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Local notebooks? No, thanks.


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In my early months with EN, I created 3 local notebooks. I forgot they where local (since I do not need them on mobile devices) so, when I recently restored my PC, I lost them all.

 

I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database. It's my fault to not have backuped with enex export but why on earth use a different format, for database and backup? This completely prevent from using PC backup.

 

What makes me more ungry is that I used local notebooks only because EN still refuses to implement encrypted notebooks. They say it's because of zero-knowledge, password recovery, search, bla bla... But there are thousands (at least!) of users needing this and local notebooks are not safier than something else! Why crypting part of notes is ok and crypting a whole notebook is not? Why, waiting for the super-extra-encrypted maybe-notebooks, not provide some simple "private" notebooks (weak encryption, password recovery, search on at least title and tags) in the cloud? Most of us are not interested from hiding data from EVERYone, but simply hide some notes from curious eyes.

 

EN says local notebooks are the answer for privacy, If I've lost them all it's my fault, they say. OK, if you will lost a client when a competitor will offer cloud encryption, it's YOUR fault, EN.

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I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database.

Are you a Windows user?  Does your backup of your EN folder include a .exb file?  If it does then you should be able to get your local notes back.  The .exb file is your full database including local notebooks and any attachments.

 

Added attachments comment for any future readers.

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I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database.

Are you a Windows user?  Does your backup of your EN folder include a .exb file?  If it does then you should be able to get your local notes back.  The .exb file is your full database including local notebooks. 

 

 

Yes, I'm Windows user and yes I have the .exb file. I already got some notes back manually (!!!) from it, but did not replace the .exb. It's a too old backup (6 weeks ago) and I don't know what happens exactly when replacing the current .exb (someone knows?). Even if a merge is done, it would be a big mess in my notes... But thanks for suggestion.

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I try to make a backup of my .exb file every night and keep a series of those backups.

I also have Carbonite performing constant off-site backups as well.

 

Replacing the .exb file has solved a few Evernote database corruption problems.

But I usually work closely with Support before proceeding. 

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I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database.

Are you a Windows user?  Does your backup of your EN folder include a .exb file?  If it does then you should be able to get your local notes back.  The .exb file is your full database including local notebooks. 

 

 

Yes, I'm Windows user and yes I have the .exb file. I already got some notes back manually (!!!) from it, but did not replace the .exb. It's a too old backup (6 weeks ago) and I don't know what happens exactly when replacing the current .exb (someone knows?). Even if a merge is done, it would be a big mess in my notes... But thanks for suggestion.

 

Ok, what I'm about to suggest is a "temporary" replacement of your .exb file so that you can load your old database and export your local notebooks. 

 

Note, I have done something similar but not exactly this so only proceed if you are comfortable trying this.

 

- backup your current .exb file.  For a belt and suspenders backup also export your notes, especially any local notebooks you have

- disable sync - while you are doing this .exb file swap you don't want any syncing to occur.  Go to Tools -> Options -> Sync and deselect Synchronize automatically

- exit out of EN, don't sign out

- disable your internet connection (pull your cable or turn off wireless) - this is an extra precaution against syncing

- replace your current .exb file with your old one that contains the local notebooks.  I'm assuming this is all under the same account so the file name should be the same

- restart EN and it should load all your notes from the old file including the local notebooks.

- assuming it did, now export your local notebooks in ENEX format

- exit out of EN

- replace your .exb file with the one you originally started with

- start EN and you should be back to where you were before you started this process.

- once you are convinced you are back to the way you were, you can now go ahead and import the export files that you created earlier

- When you import the local notebook files I don't recall if you are given the option to import into a local notebook or if it automatically imports into a sync'd notebook.  If a sync'd notebook you will then need to take one more step and create a local notebook and move the notes from the sync'd notebook into the local

- once everything is imported and moved to local notebooks go ahead and activate your internet and turn your sync back on

 

This should result in getting your local notebooks back.

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What makes me more ungry is that I used local notebooks only because EN still refuses to implement encrypted notebooks. They say it's because of zero-knowledge, password recovery, search, bla bla... But there are thousands (at least!) of users needing this and local notebooks are not safier than something else!

 

Not true. Local notebooks offer a layer of security that is simply not available for cloud-based data, most especially when that cloud-based data is NOT zero-knowledge encrypted. 

 

Most of us are not interested from hiding data from EVERYone, but simply hide some notes from curious eyes.

 

Speak for yourself. The day EN abandons local notebooks is the day I abandon EN.

Link to post

I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database.

Are you a Windows user?  Does your backup of your EN folder include a .exb file?  If it does then you should be able to get your local notes back.  The .exb file is your full database including local notebooks.

 

Yes, I'm Windows user and yes I have the .exb file. I already got some notes back manually (!!!) from it, but did not replace the .exb. It's a too old backup (6 weeks ago) and I don't know what happens exactly when replacing the current .exb (someone knows?). Even if a merge is done, it would be a big mess in my notes... But thanks for suggestion.

Ok, what I'm about to suggest is a "temporary" replacement of your .exb file so that you can load your old database and export your local notebooks. 

 

Note, I have done something similar but not exactly this so only proceed if you are comfortable trying this.

 

- backup your current .exb file.  For a belt and suspenders backup also export your notes, especially any local notebooks you have

- disable sync - while you are doing this .exb file swap you don't want any syncing to occur.  Go to Tools -> Options -> Sync and deselect Synchronize automatically

- exit out of EN, don't sign out

- disable your internet connection (pull your cable or turn off wireless) - this is an extra precaution against syncing

- replace your current .exb file with your old one that contains the local notebooks.  I'm assuming this is all under the same account so the file name should be the same

- restart EN and it should load all your notes from the old file including the local notebooks.

- assuming it did, now export your local notebooks in ENEX format

- exit out of EN

- replace your .exb file with the one you originally started with

- start EN and you should be back to where you were before you started this process.

- once you are convinced you are back to the way you were, you can now go ahead and import the export files that you created earlier

- When you import the local notebook files I don't recall if you are given the option to import into a local notebook or if it automatically imports into a sync'd notebook.  If a sync'd notebook you will then need to take one more step and create a local notebook and move the notes from the sync'd notebook into the local

- once everything is imported and moved to local notebooks go ahead and activate your internet and turn your sync back on

 

This should result in getting your local notebooks back.

S2sailor's instructions are correct. I would reemphasize the need to keep and retain copies of both the live exb file and the one you are backing up from. IOW, when replacing the exb file, do copy/paste rather than cut/paste.

I am using an older version of the Windows client and I can confirm it and its predecessors allow you to import to a local notebook. I cannot confirm if newer versions do.

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In my early months with EN, I created 3 local notebooks. I forgot they where local (since I do not need them on mobile devices) so, when I recently restored my PC, I lost them all.

I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database. It's my fault to not have backuped with enex export but why on earth use a different format, for database and backup? This completely prevent from using PC backup.

What makes me more ungry is that I used local notebooks only because EN still refuses to implement encrypted notebooks. They say it's because of zero-knowledge, password recovery, search, bla bla... But there are thousands (at least!) of users needing this and local notebooks are not safier than something else! Why crypting part of notes is ok and crypting a whole notebook is not? Why, waiting for the super-extra-encrypted maybe-notebooks, not provide some simple "private" notebooks (weak encryption, password recovery, search on at least title and tags) in the cloud? Most of us are not interested from hiding data from EVERYone, but simply hide some notes from curious eyes.

EN says local notebooks are the answer for privacy, If I've lost them all it's my fault, they say. OK, if you will lost a client when a competitor will offer cloud encryption, it's YOUR fault, EN.

I think you need to become more acquainted with Evernote & how it functions before you start making these claims. It's clear you don't have a good understanding of Evernote and cloud apps.

Link to post

 

 

 

I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database.

Are you a Windows user?  Does your backup of your EN folder include a .exb file?  If it does then you should be able to get your local notes back.  The .exb file is your full database including local notebooks. 

 

 

Yes, I'm Windows user and yes I have the .exb file. I already got some notes back manually (!!!) from it, but did not replace the .exb. It's a too old backup (6 weeks ago) and I don't know what happens exactly when replacing the current .exb (someone knows?). Even if a merge is done, it would be a big mess in my notes... But thanks for suggestion.

 

Ok, what I'm about to suggest is a "temporary" replacement of your .exb file so that you can load your old database and export your local notebooks. 

 

Note, I have done something similar but not exactly this so only proceed if you are comfortable trying this.

 

- backup your current .exb file.  For a belt and suspenders backup also export your notes, especially any local notebooks you have

- disable sync - while you are doing this .exb file swap you don't want any syncing to occur.  Go to Tools -> Options -> Sync and deselect Synchronize automatically

- exit out of EN, don't sign out

- disable your internet connection (pull your cable or turn off wireless) - this is an extra precaution against syncing

- replace your current .exb file with your old one that contains the local notebooks.  I'm assuming this is all under the same account so the file name should be the same

- restart EN and it should load all your notes from the old file including the local notebooks.

- assuming it did, now export your local notebooks in ENEX format

- exit out of EN

- replace your .exb file with the one you originally started with

- start EN and you should be back to where you were before you started this process.

- once you are convinced you are back to the way you were, you can now go ahead and import the export files that you created earlier

- When you import the local notebook files I don't recall if you are given the option to import into a local notebook or if it automatically imports into a sync'd notebook.  If a sync'd notebook you will then need to take one more step and create a local notebook and move the notes from the sync'd notebook into the local

- once everything is imported and moved to local notebooks go ahead and activate your internet and turn your sync back on

 

This should result in getting your local notebooks back.

 

 

s2sailor, thank you very much! I've no time to do it now but it seems absolutely ok. I'll do it.

Link to post

 

 

What makes me more ungry is that I used local notebooks only because EN still refuses to implement encrypted notebooks. They say it's because of zero-knowledge, password recovery, search, bla bla... But there are thousands (at least!) of users needing this and local notebooks are not safier than something else!

 

Not true. Local notebooks offer a layer of security that is simply not available for cloud-based data, most especially when that cloud-based data is NOT zero-knowledge encrypted. 

 

Most of us are not interested from hiding data from EVERYone, but simply hide some notes from curious eyes.

 

Speak for yourself. The day EN abandons local notebooks is the day I abandon EN.

 

 

I'm not saying local notebooks should not exist. I say a lot of users are using them because something else is missing. Between local notebooks and zero knowledge synced notebooks there are possible intermediate solutions that can cohexist. About the secutiry of local notebooks, I have doubts. Probably you use them in an highly secure environment (included encrypted backups...), but I guess that the secutiry of local notebooks of many users (me included) is somewhat overextimated...

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In my early months with EN, I created 3 local notebooks. I forgot they where local (since I do not need them on mobile devices) so, when I recently restored my PC, I lost them all.

I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database. It's my fault to not have backuped with enex export but why on earth use a different format, for database and backup? This completely prevent from using PC backup.

What makes me more ungry is that I used local notebooks only because EN still refuses to implement encrypted notebooks. They say it's because of zero-knowledge, password recovery, search, bla bla... But there are thousands (at least!) of users needing this and local notebooks are not safier than something else! Why crypting part of notes is ok and crypting a whole notebook is not? Why, waiting for the super-extra-encrypted maybe-notebooks, not provide some simple "private" notebooks (weak encryption, password recovery, search on at least title and tags) in the cloud? Most of us are not interested from hiding data from EVERYone, but simply hide some notes from curious eyes.

EN says local notebooks are the answer for privacy, If I've lost them all it's my fault, they say. OK, if you will lost a client when a competitor will offer cloud encryption, it's YOUR fault, EN.

I think you need to become more acquainted with Evernote & how it functions before you start making these claims. It's clear you don't have a good understanding of Evernote and cloud apps.

 

 

I think I've more knowledge of both Evernote and cloud than average user and EN should take care also of users like me. My slip could happen to anyone. I perfectly know the difference between local and cloud data. I know what zero-knowledge is and I know some about security. Anyway, used to sync, I forgot local notebooks, when restoring my pc. My fault. But I expect EN to help me, on secutiry, and, sooner or later, meet my needs, if possible. Only synced and local. No other options. I bit too rigid scheme, in my opinion.

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Alternatively if you don't want to mess with your current datafiles you could probably:

 

1) use Virtual Box to install EN in a virtual machine with no NIC

    (Disable the nic for the VM before after you create the VM, but before installing Win/EN, by removing the check box from System/Network/Adapter 1/Enable Network Adapter check box))

2) export the local notes to a shared folder or usb drive

3) import to the current non-virtual version

 

This would stop problems from happening with Sync and allows you to keep from messing with the current versions datafiles.

 

I haven't tried it specifically with EN but I have with other software that functions similary.

Link to post

 

 

 

I had a backup of the EN folder but I realized that it's useless. You can import notes only from enex, not from EN database.

Are you a Windows user?  Does your backup of your EN folder include a .exb file?  If it does then you should be able to get your local notes back.  The .exb file is your full database including local notebooks. 

 

 

Yes, I'm Windows user and yes I have the .exb file. I already got some notes back manually (!!!) from it, but did not replace the .exb. It's a too old backup (6 weeks ago) and I don't know what happens exactly when replacing the current .exb (someone knows?). Even if a merge is done, it would be a big mess in my notes... But thanks for suggestion.

 

Ok, what I'm about to suggest is a "temporary" replacement of your .exb file so that you can load your old database and export your local notebooks. 

 

Note, I have done something similar but not exactly this so only proceed if you are comfortable trying this.

 

- backup your current .exb file.  For a belt and suspenders backup also export your notes, especially any local notebooks you have

- disable sync - while you are doing this .exb file swap you don't want any syncing to occur.  Go to Tools -> Options -> Sync and deselect Synchronize automatically

- exit out of EN, don't sign out

- disable your internet connection (pull your cable or turn off wireless) - this is an extra precaution against syncing

- replace your current .exb file with your old one that contains the local notebooks.  I'm assuming this is all under the same account so the file name should be the same

- restart EN and it should load all your notes from the old file including the local notebooks.

- assuming it did, now export your local notebooks in ENEX format

- exit out of EN

- replace your .exb file with the one you originally started with

- start EN and you should be back to where you were before you started this process.

- once you are convinced you are back to the way you were, you can now go ahead and import the export files that you created earlier

- When you import the local notebook files I don't recall if you are given the option to import into a local notebook or if it automatically imports into a sync'd notebook.  If a sync'd notebook you will then need to take one more step and create a local notebook and move the notes from the sync'd notebook into the local

- once everything is imported and moved to local notebooks go ahead and activate your internet and turn your sync back on

 

This should result in getting your local notebooks back.

 

 

I did so and it worked. Many thanks!

I only did a variation: I backuped/restored the whole Evernote\Databases folder, instead of just the .exb file. I think that at least the Evernote\Databases\Attachments folder is necessary (if you have attachments), along with .exb file.

When importing (I use EN 5.6.4.4632), imported notes were imported in a new notebook with new name.

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Alternatively if you don't want to mess with your current datafiles you could probably:

 

1) use Virtual Box to install EN in a virtual machine with no NIC

    (Disable the nic for the VM before after you create the VM, but before installing Win/EN, by removing the check box from System/Network/Adapter 1/Enable Network Adapter check box))

2) export the local notes to a shared folder or usb drive

3) import to the current non-virtual version

 

This would stop problems from happening with Sync and allows you to keep from messing with the current versions datafiles.

 

I haven't tried it specifically with EN but I have with other software that functions similary.

 

Thanks, JimKn, but s2sailr method worked, so a virtual machine is not needed in my case. I agree that it could be useful if you want to be absolutely sure to not make mistakes with backup/restore.

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You're welcome and I'm glad to hear it worked out well for you.

 

The attachments folder is only used for temporary storage for when an attached file is edited from within EN.  All of your attachments are permanently stored in the .exb file so that is the only file needed for backup but there is no harm in including it.  I've seen others report that they backup the full ..\Database subdirectory, but I've had no issues in just backing up the .exb file.

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You're welcome and I'm glad to hear it worked out well for you.

 

The attachments folder is only used for temporary storage for when an attached file is edited from within EN.  All of your attachments are permanently stored in the .exb file so that is the only file needed for backup but there is no harm in including it.  I've seen others report that they backup the full ..\Database subdirectory, but I've had no issues in just backing up the .exb file.

ok. thanks!

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@Vico,

You probably have figured it out by now, but you should make periodic ENEX backups by folder preserving tags of your local notebooks. I have a lot of local notes and do it nightly. I even do ENEX backups of synced notebooks weekly just in case I have a DAA and can't get the history of a note. I don't have that many notebooks so not so onerours for me. FWIW.

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