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How to lock Apple Notes on Mac

What would happen if someone read your most private Apple notes? Lock them down so you don’t need to find out.

A person is writing notes on a piece of paper. Full Text: Notes *K
Image: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: To lock a note on your Mac, launch the Notes app, select the note you want to lock and click the Padlock icon, and click Lock Note. Either select Use Login Password or create a fresh password. You can also use TouchID or an Apple Watch to lock your notes.

Is your Apple Notes app filled with mad ramblings, odd lists, or secret plans for world domination? If the answer is yes—or you’ve jotted down something else you’d rather keep confidential—you should consider locking your notes.

Since macOS Mojave, Apple has allowed us to secure our most precious thoughts with a password and, if preferred, Touch ID.

While certain notes can’t be locked, including Quick Notes, shared notes, and notes with tags, standard notes are completely lockable.

Don’t let your thoughts—or your shopping list—fall into the wrong hands. Let’s discuss how to secure your notes on Mac.

How to lock Notes on your Mac

Safeguarding your personal information and sensitive data is crucial in today’s world.

Follow our step-by-step guide to ensure your notes remain private and protected from prying eyes.

You can lock an Apple Note on Mac by following these steps:

Launch NotesA person is writing notes on a piece of paper. Full Text: Notes *K
Select the note you want to lock and click the Padlock iconThis image is showing notes and folders that have been created in an iCloud account on the date and time specified. Full Text: : 88 iCloud Today 22 May 2023 at 4:41 All iCloud 3 Nothing to see here Notes 1 Another note 4:44 No additional text Secret Notes 2 This note contains nothing of note. Ple read! Recently Deleted 25 Nothing to see here 4:41 This note contains nothin ... K New Folder
Click Lock NoteThis image shows a list of notes with timestamps, some of which are locked and some of which have recently been deleted. Full Text: : 88 8 BV 1 Q iCloud Today 22 May 2023 at 4:41 ( Close All Locked Notes All iCloud 3 Nothing to see here Notes 1 Another note Lock Note 4:44 No additional text Secret Notes 2 This note contains nothing of note. Please do notread! Recently Deleted 25 Nothing to see here 4:41 This note contains nothin ...
Either select Use Login Password to lock the note with your Mac login or Create Password to create a fresh password Mac Notes login password screen
If you choose to use your login password, you’ll need to enter it and press OK when prompted. You can also enable Touch ID if wanted. If, instead, you choose to create a new password, you’ll need to fill in the blanks when prompted and click Set Password The image is prompting the user to enter a password to access a folder of locked notes.

How to unlock your Apple Notes on Mac

To unlock a locked note, you’ll need to select it in the Notes app and enter your chosen password or use Touch ID, depending on how you’ve configured security.

In this image, a user is attempting to access a secret note that is locked and requires either Touch ID or a Mac login password to view. Full Text: : 88 Aa 8 EB D iCloud Today All iCloud 3 Notes 1 Another note 4:44 No additional text Secret Notes 2 Recently Deleted 25 Nothing to see here 4:41 Locked This note is locked. Touch ID or enter the Mac login password for "Mac" to view this note. Enter password K New Folder
Image: KnowTechie

You can change the way you unlock notes at any time by going to Notes → Settings and adjusting preferences in the Locked Notes section.

This image shows the settings for the Notes app on a Mac computer. Full Text: Settings Sort notes by: Date Edited New notes start with: Title Default account: iCloud Siri uses this default account when creating notes. Group notes by date When sorted by Date Edited or Date Created, group notes by date. Always resume to last Quick Note When invoking Quick Note using a hot corner or keyboard shortcut, resume to last Quick Note instead of creating a new one. Automatically sort ticked items Automatically move checklist items to the bottom of the list as they are ticked. Allow mention notifications Receive notifications on this Mac when your name is mentioned in shared notes. Enable the On My Mac account Notes in On My Mac are stored on this computer. Disabling this account doesn't affect your other notes. A A size: Locked notes: Use Login Password İK Change Password ... V Use Touch ID Use your fingerprint to view locked notes. ?
Image: KnowTechie

If you want to remove security on a particular note, you’ll need to select it, unlock it, and click the Padlock icon. From there, you can select Remove Lock to live dangerously and abandon password protection.

The image is showing a user managing notes on their iCloud account, with some notes being locked, unlocked, and deleted. Full Text: : 88 iCloud Today 22 May 2023 at 4:41 Close All Locked Notes All iCloud 3 Nothing to see here Notes 1 Another note Remove Lock 4:44 No additional text Secret Notes 2 This note contains nothing of note. Please do not read! Recently Deleted 25 Nothing to see here 4:41 Unlocked K + New Folder
Image: KnowTechie

When you click the Padlock, you’ll also see the option to Close All Locked Notes, which is handy in an emergency situation when someone is coming for your notes, and you don’t have time to lock them individually.

Locking Apple Notes is just one security step

Really, a locked note should be the last line of defense against someone trying to read your ramblings.

If you’ve secured your Mac with a solid password and don’t leave it unlocked and out in the open, no one should have easy access to your stuff.

With that said, we all get sloppy at times; we let our security lapse, and we leave ourselves open to unwanted note reading.

What would happen if someone read your most private Apple notes? Lock them down so you don’t need to find out.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Matt is an Australian writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Prior to commencing his studies, he worked in tech support and gained valuable insights into technology and its users. He is also an editor and author coach at Dean Publishing.

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