Help with Notebook Recovery

Operating system


Joplin version


Sync target


What issue do you have?

I royally screwed up my notebooks when my wife synced her new Joplin installation to the same Dropbox account where I already had my own Joplin notebooks. I was able to her get her notebooks working on her devices by starting over, but my notebooks have disappeared.

After she added her notebooks to my Dropbox account, my Joplin showed her notebooks but mine disappeared. Since then, I copied all of my Joplin files from Dropbox and moved them to OneDrive. I've synced with the OneDrive files, but nothing chaned. I've tried a number of things (including deleting my wife's notebooks from my Joplin) but nothing has worked. My sync directories on OneDrive (and, for that matter, DropBox) contain thousands of *.md files, most created before this problem arose.

The data must be there somewhere, but I can figure out how to access it. Any suggestions for how I can get my Notebooks back?

Thank you and happy new year!

You may want to check Just in full disclosure, I haven't used this guide myself, so please be careful and do a full backup before attempting the note recovery.

Thank you for that suggestion. I'm not sure it applies because I did not delete any of my notes or notebooks. They all just disappeared when other notebooks were also synced to the same Dropbox target. Once that occurred the 'new' notebooks were visible but the 'old' notebooks were not. Deleting the 'new' notebooks was easy but it did not cause the 'old' notebooks to reappear.

The solution you posted looks pretty daunting to me, as I'm not familiar with sqlite or any of the commands on which Joplin is built. I'll see if I can navigate the information but I wish there was a more direct and easier way to do this.

The process isn't beginner-friendly for sure, but for me it seems the only way you can try to restore the notes, as it appears they were deleted by Joplin when you synced with the same Dropbox account. These kind of problems are also why so many people keep asking for a proper recycle bin to be added to Joplin.

Big IF ... but if your notes are not too private, too secret ... you might be willing to send the whole profile to a willing helper (with the needed sqlite knowledge), who could sort this out for you ? Just a thought.

I appreciate that but the notes reflect a lot of confidential communications with clients.

I followed the article you provided. But the only notes in the "revisions" table of the sqlite database were my wife's notes that I intentionally deleted. I think this confirms that my notes were not deleted, but are still in the *.md files that are in my Joplin database. I just have no idea how to access them or get them to sync back.

The current status of my Joplin setup is this. When I synced, it produced 247 conflicts (attachments) and 158 Conflicts, all of which are for my correct set of notes. But none of my notes synced. It produced a debug report with over 20,000 entries.

Any more ideas?

If the notes are still in the database, you should be able to see them by going into the "All notes" section at the top of the sidebar, or by searching for something that you know is in one of the deleted notes. If nothing show up and they are not in the "revisions" table, or in the Conflict folder, unfortunately it means they are gone.

There might be other way, unrelated to Joplin, such as checking the Dropbox history (don't know if such thing exists), or recovering files that may have been backed up on your Dropbox folder, or on your wife's folder but this depends on your setup.

I appreciate your quick response.

There are some conflicts for attachments that relate to my notes and some other conflicts, but not near the volume of the total number of notes. I've already tried finding other backups to no avail.

Based on, what you said, it looks like they're gone and I've lost years of work product. But I cannot fathom how Joplin deleted them given what occurred.

Thanks again.


Without looking into the details we can't really tell why it happened, but if you still have some data in the revisions you can at least recover them using the method above.

Also check the resources folder in your profile, as it may contain images and other attachments that may not have been deleted. Finally check the "notes" table in the database and see if there's anything in there that look like your notes. If they are there they can be exported.

Also check your wife's profile too as the data would probably be different. Maybe she synced some more revisions or notes

I finally located about 1000 entries in a revisions table. However, I know I had many more notes in Joplin. Am I limited to recovering these 1000 files and screwed on all the others?

Is there any way to 'mass' recover these files? The instructions provided above only permit recovering one file at a time.

Additional issues:

  • there are no tags for any restored notes.
  • the dates listed for the notes are all today's date and all note history is lost (so I have no idea when a note or event discussed in a note occurred)
  • some notes are missing all text; just a title is shown.

Is there a solution to any of this?

Thanks for all the help!

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