How to Sync iOS 9’s Notes with Your Gmail Account

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You can sync notes on your iPhone or iPad to your iCloud account, but did you know you can also sync notes with Gmail? You can add your Gmail account to the Notes app and access any notes added to that account on any computer–Mac or Windows.

First, if you haven’t already, you must add your Gmail account to your iOS device. You can accomplish that by going to Settings > Mail, Contact, Calendars > Add Account > Google. Enter the information for the Gmail account you want to add and follow the on-screen instructions.

Then, to sync notes with your Gmail account, you need to enable Notes for that account. To do this, tap the “Settings” icon on the Home screen.

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On the Settings screen, tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”.

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Tap the account for which you want to enable Notes. Anything listed below the account name is enabled for that account. For my Personal Gmail account, Mail, Contacts, and Calendars are enabled, but not Notes.

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The screen for the selected account lists items that can be synced with that account. Tap the “Notes” slider button.

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The slider button for Notes turns green to indicate it’s enabled.

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Now, go back to the Home screen and tap the “Notes” icon to open the app.

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In the Notes app, you’ll see a section for your Gmail account. Any notes created under this account will sync with your Gmail account and be available by logging into your Gmail account in a web browser on a computer or in the Gmail app on other mobile devices. To create a note that will be synced with your Gmail account, tap “Notes” under the Gmail account name in the Notes app.

NOTE: You cannot create your own folders in your Gmail account in the Notes app. You can only add notes to the default “Notes” folder.

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Tap the new note button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

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Create your note and then tap the “Notes” back link in the upper-left corner of the screen.

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On the screen listing the notes in your Gmail account, tap the back arrow in the upper-left corner of the screen.

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The number of notes in your Gmail account displays to the right of the Notes folder.

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Log into your Gmail account in a web browser on your computer. A Notes label is added to the side bar in your Gmail account and any notes you added to your Gmail account in the Notes app on your iOS device are available under this label in a web browser, or in the Gmail app on other mobile devices. Click the Notes label to view all the notes you created in Gmail account in the Notes app.

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The note we added displays in the list under the Notes label. Click on it to view the full note.

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Note that syncing notes with your Gmail account is a one-way sync. You can edit the notes under the Gmail account in the Notes app on your iOS device, but not in your Gmail account. You can only view them. However, you can delete notes under the Notes label in your Gmail account and they will be deleted on your iOS device as well.

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Conversely, if you delete a note under your Gmail account in the Notes app, it will be deleted in your Gmail account.

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The deletion of the note may not happen immediately. Click “Refresh” above the list of notes under the Notes label…

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…and the note you deleted on your iOS device will no longer be in your Gmail account.

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If you disable Notes in your Gmail account on your iOS device, any notes under that account in the Notes app are deleted on your iOS device, but they remain in your Gmail account. If you re-enable Notes for your Gmail account, the notes in that account are synced back to your iOS device.

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Notes created in a Gmail account in the Notes app are only synced with your Gmail account, not with iCloud. Notes you want backed up to your iCloud account must be created under the iCloud account in the Notes app. However, you can also move notes from your Gmail account to your iCloud account just like you can move notes from “On My iPhone” to iCloud. You can also find out more about using the Notes app to organize your thoughts.

So, this method isn’t really an alternative to syncing your notes with iCloud, but if you use Gmail a lot and want convenient access to your notes on your computer (Mac or Windows), this method can be useful.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.