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Restoring Notes From a Mac Time Machine (TM) Backup

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Restoring Notes From a Mac Time Machine Backup

As far as I can tell, there is no easy way to restore selected Notes from a TM backup.

If you know of an easy way, PLEASE post it here -- all us Mac users really need it.

EDIT:  Thu, Jan 7, 2016    Since I posted this thread, I have written the following procedure:
How to Restore Selected Notes from Mac Time Machine (TM) to EN Mac 

GrumpyMonkey and I got into a discussion about this in another thread.  Our discussion was really off-topic for that thread, so I decided to start a new thread where we all could properly discuss this very important subject.

I'll start with a quote from GM:

On 2/26/2015 at 5:52 PM, GrumpyMonkey said:

If you don't understand Time Machine or have trouble recovering notes, see these posts. I have found it quite easy to locate individual notes. Your mileage may vary. But, it is very difficult to restore data without a backup, so I think Time Machine is an easy, free step.

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/23558-single-file-recovery-from-time-machine/https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/14293-restore-from-time-machine/https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/20144-help-restoring-deleted-material/

Also, you might be able to find stuff in purgatory. I have not tried to restore from here, and I don't even know if purgatory is still around, but it is a possibility.

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/40736-evernote-purgatory-and-type-ahead-index-on-the-mac/

GM, I would love for the process to restore selected Notes from TM to be easy.  Maybe I missed something in the links you provided, but I read them all, and none of them really provided an EASY solution.  In fact they all discussed how difficult/hard the process is.  If I missed the easy restore process, please point it out.

The problem really starts with finding the Note, or Notes that you want restored.  Although the Notes are stored in files, the file name is NOT the Note Title or anything usable to the end user.  In fact, I could not find the Note Title anywhere, but maybe I don't know where to look.  And what if you want to restore a whole Notebook?  How would you find all Notes for that Notebook??

Even if you are luck enough to find the Notes you want to restore, using TM to restore them will be a short-lived victory.  As soon as you sync, your restored Note will be overwritten from the EN Cloud Service (see the quote from Ref#3).

So, if you know of one source that provides detailed steps to easily restore selected Notes from TM, please post it.

Here is what I found from your links:

1.  https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/23558-single-file-recovery-from-time-machine/

On 1/27/2012 at 1:07 AM, anjoschu said:

Edit: I assume that you already looked into the trash and also checked the note history.

If you are only looking for a FILE (that is, a file attached to Evernote), AND if the file content is searchable through Spotlight AND if you know how to find said file's content through Spotlight, you can go about it like this:
. . .
If this doesn't work for you, you will unfortunately need to invest more time:

See this knowledge base article for a detailed description on how to restore stuff:
https://support.ever...Data-under-OS-X

Essentially it means temporarily doing a COMPLETE restore of all Evernote data, salvaging the one thing you're after, and then re-restoring the previous state, which is a complex process to say the least.

2.  https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/14293-restore-from-time-machine/

On 12/6/2010 at 5:23 PM, simdude said:

I'm having a problem doing a restore from Time Machine. I had deleted a lot of notes in Evernote a while ago and have not added any content since. I want to get all my notes back in so I went to Time Machine and restored the Evernote folder. When I launched the Mac client all was well. Now, as soon as it tries to sync, it doesn't see the files on the server and starts to delete them from my Mac client.

Is there any way to force the server to update to what is on my local client?

 

On 12/7/2010 at 9:19 PM, engberg said:

Yes, there isn't really an easier way to do this. The other option is to Export the relevant notes to an Evernote archive (*.enex) file, so that you can Import them again after resynchronizing. But this is about the same as just using a Local notebook.

 

On 12/8/2010 at 8:16 PM, simdude said:

. . .

Keep in mind this is a bit of a hack. It's much more difficult if you want to restore some data but not lose the latest. And doing a full sync this way will eat up a lot of data transfer if you have lots of notes. With about 600 notes I used about 2/5 of my monthly premium total.

What would be great is if Evernote worked with Time Machine like Mail. You can open a Mail window and time machine lets you restore individual messages. I think this would be much more difficult with Evernote's syncing but it would still be pretty cool.

 

3.  https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/20144-help-restoring-deleted-material/

On 9/9/2011 at 4:30 PM, DocFox said:

I tried using Time Machine as listed on: http://www.evernote.com/about/kb/articl ... re?lang=en

My files show up for a second and then disappear. Ugh

 

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Just wanted to add a few more things...

 

A Spotlight Search using the Title of one of my notes finds/returns the actual Note in the Evernote app.  It does NOT show me the file/folder where the Note is stored on my local drive.

 

Speaking of local drive, here's what the storage of your Notes looks like for a Ver 6.0.6 DirectDL:

 

EN-Mac-606-Evernote-Folder-Location.png

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I found the path for time machine re by doing the spotlight search, then showing all in finder (found at the bottom if you scroll all the way down), but when I find the file in time machine and restore it, evernote synchronization updates it to the latest, error-filled version, instead of keeping the original pre-error note.

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8 hours ago, LibertyMom said:

but when I find the file in time machine and restore it, evernote synchronization updates it to the latest, error-filled version, instead of keeping the original pre-error note.

Yep, that is correct.  Evernote recognizes ONLY one source as the MASTER source for your sync'd Note:  The Evernote Cloud.

Please see: How to Restore Selected Notes from Mac Time Machine to EN Mac for complete instructions on how to prevent the sync from overwriting your restored Notes.

On 11/23/2015 at 4:12 PM, JMichaelTX said:
One very important concept to keep in mind is that if you restore Evernote from a backup that is older than your current account, when you sync after the restore the data from the EN Cloud will overwrite all Notes that were changed since the backup.  Thus, if you were trying to restore specific Note(s) to a previous version, the previous version will be lost when you do a sync.
 

 

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19 hours ago, LibertyMom said:

evernote synchronization updates it to the latest, error-filled version, instead of keeping the original pre-error note.

I wouldn't advise restoring the entire database from backups, just specific notes

A strategy to prevent a note reload from being reversed;
- Before syncing, do a dummy change; for example add a space to the note

Instead of the entire database, you can restore the specific note folder.  
You can do a Finder search to identify the note folder; I use applescript (documented here)

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I had a related issue -- most of the content of a note got deleted somehow and I needed to restore from incremental backup -- which led me to this thread.  The strategy proposed by DTLow worked for me (thanks!).  I'm adding a few more details in case it is helpful for others.  After identifying the Evernote "content" folder, I sorted the subdirectories by modification date.  Looking at the most recently changed folders, I looked at the "card.png" file in each folder to see which is the note that needed to be restored.  I closed Evernote, restored the full directory for that particular note in place from my backup, turned off Wifi, opened up Evernote, made a few edits to the restored note (new lines at the top), turned Wifi back on, then clicked sync in Evernote and it has retained the restored version.  

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On 4/29/2017 at 7:37 PM, DTLow said:

A strategy to prevent a note reload from being reversed;
- Before syncing, do a dummy change; for example add a space to the note

Instead of the entire database, you can restore the specific note folder.  
You can do a Finder search to identify the note folder; I use applescript (documented here)

@DTLow, that is a very clever idea.  Making a change to the restored Note forces Evernote to see it as the most recent change, and thus sync the restored/changed note UP to the Evernote Cloud.

What about restoring deleted Notes?  Would that same approach work?  Or would we need to copy the restored Note to a new Note, then sync?

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4 minutes ago, JMichaelTX said:

What about restoring deleted Notes?  Would that same approach work?  Or would we need to copy the restored Note to a new Note, then sync?

This could work for deleted notes if they're still in the Trash

If the trash has been emptied, the note is gone; both contents and database.  The above process only restores the contents.

So as you said, create a new note and update the contents from the old note

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