Back up and restore your data in Evernote for Windows

Back up and restore your data in Evernote for Windows
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Back up and restore your data in Evernote for Windows

Note: This article only applies to the older version of Evernote for Windows. If you have updated to the new Evernote for Windows app, you can create backup copies of notes and notebooks by exporting them to your PC.

Back up your data

All of the data kept in Evernote (except data stored in any local, non-synchronized notebooks) is synced with Evernote's servers on the web. This means that there are always at least two copies of your information: your Windows PC and Evernote. If you decide that you'd like to backup your own data, there are a couple of ways to do it in Windows:

  1. Periodically export all of your notes into an Evernote archive (.enex) file and store that someplace secure.
  2. Use some type of backup software like Windows Backup to backup Evernote's data directories.

Creating an Evernote archive of all of your notes is as easy as right-clicking 'Notebooks' and choosing 'Export Notes'. This will prompt you for the directory where you'd like to keep the resulting .enex file. Note that this will, in effect, compile all of your notes (including images, attached files, etc.) into one big file, so the backup may take a few minutes to complete and the .enex file you end up with might be really large if you have lots of notes in Evernote.

If you choose to backup the Evernote data directly, the data that must be backed up lives in the C:\Users\[PC Name]\Evernote\Databases directory, so you'll want to make sure it's included in your backups. Most "set it and forget it" backup applications will back up your home directory by default, but confirming that the Evernote data directory is included would be a prudent move.


  • Some older versions of Evernote databases may exist in the C:\Users[PC Name]\AppData\Local\Evernote\Evernote\Databases directory.
  • Evernote does not support placing the database file in a location that syncs with 3rd party services. This includes, but is not limited to: Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Box.

Restore your data

To restore your Evernote data from a local backup made using Windows Backup or some other backup application, follow these steps:

  1. Quit Evernote by right-clicking the elephant in the system tray (near the Windows clock at the bottom of the screen) and selecting 'Quit'.
  2. Take the C:\Users\[PC Name]\Evernote\Databases/ directory from your backup and overwrite the existing directory by pasting the backup into the C:\Users\[PC Name]\Evernote\Databases/ directory.
  3. Bring down your computer's Internet connection by opening the Control Panel and selecting 'Disable' in the right-click menu for all active network adapters. We're doing this to temporarily prevent Evernote from syncing while we restore your recovered notes.
  4. Right-click 'Notebooks' and export all notes to an .enex file, noting the location where this file is saved.

At this point, regardless of which backup method you chose to use, you should have a .enex file containing all of your Evernote data (either as generated by the above recover steps or from periodically exporting your notes). Follow these steps to restore the .enex file and recover the lost notes.

  1. Click 'File', then 'Import Notes from Archive'. Select the .enex file you'd like to import. If you'd like to include any tags applied to the exported notes when importing, make sure to check the "Import tags" box at the bottom of the file chooser dialog.
  2. Evernote will then import the archive into a new notebook called '[Archive Name] Import'. For example, if your archive file was named Stuff.enex, the destination notebook will be named 'Stuff Import'.
  3. After the import process completes, it will tell you how big the import was (in terms of bytes) and how much of your monthly upload quota remains, then ask if you'd like to make the new notebook a synchronized notebook. Click 'No'.
  4. Drag any notes you'd like to recover into whichever notebooks you'd like them to live.
  5. Once you've moved all of the notes you want to keep out of the import notebook, you can delete the import notebook.
  6. Go back to Control Panel and re-enable your computer's Internet connection.
  7. Click the 'Sync' button in Evernote to sync your recovered notes.

If you need assistance with this, please contact us.