Solved: Can't Create New Note on Mac

What to Know

  • The new note bug on Macs seems to be related to iCloud. Playing around with iCloud Settings in your Notes app can help fix it.
  • When all else fails, force quitting the Notes app or restarting your Mac is your best bet.

Have you found yourself Googling, "Why can't I make a new note on Mac?" You're not alone! Sometimes when I'm trying to create a new note on my MacBook, the option is greyed out and I can't fix it. Additionally, this bug only seems to happen on the Notes app for Mac. Thankfully, we've found a few solutions!

How to Fix Can't Create New Note on Mac

This super annoying bug in the Notes app on Mac makes it quite frustrating to try to create a new note on the Mac. However, it seems to be connected to iCloud in some way. We'll walk you through how to mess with your iCloud settings to get the new note option back on your Notes app for Mac. If you like tips about how to use your Apple devices, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day

Option 1: Edit iCloud Account in Notes

Speaking from personal experience, as I frequently have this problem with the Notes app on Mac, this is the solution that worked for me! Do be aware that if you have updated to macOS Ventura, the steps will be the same, but your screen will look slightly different. Let's dive in.

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  1. On your Mac, open the Notes app.

    Open Notes app
  2. On the top navigation bar, click Notes.

    Click Notes in menu bar
  3. Click Accounts,

    Click Accounts
  4. Select your iCloud account.

    Click iCloud
  5. Scroll down to find Notes and toggle it off. The toggle will be gray when disabled.

    Toggle Notes off
  6. You will see all your notes empty out of your Notes app on the Mac. Don't panic!

    Your notes will disappear
  7. Toggle Notes back on. All your notes will begin to come back. The process may take a minute or two. 

    Toggle Notes back on
  8. When you click back to the Notes app, you should be able to create a new note now.

    Your notes will reappear and you should be able to create a new one

Option 2: Other Solutions

If the solution above was unsuccessful, you have a few other alternatives.

  1. Sign out of and back into your Apple ID - Signing out of and back into your Apple ID may have the same effect as checking and unchecking iCloud in Notes. To do this, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your Mac and select either System Settings or System Preferences (depending upon your operating system). Tap Apple ID and you will be able to sign out under the Overview tab.
  2. Check for a software update - Sometimes, when your device needs an update, all kinds of things start to go wrong. This is a catch-all solution for so many Apple troubleshooting issues. To see if you need to update, go to either System Settings or System Preferences (depending upon your operating system) and click Software Update. You can also read our guide on updating your macOS.
  3. Restart your Mac - Another catch-all solution, restarting your device is always a potential fix for anything going wrong with your Apple device. To restart your Mac, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your Mac and select Shut Down...

If you still have trouble with the Notes app, you may want to contact Apple Support. I love the Notes app, especially for its interconnectedness and user-friendly interface. Hopefully, this helps solve the problem of being unable to create a new note on Mac!

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Author Details

Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and a poet and author. With 10-plus years of experience working with Apple devices, she specializes in all-things iPad and is a Notes App expert, having worked on both the 2023 iPad Guide and the Notes App Guide. You can usually find her writing in the Daily Tip newsletter as one of our senior Tip writers. Rachel received her Master’s degree in English Literature in 2021 and her most recent work appears in the Winter ’21 edition of New Note Poetry. When she’s not obsessing about Apple products, you can find her voraciously reading fantasy books with her cat in Asheville, North Carolina.