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(Archived) Retrieveing Lost Notes

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I have had EverNote, both Windows and Web App, for some time, along with a Google Notebook account. Now that Google has pulled further support for their product, I decided to move everything over to EverNote. The migration over to the web app worked fine. The synchronization then put my G-Notebook data into my local Windows Evernote 3.1. (This was a vital clue that I missed !) I spent many hours on the local version, setting up new tags and five new notebooks, and assigning all the data to the new notebooks. Then this morning I went on-line and set-up the same new notebooks in the web app, and deleted (agh! :shock: ) the notes, leaving the web app ready to accept the data from my Windows version into the appropriate new notebooks. Well, I'm sure you already know what happened.... the web app data (zip, nada) synched into the local windows version leaving the nice new notebooks all empty :D .

I looked in the local EverNoteFiles/Database 3 and found that there is an .exb file of over 7000KB. Is there any way to recover these notes using the data in the .exb file? (He asks, fearing he knows the answer.....)

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If you have a backup of your database file from before the time you deleted the notes, then we could walk you through the process of loading that into the client in offline mode and exporting your notes. Unfortunately, if you only have the current database file, we won't be able to extract the deleted notes. Our database engine (SQLite) does not automatically maintain historic snapshots.

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Unfortunately :o I don't have a backup of the database. I thank you for the offer though.

It does seem strange that when I manually delete just about anything in Evernote I get a dialog box asking if I'm sure and with notebooks it usually advises me that the data will not be retrievable, but in the synchronizing mode it deletes whole notebooks without any cautions, backups, or safety process.

Sure was a lot of information in those notes, clips, etc. :(

Is there any automatic function for backing up Evernote? I had assumed my local client would act as the backup for the web client... obviously NOT. I guess I can copy the .exb database over to my USB backup memory manually, but some kind of scheduled tool would be handy.

Thanks again though for the offer to help.

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Sorry to hear that your data is lost.

If you delete a note, it will put it into the Trash in your account without confirming. At that point, you can recover it from the trash. If you empty the trash, it should prompt you whether you really want to do that (and the default should be "No"/"Cancel"). The goal of the service is that it makes your account look the same everywhere, so if you say you want to delete it, it's gone everywhere. It sounds like we should do a better job making it clear that a change to a note on any computer will be synchronized everywhere else automatically.

Yes, you can back up that database file through normal procedures every month, or you can use the Export feature to export your notes to a flat XML file, which can be imported on either type of client.

You don't strictly need to permanently delete notes with Evernote, of course ... your monthly quota is just for new uploads. There's no other limit on how much total data you can have in Evernote after you've been a user for a while.

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Thanks Dave. Actually I think the deletion of notes individually is pretty well documented, and like you say, before terminating you can always pull them out of trash. It's the deletion of complete Notebooks, either full or empty, where a clearer warning might help. Instead of just warning that the Notebook deletion will be irretrievable, it might help to add "from both Web and Local clients, once synchronization takes place." I think that would have probably scared me enough to stop and think a bit longer :shock:

Well, I'll go and have my "tear diluted" beer now... :(

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  • 1 year later...

This actually happened to me as well when I synchronized with my mobile device. I lost really important notes and was wondering if there was anyways at all to recover them.


Have you checked the trash?

As mentioned above, if you have a backup of your desktop database, someone can walk you through pulling info from that. Or, if you have EN on another computer that may have the lost notes in the database b/c it hasn't been sync'd recently.

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They don't appear to be in the trash. I do use EN on another computer, but it is the web version and not the desktop version. Would the notes still be recoverable?

If they are not on the web version & you have no backup of your database (if you use a Mac or Win client), they are not recoverable.

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