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How do I backup my Evernote data?

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This has been discussed a great deal on these forums. In addition to what I suggest here, I recommend you do some searching for more detailed discussion. I'd also suggest you post which operating system you are using here so we can make more relevant recommendations. 


First of all, it is important to remember that all of your Evernote data is synchronized with Evernote's servers (Excepting Local Notebooks which are not synced). This means that in the event of a hard drive crash or computer loss, your data (except that which was stored in Local Notebooks) should easily be recovered simply by re-sycning from the servers. 


But, this isn't really "backup", to be safe, a traditional backup is definitely worthwhile. There are a number of approaches.

First of all, if you have the Evernote application installed on your computer, you have a copy of your Evernote data stored locally on your hard drive. If you are on a Mac, this database will be backed up along with your Time Machine backup. If you are on windows, just make sure the .exb file is included in whatever your hard drive backup solution is. 


Other backup systems should also back up your Evernote database. CrashPlan and BackBlaze will backup your Evernote database. 


It is important, however, to remember that these databases are not terribly human-readable, and in most cases must be restored in full. This means that if you need to recover one note, or a set of notes, or a single notebook, you will have to recover the entire database. This is where individual, manual backups can be helpful.


Individual notebooks or other sub-sets of notes can be regularly exported as a .enex file, then backed up in the manner of your choosing (such as by Time Machine or CrashPlan, or Carbon Copy Cloner). So you might set up a habit of exporting subsets of your data on a regular basis, such as daily or weekly (perhaps depending on how active your use of that subset it). You might export a notebook for a very active project on a daily basis, while you might export notebooks for old projects once when the project is complete, and then never again since the data will not be changed. 


The manual system is labour intensive. On the Mac it might be possible to use Automator to create script that gets run at regular intervals. 


Again, you'd be wise to search the boards for the many other discussions on this topic, but my post should at least get you started. 

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In what OS?  Backing up notes is only possible on a device that has the downloaded database stored locally. 


A local backup from your PC/Mac is essential to ensuring that ALL of your data is protected.
Some references:

EN Mac Folder/Database location:

  • Goto menu Evernote Mac > About Evernote
  • Hold down the OPTION key to reveal the link to your EN Account folder
  • You can also export you EN Notes as HTML files, which might be the best way to move them to another system, in case that need should arise.

Note:  when you export Notes to ENEX files,  the file does NOT contain the following:

  • Notebook name (tag all notes in a notebook with the name,  or export one notebook at a time)
  • Tag hierarchy (you much check the box to preserve Tags w/o hierarchy)
  • The original GUID
  • Links to Notes will be invalid/broken if you use the ENEX to restore the notes.


Edit:  beaten to the punch....  <_<

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  • 1 month later...

Howdy, EN Members:



Minutes ago I ran across an excellent "How to Geek" article regarding: EN BACKUP... both for WIN and MAC:


The article covers:

  • Setting Up Manual and Automated Backups
  • Exporting your notebooks
  • Manually backing up your Evernote database
  • Automating the backup process
  • Backing up attachments with cloud-based services




I hope this proves helpful... sooner than later!


~ Alan





P.S.  There are several other EN threads which may prove helpful:

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...


I am co-founder of Backupery, we are making local backup software. 


I would like to let you know about our Backupery for Evernote tool. It is a tiny "set-and-forget" application to make automatic backups of your Evernote notes to your local hard drive.


  • The app doesn't send any bit of your data beyond your computer, so all your data belongs to you only. You even don't need an internet connection to make backups (it is essential if you are travelling, for example).
  • We are using Evernote-standart export technology (ENEX) so you don't need any third-party tools to restore your notes.
  • The app backups local (unsynchronized) notebooks.
  • Since we don't need to pay for any thirdparty storages to store backup data, we could offer much more affordable price than any cloud backup solutions.

Check it our here: Backupery for Evernote


If you have any questions, just let me know! :)



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Hi John.  I tried your app,  but deleted it from my system quickly - once started,  it seems to me that it exports all my Evernote notebooks to an ENEX file without (AFAIK) any record of which notebook they're from,  or what tags they have. 


It also apparently starts that backup while my Evernote account is still open - so there could be unsaved notes on my system that will be lost because they're not yet part of the database you're copying. 


I'm worried that in the event of a problem I'd restore an incomplete mess of notes to my system that would be pretty much useless to me. 


Can you offer any comment on that?

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Hi gazumped,
thank you for your feedback!
it seems to me that it exports all my Evernote notebooks to an ENEX file without (AFAIK) any record of which notebook they're from,  or what tags they have. 


Backupery uses official Evernote-standart way to export notes from Evernote (no "hacky" or "homegrown" ways I mean) and the app really exports all notes to a single ENEX file. Unfortunately, this way does not imply saving records of which notebook notes are from, but, fortunately, it does imply preserving information on what tags notes have, so if you restore your notes, each note will have original tags.


It also apparently starts that backup while my Evernote account is still open - so there could be unsaved notes on my system that will be lost because they're not yet part of the database you're copying. 


Backupery exports unsynchronized notes also, so you don't lose them. Actually, we don't touch Evernote database directly since it isn't safe and might lead to Evernote state corruption. Instead of this, we collect notes by Evernote application itself, that is more reliable way.


I'm worried that in the event of a problem I'd restore an incomplete mess of notes to my system that would be pretty much useless to me. 


You shouldn't worry about that, if you import the notes back to Evernote, you will see "Imported Notes" notebook which contains all the imported notes, like on the screenshot: 



so your current structure of notebooks, tags and notes will not be broken. Then you can move or copy any imported note or notes to any notebook.
Does this answer your questions? Please let me know.


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Hi John - thanks for a detailed response.  I'll totally apologise on one issue - you're absolutely right,  and I was completely wrong about the need to exit the database before a backup.  By definition,  Evernote has to be running for the Export to Enex function to work - it's in the Evernote > File > Export menu!  Doh! 


(Although in my defense it is good database practice to not mess with the furniture while emptying the house...)


I'm still very concerned though,  about the basic ENEX issue of not including notebook information.  Also while ENEX can record tag information if the option is selected,  it's not on by default.  I currently have something over 20,500 notes,  just under 19,000 in the default notebook.  The extras are WIP,  shares,  offline notes and templates.  Restored to one offline notebook it would be.. unpleasant to have to find the 1,500 'special' notes amongst all the others,  not to mention taking 3 months' upload allowance to get the synchronised ones back in play.


I'll agree that any backup is better than none,  but I'll stick with the 'standard' methods of either exporting individual notebooks to ENEX files,  backing up the database folder (Windows) or imaging the storage with the rest of your system backups.- see JMIchael's link above.

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Yes, I agree with you, restoring a large database could be a big deal.

May I ask you if you noticed any performance issue when you installed the app on your system? (I am just collecting feedback on performance of the application).
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John - On performance I'm happy to confirm that on my Win 8.1 system the app ran in the background without any obvious overhead on my ongoing work.  I don't know how long it took to export the ENEX file - my current database is about 14GB so it took a while and I just checked in from time to time to see if it had finished.

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58 minutes ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

I have moved my Evernote data into the Google Drive folder. Hope that works. 

Guessing you're talking about backup

As backup, I also export my notes to a cloud drive; in html format

Consider how you will use your backup to recover lost note data
Here's a use case; you find sometime in the last 6 months you lost ½ an important note

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I question the accuracy of the backup procedure mentioned in:

1. Periodically export all of your notes into an Evernote archive (.enex) file and store that someplace secure.

I believe this Evernote suggestion for backing up is not fully explained.

From my understanding of Evernote's backup and restore process, a more accurate explanation would be:

1. Periodically export all of your notes FROM A SINGLE NOTEBOOK into an Evernote archive (.enex) file and store that someplace secure.

2. Repeat this procedure FOR EACH NOTEBOOK.

Yes, if you have 50 or 100 or more notebooks, this will be tedious and take a very long time - unless you are skilled in computer coding.


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13 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

2. Repeat this procedure FOR EACH NOTEBOOK.

It would have been useful to include the info that Notebook name is not preserved in the .enex export

Separate exports for each notebook is only required If you need to preserve the Notebook name
If notebook name isn't of significance, then just doing a simple export works well
Notebook name is critical for Local Notebook backup

I would not be using the backup to recreate my entire database just the Local Notebooks
I'd probably use the backup to restore some missing notes

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Fair points both - I hadn't registered that the 'official' explanation is a little light on necessary detail... 

Although I tend to argue against requests for 'specific' buttons on the basis that 1) it complicates the UI and 2) Evernote wants to allow third party devs to use its API to develop add-on utilities,  for which this is an obvious need,  perhaps we should set up a feature voting thread (I don't think there is one yet) to add File Export options of "Backup Entire Database" / "Backup Local Notebooks Only"

If Evernote wants to expedite Support requests for lost notes / deleted notebooks / missing accounts,  they could do a lot more to encourage users to take regular backups...


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