Joplin wouldn't start, reinstalled it, lost all my notes

Operating system


Joplin version


Desktop version info

Joplin 2.13.11 (prod, linux)

Client ID: de7c1a8e6b8b4bc9bc37b9929f9ddb3b
Sync Version: 3
Profile Version: 44
Keychain Supported: No

Revision: 6670f9ae1

Sync target

File system


Rich Text Editor

What issue do you have?

Joplin wouldn't start even after I logged out and back in again. So I uninstalled and reinstalled it. Now it's coming up with the 5 'Welcome' notes and nothing else! I've lost all of my notes. Is there any way I can recover them?

Do you have a jex backup (or any other backup of the joplin database folder) from prior to the new install?

Unless that's done automatically I don't have a backup. What I don't understand is why the uninstall would destroy all of my notes in the first place. Sometimes the only way to fix something is to reinstall it. I've lost a ton of critical notes that I have no way of recovering.

I doubt it was the uninstall that deleted your notes, if they were in fact deleted (the fact that the new install of Joplin shows you just the 5 welcome notes does not mean your old data was deleted). If your notes were deleted, it would have been from the reinstall. Someone who uses Linux can chime in, but on Windows, Joplin app installs to one location and the Joplin database installs to a different location.

You could try checking that database folder and see if the new install just renamed the old database folder, leaving the old database fully intact.

On a separate, but related note, please use the Simple Backup plugin (or whatever other means of data backup you use) to back up your data. It never ceases to amaze me how many people run into data problems and when I ask if they have a backup, the answer is no. Having a backup makes problems so much more manageable!

No such luck on Ubuntu. I found the Joplin database and there was no backup there.

As to your other note, I totally agree. I hadn't been using Joplin long, hadn't explored the backup options let alone turned them on. It looks like I have paid the price. If anyone else has any ideas I'd certainly appreciate them.

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Did you use the same method to install Joplin as you had used previously? The reason is that normally, uninstalling and reinstalling should still leave the profile folder intact. If you used a different method to reinstall (e.g. Flatpak, etc.), then the new Joplin folder may be located in a different place than the old one, hence no old data is present.


If you're using the Snap, uninstalling snaps deletes their config files closer to a mobile app than a traditional desktop one.

Snap keeps around a backup of the state of the app for every upgrade to allow reverting an upgrade alongside the databases, and also keeps a snapshot on removal.

If so, you might be able to identify the snapshot associated with the uninstall, and restore it.


james-carroll: Thank you so much! I was able to find the snapshot and restore it. Surprisingly Joplin ran (my original problem was that Joplin refused to launch) and there was all my data! I'll set up backups immediately.



If you haven't yet found it, this plugin is a good way of setting up regular automatic backups.

I'm expecting the problem with Joplin not running might be a bug that's been recently fixed (currently only in pre-releases) that unfortunately hits the Ubuntu Gnome session, I'm not 100% sure on the specifics of the user experience but in general it gives the illusion that Joplin isn't running because the GUI doesn't appear on the first run, closing it via the dock and running it twice then causes it to appear correctly.

@personalizedrefriger, does this sound like Desktop: Fixes #9045: Ubuntu: Fix window sometimes doesn't appear on startup by personalizedrefrigerator · Pull Request #9561 · laurent22/joplin · GitHub?

In which case, the loading issue is unfortunately something that would effect even the non-snap versions until the fix is released in production; but hopefully should be sorted out properly soon. (Personally, I'd suggest that this gets backported into the 2.13 series, because it's low risk of regression and there's been a few patches for 2.13 for other "minor" stuff recently anyway).

As far as snaps themselves go, every single file for Joplin is validated every single boot, it's essentially impossible that the snap itself would corrupt in a way where reinstalling would fix anything. The exception to this is the user config itself, which is why ironically it makes sense for this to be reset on a reinstall (to an unfortunately awful experience in this instance, but glad it's resolved in the end!)

With the latest 2.13.12 update today, I've rebuilt the snap and also cherry-picked the fix in 2.14 into 2.13 which should hopefully help out with the GUI being unreliable for the first time in a session :slight_smile:

You should be able to trigger it sooner with sudo snap refresh

Happy new year! :balloon:

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