Ability to Lock Notes

How about keeping the deleted notes in .bin folder like you’ve done for .resources folder? The notes will be there in host service (Dropbox etc.) for 30days for people to undo what they did.

The problem is that going to the sync target to undelete something would not be very intuitive. It would still be better than now (since the notes are permanently deleted), but hopefully we can find a more user friendly way.

How about Bin section with a list of notes in .bin folder?

[Del note 1](:/6g42edcc02f04f2583fac21a656gh537)
[Del note 2](:/...)

Right click restore. Notes will be listed but not automatically download unless specifically requested.

Of course, easier said than done.

Thanks for your hard work @laurent.

I did a fresh install of EN in a VM. Trash seems to be synced, just as expected.

Re all the rest: Great! :blush:

Personally I would like to lock notes for my own security. My brain is ‘busy’, and sometimes I walk away from my computer or phone when they’re open. I keep lots of normal info in Onenote, but also lots of stuff I keep secure in a locked Onenote file. It would be fantastic to know those particular banking details etc were all carefully locked away behind an extra password in Joplin! Anyway, I love what I’m seeing here — keep up the great work!

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This topic was passing by when I was searching for “sort”. I would like to revive it, since it almost immediately changed to a discussion about recovering from unwanted operations. The subject (i.e. the first paragraph of the OP) is still on my wish list because I want to prevent such situations. Sometimes I don’t even notice that I made a change. I never feel quite comfortable in apps where I’m exposed to that danger.

Oh, sorry, mistake, I saw it here, as item 4.

Edit 2:
It’s thinkable to combine this with the checkbox for tasks, so that a checked task can only be modified after being unchecked again. However, many people will object to that idea, I expect. Better an autonomous lock control.

I stumble on this thread because I was looking for a way to mark a note as read only, because I don't want to accidently modify it :slight_smile:


Just adding that as someone who copy/pastes tons of data out of and into notes - having the ability to lock a note down so that it cant be edited (though I can easily unlock it if needed) would be EXTREMELY helpful.

Accidentally modifying notes occurs and its really frustrating.


I do not know why we are discussing Trash in this post, but here we have the right questions.

I want to add Evernote experience:

Yes, Trash is synced between devices. It is even encluded in search results like "36 more in Trash," so you can press this link and see it.

In an attempt to change something in a note from Trash app asks you "Do you want to restore it to be able to change it?".

Something like this.

trash discussions should be moved to a new thread. This thread is/should be focused on locking a note.

locking a note so that it isnt deleted isn't the only use case - and as the other discussions along those lines have pointed out - it requires a solution that goes well beyond simple locking of notes.

I want to lock a note so that I cant change it, until I unlock it.

Also - users are assuming a locked note cant be deleted. That isn't necessary the case, but it could be. I do like the aspect of a locked note being non-deletable however.

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I think this would be a useful feature, but I believe it would require to add a new metadata tag, because the type_ field is not a bitmask.

While a read-only mode should be easy to implement (given that the metadata has been added), being non-deletable would require more effort. Not sure how it would impact performance when having to check for that flag during a recursive delete (folder delete).

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Yes, it might be useful and straightforward to implement. But I will be sad if something like this would be implemented. I will try to explain.

The only use case for locking notes is to prevent accidents with unwanted changes. But Joplin is a one-person app with a history of notes. For example, I can be cautious with my notes. But even if I mess up something accidentally, I can restore notes from history.

On the other hand, I see how many problems this feature can bring. For example, I start to lock all important notes, so in a couple of years, I will end up with hundreds or thousands of locked notes. Sometimes I have to rearrange my notes (e.g. add tags to many notes at once, move several notes to another notebook, delete several notes). Should "locked" notes interrupt these commands (adding and removing tags, moving or deleting notes)? If so, I will end up with unlocking notes, changing something (e.g. notebook), locking them back. I am sure this feature would be more pain in work than an advantage.

Besides, another solution came into my mind. Let's think about situations when you want to "lock" your note:

  • you wrote something important what does not work if would be changed accidentally (contact information, bank accounts, piece of code)
  • you wrote a summary of some situation that was accepted by someone (an agreement, meeting minutes, plan of work, strategy)

In both these cases, if you change something in your note, it would not be reliable anymore. But if the "lock" function solves the first use case, it does not solve the second. Because sometimes you need to change your agreement, plan, etc. You should know that the "locked" note was changed and does not contain "accepted" information anymore.

So the solution for both cases would be a "snapshot" for note and not a "lock" function. By doing a snapshot of a note with a comment on why you decided to snapshot it, you will be able to realize why you chose to "lock" this note at first. By highlighting the differences between the current note and snapshot, you will be able to decide what you should do with changes. Either implement them by doing a new snapshot or discharge them by returning to the previous snapshot.

An exclamation mark before note name might highlight notes with a snapshot where the current version is not equal to the snapshot.

Snapshot feature solves problems with unnecessary changes but gives more flexibility for changing notes. For example, you had a note with a friend's phone number, but you can not reach him by this phone. You asked people if he changed the phone and they give you a new one. You add it to note as a new phone. Now your note has a name like "! Mike's contacts". You reached Mike with a new phone, assured that the new phone is correct and made a new snapshot, so now the name does not contain the exclamation mark "Mike's contacts". The same for your code, meeting minutes, agreements and so on. Snapshot is more flexible and solves problems with accidentally changes. But give you possibly to monitor and accept changes if you needed.

Long post, sorry. This is why I do not have good feelings about "simple lock" feature.

This might happen. But you locked the notes in order to "freeze" them. So no change is allowed by intention. Hence, I would indeed expect(!) that a bulk operation including locked notes does not change them. I mean that is why they were locked in the first place. Note that some file systems allow to mark a file as immutable/undeletable. A bulk operation would fail here, too. You need to first remove the corresponding file attribute before you can delete it. Obviously, the argument that a recursive delete operation of a folder with all its subdirectories would have "problems" with protected files was not strong enough.

OTOH, I'd also like such a snapshot feature. But not for using it as a workaround to avoid unwanted changes. I think there really are only a few people checking in their documents in a Git repository omce only to make sure no file is changed by accident. I would use snapshots for being able to persistently record a note's important states in history. Earlier versions of MS Word also had this feature. And I used it frequently.

Thank you! I shared my opinion with doubt should I do that or not. But I am interested in a community opinion. If someone needs a locking feature, why not? It is not a very sophisticated feature to implement. Much simpler than snapshots, of course.

Note that some file systems

This is a reason I wouldn't say I liked the idea in the first place. In file systems, you have "someone," not you (e.g. another user, application, or your ignorance to the system files) who can destroy the whole system by messing up with important files. In Joplin, we have only one person and do not have catastrophic consequences of accidental actions.

But let's wrap it up. I shared my opinion that snapshot is better and can substitute a locking mechanism. Nevertheless, you think that we should have a locking mechanism. Ok, I am with you. Locking is better than nothing. I know how I will use it in my work and study.

What I wanted to state is that both features have their use cases but with different objectives. And I like both and I would also use both. If I were to decide between those two, however, I'd prefer snapshots as you do. Because I could (mis)use them to emulate locking (as you suggested) and I would get versioning for my notes.

I see. Sorry for protesting against the locking feature. I created a new post Snapshots for notes, where everyone can discuss it. For me, it is a substituting feature, but it is only my personal opinion.

Support for locking notes would be a massive change to the way Joplin works and would affect all the applications. As it's quite a niche feature it will not be implemented I'm afraid. Also not possible to create a plugin since changes would be required everywhere in the code base.

The note history is there to retrieve old versions of a note, or you can have your own backups.

@tessus @laurent

with regards to locking a note so that it cant be edited - I may have an easy solution to implement this.

Just dont show the markup editing pane, only show the preview/display pane. Toggle this with a button next to the 'markup edit' button thing in the top right. Make the icon a lock icon, and when you click it the default view for that note is just the preview/display view - no markup.

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Just wanted to add a use case for that feature. That happened to me a few times, so I started searching about "read only" notes and found this thread. The situation described below is caused by my loss of attention after working for a while.

A note stores a temporary password for some test VPN, that I has to copy occasionaly during the day (the VPN client does not save the password). At some point after selecting and copying the password, I press some key in the keyboard and the password is replaced with a character. After a while, I notice that the password is gone and the note is synced, so I have to restore the previous version in the Nextcloud.

You can enable note history, to be able to get at that password directly from joplin.
Personally, if I had this problem, I would use the Persistent Editor Layout and set that note to always open in read mode, so it wouldn't be possible to randomly change it.