How to troubleshoot Notes
Here are some steps to take if you suddenly find that your iCloud Notes aren’t syncing properly on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
A lot of us keep our thoughts and writing organized using Notes, which uses iCloud to keep everything in sync between iPhone, iPad, and Mac. And if you do, it’s likely that you’ve opened Notes on one of your devices only to find that a note from another device didn’t sync like it’s supposed to. Fortunately, there are steps you can take in order to get Notes syncing back on track.
- First steps
- How to move a note out of iCloud
- How to turn off iCloud Notes sync on your iPhone or iPad
- How to turn off iCloud Notes sync on your Mac
- How to sign out of your iCloud account on your iPhone or iPad
- How to sign out of your iCloud account on your Mac
If a problem in Notes syncing ever arises, there are a number of steps that you can take to try and resolve the issue. These range from force quitting the app on your iOS device to signing out of your iCloud account entirely and signing back in. Be aware that while none of these steps are guarantees, but will likely fix most syncing problems that you face.
For the purposes of this guide, I’m going to assume you have a fairly common Apple device setup: an iPhone, an iPad, and a Mac.
Find the source of the problem
When Notes fails to sync across your devices, this is generally an indication of a problem with one of your devices, rather than with iCloud as a whole. If it happens across multiple products, it likely means a wider iCloud issue.
Before anything else, you’ll want to check Apple’s iCloud System Status page to ensure that iCloud, and Notes, in particular, isn’t suffering from some sort of problem. If the symbol next to iCloud Notes is green, this means everything’s fine on iCloud’s end and that you’ll have to check and see which of your devices is falling down on the job.
The easiest way to do this is to open Notes on all of your devices. If you’ve run into a sync problem, then your new note should either be available only on one device, the one you wrote it on, or all but one device. Whichever device is the problem, that’s the one on which you’ll focus.
Force quit and reboot
The easiest step to take is force quitting the Notes app. On iPhone or iPad, this process involves activating the multitasking view, while you have a few options on the Mac.
I’ve found that this process is more likely to work if I pair the force quitting of the app with a power cycle (completely rebooting the device).
If these methods don’t work, it’s time to move on to trying to reset the connection that the app and/or your device has with iCloud.
How to move a note out of iCloud
If the device on which you’ll be switching off Notes sync is the one that you used to write the note you want to sync in the first place, you might want to move it out of iCloud so it’s not deleted when you disable Notes sync.
How to move a note out of iCloud on iPhone or iPad
- Open Notes.
Swipe left on the iCloud note that you wish to save to your device.
- Tap the purple folder button.
Tap an available location under On My [Device].
How to move a note out of iCloud on Mac
How to turn off iCloud Notes sync on your iPhone or iPad
If a force quit and reboot didn’t work, you’ll want to turn off Notes sync on iCloud on the troublesome device. Here’s how to do it on iPhone and iPad.
- Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap the Apple ID banner at the top of the screen.
- Tap the green slider switch next to Notes to turn off Notes sync.
Tap Delete from My [Device] to remove your iCloud notes from your device.
Once your iPhone or iPad has completed removing your iCloud notes from your device, flip the switch next to Notes back on again. Give your device a minute to download all of your notes.
If this is the device that you wrote the note on, move the note back to iCloud using the same steps that you did to move it out of iCloud and see it it syncs to your other devices. If this is a device that a note needs to sync to, open the Notes app to see if the new note has appeared.
How to turn off iCloud Notes sync on your Mac
If it’s your Mac that’s giving you problems, you’ll need to turn Notes sync off and on again on that device.
- Open System Preferences.
- Click the checkbox next to Notes to turn off iCloud Notes sync on your Mac.
Click the same checkbox again to turn iCloud Notes sync back on.
Open Notes and wait for it to sync all of your iCloud Notes.
If this is the device that you wrote the note on, move the note back to iCloud using the same steps that you did to move it out of iCloud and see if it syncs to your other devices. If this is a device that a note needs to sync to, open the Notes app to see if the new note has appeared.
How to sign out of your iCloud account on your iPhone or iPad
This is the step that you want to avoid because it can cause a lot of annoyances for different apps on your devices. But, if previous steps haven’t worked, then you can sign out of iCloud on your iOS device, then sign back in.
- How to sign out of iCloud on your iPhone or iPad in iOS 10.3 or later
- How to sign in to iCloud with an existing Apple ID on your iPhone or iPad in iOS 10.3 or later
How to sign out of your iCloud account on your Mac
If you’re troubleshooting this issue on your Mac, here’s how to sign out and back into iCloud on that device.
If you’ve got questions about troubleshooting iCloud Notes sync on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, let us know in the comments.
How to Fix “Verification Required” for Apps Downloads on iPhone and iPad
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You may discover a “Verification Required” error message when attempting to install or update free apps from the iOS App Store on an iPhone or iPad, thereby preventing the user from downloading apps or updating any apps.
The complete message is either “Verification Required – Before you can make purchases, you must tap Continue to verify your payment info.” or “Verification Required. Tap Continue and sign in to view billing information.” if you see this message on an iPhone or iPad when trying to download, install, or update free apps you might be annoyed and want to stop the error and fix it. The verbiage varies slightly depending on the iOS release.
This tutorial will show you how to stop the “Verification Required” message on iOS, either when downloading free apps or app updates on an iPhone or iPad. Additionally, we’ll teach you why you might see the ‘Verification Required’ popup message in the App Store, and also how to check what is causing that message to appear in the first place, and of course you’ll learn how to fix that message so that it no longer appears. Read on to learn more!
Why do I see a “Verification Required” message in the App Store for iOS?
It turns out the “Verification Required” message on iOS is a result of the payment method used on the Apple ID associated with the device. Accordingly, you will see that Verification Required billing message if the payment method failed, if there’s an unpaid balance on the account, or if the device has never purchased or downloaded anything or any free app before, or if the payment method has not been updated as needed. Thus, to stop the Verification Required message, in iOS, you will need to change the payment method, either to a valid payment method, or to ‘none’ which allows no payment details to be associated with an Apple ID and App Store. Below we will detail the exact steps to accomplish this task.
Before beginning: note that if you simply add a valid credit card to an Apple ID, the “Verification Required” message will not appear at all, and you can avoid verification for updates and installs as long as you disable “Require Password” for free downloads on the iPhone or iPad App Store settings.
How to Check What Is Causing “Verification Required” in App Store for iOS
You can check what the outstanding bill or App Store purchase is that has an outstanding balance by doing the following:
- Open the “Settings” app in iOS, then go to ‘iTunes & App Store’ and then select your Apple ID
- Choose “View Apple ID” to access the Account Settings page
- In the Account Settings section, go to “Purchase History” and scroll through the list to find any item with an outstanding balance – this is what must be paid before you can change your payment information
- Update your payment information as detailed below to stop the “Verification Required” error message on the iPhone or iPad
If the outstanding purchase is not something you are interested in, you can also attempt to contact Apple for a refund on that balance due. Regardless of whether you pay the balance with updated payment information, or have it canceled, you must clear the due balance on the Apple ID to be able to fix the “Verification Required” message on the App Store for iPhone or iPad and then you can select the ‘none’ payment option.
How to Fix “Verification Required” When Installing Free Apps on iPhone and iPad
If you don’t want to add or verify a credit card with the Apple ID, or if the payment method expired, or you don’t want to use one at all, then you must change a setting on your Apple ID to stop the “Verification Required” message. Here’s how to do that:
- Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone or iPad
- Choose “iTunes & App Store” settings, then tap on the “Apple ID: firstname.lastname@example.org” button at the top of the settings
- Tap on “View Apple ID” and sign in to the Apple ID as usual
- In the Account Settings section, tap on “Payment Information”
- Under ‘Payment Method’, choose “None” – or, alternatively, update the payment method *
- Tap on “Done” when finished adjusting your settings
- Exit Settings, and return to the App Store of iOS where you are now able to freely download, install, and update apps without seeing any “Verification Required” message
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This should completely resolved the “Verification Required” message when performing App Store actions in iOS, whether updating apps, downloading new apps, or installing any apps, onto an iPhone or iPad.
* Whether or not you choose to update payment information associated with an Apple ID is entirely up to you. If you’re using the App Store without a credit card then you’d want to choose the “None” option, which allows updating and downloading free apps without ever needing any sort of verification of payment or even a payment method at all. Or if the payment method has expired, you can choose “None” too and bypass the ‘Verification Required’ message that way as well, and then later go back and update the payment details if need be. Keep in mind if you have an unpaid balance on the Apple ID for a purchase, subscription, etc, you must pay that balance before you can choose the “None” option or before you can stop the Verification Required billing message.
Now you know how to stop “Verification Required” when installing apps in iOS, it works for free apps, updates, and paid apps too.
Separately but related, if you also don’t want to authenticate with an Apple ID password upon each instance of downloading and installing iOS apps on the iPhone or iPad, you can disable password requirements for free downloads from App Store in iOS (and for Mac users, there is a similar setting to enable free downloads without passwords for Mac App Store too).
Did this work to resolve the “Verification Required” message in the App Store for your iPhone or iPad? Are you now able to download, install, and update apps in iOS without the Verification Required payment and billing message? Do you have another trick to fix that message? Let us know your experience in the comments below!