktop app then go offline, you cannot then sign in until you go back online. That process requires an Internet connection to check your credentials.

Close Evernote with the black X in Windows or the red traffic light blob in Mac and everything should restart as normal offline with the exception that you'll get a warning that you are offline.


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Why would they have implemented this restriction I wonder? 

I always assumed (and stuck with Evernote, and do not use Notion, etc) because I figured the standard installation would provide me access to my data in all cases - signed in or not.  It was my way of being sure I did not ever lose access to my data if the cloud version was ever destroyed or compromised  (I do back up the database to a separate local server too) or I stopped my subscription to Evernote and wanted access to it for a while after migrating.

How do I meet this need these days - eg if I have signed out (eg for security reasons) using the 'keep back-up'  - and later the Evernote cloud or internet in general was not available?   How would I still get to my data via the core functionality of Evernote?   Or have we all become too dependent on the internet/cloud?

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  • Evernote Expert

I guess you rely on your device security. I have an encrypted disk and strong device login. That feels perfectly secure so restarting Evernote without a full login also feels OK.

My personal view is that security for my Evernote account is weakest via the web client. I do my best by adding 2FA but, of course, that adds an additional challenge if offline with the desktop apps.


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  • Level 5

The answer is very simple: Sign in before you go offline. Stay signed in.

You can close the app, you can shut down the device. The signin will be stored, ready for use when you start things up again. Just start the app, offline or online. It will open the database, and you can use it.

If you are signed out and try to open in offline mode, the apps will protect your data, and won’t let you enter.

Simple as that.

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5 hours ago, Grant837 said:

I figured the standard installation would provide me access to my data in all cases - signed in or not.

This hasn't been true in older versions, too. If you signed out completely, you had to sign in with online access to verify you access credentials 😞

Stopping the program without sign-off was (and is with EN10) OK. You can restart the program in offline mode and access your data - with one exception in EN10:

  • If you try to export notes (even if they're synced to your local device) you will get an error message that forces you to go online before exporting.

This an restriction by indend: Former versions of Evernote allowed to export all synced data (i.e. to HTML pages) in offline mode. I cannot see any technical reason to restrict this in EN10...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would like to get a better understanding of this.

For the sake of argument, let's assume Evernote goes out of business - or, their systems are deeply comprised, including their authentication servers, and all authentication credentials are lost/corrupted irretrievably.

I have Evernote running on my desktop PC, and I am previously in a logged in state, and using Evernote locally, even though the mothership's authentication servers are gone/kaput.

One day, I open the 'file' menu, perhaps intending to print a note, and unintentionally click 'Sign out <my name>'.  Long ago, I had clicked on the 'Do not show this message again' when I had gotten the 'Keep local backup?' dialogue had popped up, so there is no dialogue, and I'm signed out.

Thereafter, I no longer have any access to notes -  access is gone, permanently and irrevocably?


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I think I spelled out my scenario pretty clearly. Your response is unrelated, and ignores the stipulation that this is a hypothetical scenario, so telling me 'don't do unintentional logouts' is pretty silly. What if I had Parkinson's disease? Failing eyesight? Unintentional things happen in real life.

Perhaps I was too subtle. Evernote is very proud in their T&C's and policies about how we, the users, own our data. If there is no possible way to access our LOCAL data without authenticating on Evernote-controlled authentication servers, then we do not own our data, period.

I've been a paying customer of Evernote since 2008. I've spent weeks trying to get Evernote support to be responsive to the fact that if I disable my internet connection, random notes are simply unavailable. A few thousand of them by my estimations, after wiping my local copy and redownloading - twice: once before they had gotten around to actually reading the body of my support ticket, and once after they helpfully forced a 'reindex' of my data stored on Evernote's servers. So even without the matter of authentication, I do not have ownership of a significant portion of my notes.

Edited by anastrophe
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  • Level 5

If notes are unavailable, they likely were not yet fully downloaded. After rebuilding a database it can take days until the download is complete.

This means a cumulative use for days with the client running.

Since there is no download indicator (as on mobile), the best indicator is to check on the Task Manager, Tab Network if there is ongoing network traffic when the client is open and unused.

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I am aware. By monitoring


It's easy to see when the downloads have stopped. As in, it stopped at 12,205 hashed subfolder, and has not changed (either in bytes downloaded or hashed folder count) in roughly twelve hours. And this total is smaller than the previous download which ended at 12,415. I have 15,276+ notes. Interestingly, the desktop application shows the correct count of notes; however, disabling the connection, large numbers of notes report "Note unavailable This note is not available offline, once back online the note will be available again", and worse, after enabling and bringing up a note, disabling returns it to unavailable - it doesn't even sync after being 'requested' via the interface.

Also - but unrelated - they clearly throttle downloads for no apparent reason when synching within the client. I can download the entire 9 gigabytes and 15k+ notes in about 45 minutes using the evernote-backup tool. I am in the process of importing all of the data into Joplin, to see if the .enex files are "consistent" with the failure.

I'm sure my frustration is palpable. Having  a substantial number of notes accumulated over fifteen years not available should 'disaster' strike is untenable.

  • Sad 1
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  • 4 months later...

I still have one copy of Legacy fully functional in one computer, except for it does not sync anymore. I installed the same version of legacy in another computer, but can't access my ENEX backup file (over 17K notes!) offline. Does anyone have an idea as to how to keep using Legacy even after signing out? 

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  • Level 5

You can’t.

Without a persisted login (by cutting the server connection when being logged in) the client is useless.

Maybe there are some hacks - but what are they worth ? You can access your notes using the modern client.

Local notebooks (if any) should be exported from your leftover install before it goes belly up as well. HTML is a good choice if you don’t want to import them into the new client and to the server. Else use ENEX.

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