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Issues with Restore of Evernote HTML Backup (Export)

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Issues with Restore of Evernote HTML Backup (Export)

Some users are exporting their notes as HTML as their primary Evernote backup.
I have found the EN HTML export has severe limitations and is NOT well suited for restoring your Note(s).

Evernote offers two formats for export:

  1. ENEX -- ✅ recommended for backup and restore
  2. HTML -- ⚠️ not suitable for restore

The ENEX format works very well, and stores/retains most of your Note metadata (see below for details), EXCEPT for Notebook.  For that reason, many, including me, recommend exporting Notes for each Notebook to a separate ENEX file, with a file name the same or similar to the Notebook name.

Restoring a Note from a EN HTML Export (based on EN Mac 6.9.2)
(this is for Evernote 6.9.2 (454158) on macOS 10.11.4)

  • There is NOT an import option to import HTML files
  • So you have to drag/drop each HTML file to the Evernote icon in your dock
  • The new Note created from this drag/drop, has these issues/problems/missing data:
    • ⚠️ NO metadata is imported.  This is  a huge loss.
    • ⚠️ NO attachments are imported.  This is a huge loss.
    • NO EN checkboxes are imported.
    • The original Note formatting is NOT restored.
      • At a minimum, extra blank lines are inserted

⚠️  Evernote Note Metadata NOT Imported from HTML Export[1]

  • Tag(s)
  • Created Date
  • Updated Date
  • Source URL
  • Location
  • Reminder
  • Author

Evernote Note Metadata NOT Stored in neither HTML nor ENEX Export

  • Notebook
  • GUID (used to identify, and link to the Note)
  • Sharing data
  • (NOTE: Prior versions of EN Mac did NOT retain the other metadata. But with Ver 6.9.2, all is retained and imported, except for the 3 items above)

Footnotes:

  1. Curiously enough, most of the Note Metadata listed is stored in the HTML Export.  It is just not used by the drag/drop import process.

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References:

  1. Backing up and restoring Evernote data (Reference article) 

  2. How to back up (export) and restore (import) notes -- Evernote Knowledge Base

  3. How to back up and restore your data in Evernote for Windows 

  4. EN Mac ENEX Export/Import Test

  5. Two major backup strategies that can be used with Evernote

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On 2017-02-05 at 5:23 PM, JMichaelTX said:

Issues with Restore of Evernote HTML Backup (Export)

To add some balance, I created 

 

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In addition to syncing to the Evernote servers,
my backup process includes an HTML export of Evernote data 
This is a nightly export of changed notes, so versions of a note are backed up

If Evernote fails for whatever reason, I can access my notes using these backups
For one-of fixes, I rely on these backups

  1. If I'm missing data in a note, I can go to these backups and copy/paste the data
  2. If the entire note is missing, I can drag the note from these backups to Evernote
    For the most part, my data is restored but it will need some cleanup
    - The title is maintained, but no other metadata
    - This will be a new note, any previous links will be invalid

To augment this backup:  

  • Each week, I redo my single full backup in enex format.
    I would use this if somehow mass #s of notes got dropped from my Mac, then dropped from the servers in the sync process
  • My Mac has time-machine backups of the database folder(s)

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34 minutes ago, DTLow said:

my backup process includes an HTML export of Evernote data 
This is a nightly export of changed notes, so versions of a note are backed up
For one-of fixes, I rely on these backups

I understand that.  In fact, your repeated promotion of the use of HTML export as an Evernote backup is one of the things that motivated me to start this topic.

For purposes of backup, I do not see any advantages of using HTML export instead of ENEX export.
There are no advantages, but many disadvantages, as pointed out above.
 

If you do a daily export to ENEX of only changed/new Notes, then most likely it is a small number of Notes.
Thus, to find and restore a Note, or part thereof, is quick and easy just by importing the ENEX into a Local Notebook.
Except for Notebook and Links to that Note, everything else is restored.

IMO, it is highly unlikely that Evernote would go out of business and shutdown operations suddenly without any notice to investors and users.  But even if that were to happen, I could still use EN Mac without the Evernote/Google Cloud, just like I can today without an Internet connection.  Thus, IF this happened, when I learned about it, I could very easily export all of my Notes to HTML at that time.

So, I see it as a waste of time and resources to do daily backups to HTML, just to protect against the very unlikely scenario that Evernote shuts down suddenly.

Now that all of the Evernote Cloud data is in the Google Cloud, and given that the Evernote CEO is a former Google executive who still has strong ties to Google, I would expect that IF Evernote did shut down, that Google would be very likely to take over, or at least maintain operations until the Evernote users can get their data out of Evernote.

Or so it seems to me . . .

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14 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

IMO, it is highly unlikely that Evernote would go out of business and shutdown operations suddenly without any notice

I agree; it is higly unlikely that Evernote will shutdown operations suddenly without any notice
My expectation is the danger would be from an internet problem; a general failure or possibly a DDOS attack
And then there was the recent embargoed country issue

>>So, I see it as a waste of time and resources to do daily backups

I have this scripted on my Mac, so it's all hands off automated.  
The resources are the disk space for a copy of my database + note versions

Window user's might be interested in the Backupery app, another hands off tool.
It exports using the .enex format  

There's also the cloudHQ service,  running realtime in the cloud
It exports using the .enex, html and pdf formats

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I'm late to the game but I was searching for html export info and read through this thread.

I usually just copy my entire [Windows] exb file onto an external drive and also to a different drive on my computer. Once in a blue moon I will export my notebooks to enex, but it's a pain to have to do it for each notebook separately, and then to have to name them to boot. I can't see why Evernote can't do that automatically (Export All Notebooks as enex) and just name them the same as the notebook title.

I also like to export individual notes to html, not because Evernote might go belly-up or the internet might take a pirate holiday or because the grid might get hosed, but for the simpler insurance against Evernote losing attachments (pdfs, pictures) which it did do fairly recently.  Again I find the program is missing an option: to export to html each file individually and named by its title. Having a few notes exported to a file called Evernote.html is kinda useless, especially when it comes time to doing it again and being asked to overwrite the existing Evernote.html page.... And we can't export thousands of notes to a single file without breaking Evernote, the laptop, the mouse and the desk.

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2 hours ago, lisec said:

Again I find the program is missing an option: to export to html each file individually and named by its title. Having a few notes exported to a file called Evernote.html is kinda useless, especially when it comes time to doing it again and being asked to overwrite the existing Evernote.html page....

On the Mac platform, each note is exported to a separate HTML file 

>>Once in a blue moon I will export my notebooks to enex, but it's a pain to have to do it for each notebook separately, and then to have to name them to boot

You might take a look at the Backupery app to simplify this.  There's also ExportNote

I also found an incremental  backup is more useful than a full backup

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[filed under : aha!  It CAN be done]

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