How To Export Your Data Out Of Evernote

How To Export Your Data Out Of Evernote

Even if you are a happy Evernote user, you need to know how to export your data. At the very least, you want to have a backup under your control.

It’s nothing against Evernote. Any time you are using a cloud-based service (any service), you need to think about how you can get your data out. It just makes sense to have yourself protected. After all, you are responsible for your own data, no one else.

Fortunately Evernote makes this pretty easy to do. The screenshots for this post are for the Mac version of Evernote, but the Windows concept is the same.

Use The Local Evernote Application

You may be using Evernote on the web or via a mobile device. You can definitely do that, but for the purpose of backing up or exporting your notes, I recommend installing the Evernote Mac or Windows program. You can find them here.

Once you’ve installed the Mac or Windows application, you can export your attachments, export all your Notes, a specific Notebook, or even a specific Note.

Export Evernote Attachments

Everything in Evernote is stored as a Note. If you’re using Evernote to go paperless, most likely you are storing your PDFs as attachments to Notes (whether you know it or not).

If you just want to export your attached files out of Evernote, highlight the Notes you want to export. You can either export all attachments for all Notes, or do it on a Notebook-by-Notebook basis if you want to keep your structure.

Once the Notes are highlighted, on the right-hand-side click the Save Attachments button.

Evernote Export Save Attachments

You then choose a folder to save the files to, and they’ll be saved to your hard drive.

Evernote Export Save PDFs

Here’s a video that shows how to export attachments in Evernote.

Exporting All Notes

If you want to export your entire Notes and not just the attachments, Evernote has a built-in Export feature.

First, on the sidebar, click on Notes.

On the Menu bar, choose Edit > Select All.

Evernote Export Notes

When the popup appears, in the Save As field give the exported file a name. That will be the name of the folder (if you choose HTML) or the file (if you choose Evernote XML).

Choose the folder you want to save your export in.

Decide whether you want to export as HTML or Evernote XML (read on to find out which one you want to choose).

Evernote Export Filename Format

Note: There is one big drawback to exporting all your notes. It will put everything into one big archive, and won’t keep your filing structure. If that is important to you, you’re probably better off exporting Notebook-by-Notebook.

Exporting A Specific Notebook

In the Notebooks section, click on the Notebook you want to export.

On the Menu bar, choose File then Export Notes from “notebookname”.

Evernote Export Notebook

The rest is the same as if you were exporting all Notes. Give your file/folder a name and choose where to save it.

Exporting A Specific Note

In the Notes section, right click on the Note you want to export.

Choose Export Notes…

You know the rest by now.

Choosing Your Export Format

When you export, you have two options for exporting: HTML or Evernote XML Format (.enex). I’ll explain both below.

Export As HTML

Evernote will create an HTML file (basically a web page you can view on your computer) for each note. If your note has images, the HTML file will display them. If it has other attachments like PDFs, it will link to them. Here is how it works. In this example I will export my Instruction Manuals Notebook.

1) Export Your Notebook per the instructions above. Choose HTML for the export format.

2) I am going to save it to my Desktop in a folder called Instruction Manuals as HTML

Evernote Export Notebook HTML

3) Now when I go to my Desktop, there is a folder called Instruction Manuals. Inside it are a bunch of .html files – one for each note. If the note has attachments, there is a “.resources” folder where the attachments live.

Evernote Exported HTML

You’ll also notice there is a file called index.html. Let’s click that, shall we?

4) When we open index.html, it is a handy list of all the notes that we have exported with links to each one.

Evernote Export Index

5) If we open a note that had a PDF, there is a link to the PDF file that we can then open

Evernote Export PDF HTML Link

Export As Evernote XML

If all you want is a backup, or if you want to move your Evernote data to some other system, it may make more sense to export as an Evernote XML file (.enex).

The concept of exporting it is the same, but if you choose Evernote XML, instead of a bunch of HTML files that get exported, you instead just get one big XML file. Here’s what it looks like if we export that same Instruction Manual notebook.

Evernote ENEX Export

Here’s what the file looks like if we open it up.

Evernote ENEX File

As you can see, if you don’t speak XML this isn’t going to help you much, but it preserves all your notes, tags, and data for importing into Evernote or another application. This is very helpful for moving Evernote Local Notebooks to a new computer.

So there you go, there is how you export your information out of Evernote.

Do you export using another method? Have you used the .enex files for anything interesting? Leave a note in the comments.

This post was originally written in June 2010. It was updated in August 2015.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 44 comments

David Lamoreaux - February 14, 2015 Reply

I’m trying to export all nots to a text file and can’t even do 1st step because when I click “NOTEBOOKS” I only get 3 choices:
+ New Notebook
First Notebook (55 notes)
Trash
*** There is no choice for “Export Notes…” Nor ANY OTHER!

Josh - May 21, 2014 Reply

One thing that is missing from this discussion is the fact that, as far as I can tell, only the .ENEX format can currently be directly imported into evernote.

So if your purpose is to backup your evernote in case it crashes or loses data and then reimport your notes, you need ENEX format. Granted, I think this is a minor concern. Probably most people are concerned about evernote no longer being offered and losing their notes.

And of course XML being a generic data exchange format, with some work you won’t have to worry about the format becoming extinct. Also you can always open the enex file in regular text editor and at least read the text.

mikeboogie - April 6, 2013 Reply

Kinda hard to keep staying with Evernote when they have issues with updates on Windows 7 x64 machines which they're not addressing. Their apps keep on getting more and more bloated as well. Even if people have to save their notes to .MHT or HTML, they may resort to copy and pasting because Evernote sure has a devil may care attitude and they don't care about losing subscribers.

bing - March 28, 2013 Reply

''if you don't speak xml"… cheeky.
the author willfully ignores mentioning what possibilities if any exist for the exported file.
or as a previous commenter has observed, that's Evernote's strategy, to lock users into its format so they can never quit.

Janice - March 18, 2013 Reply

CTS is right, except for me. I am going to look into Google Drive, I need my data to be easy to get out…

CTS - February 24, 2013 Reply

I found the comment that Evernote will cease to exist if it doesn't make a more universal export format ironic. In fact, they are hoping to lock in customers by making export hard. I bet more people will stick with Evernote, rather than deal with the hassle of exporting, over switching.

John Smith - January 4, 2013 Reply

It's actually very easy to get all the HTML files exported as text, on OS X.

1) Export everything as HTML files
2) Use the built in OS X "textutil" command to convert them to the format you want.

i.e. in the directory where you exported stuff, you would do

textutil -convert rtf *.html

Which will convert all the files to HTML format.

You could also do textutil -convert txt *.html which would convert each of the files to plain text format. Note of course plain text will lose all graphics, and all formatting. So you'd not want to do this for web captures, most likely.

A little work here can do tons. All you'll lose would be your creation and modification dates, which will be set to the time that textutil was run on the files

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - January 4, 2013 Reply

    Interesting. Thanks John!

veteran rob - December 8, 2012 Reply

For me this EverNote export Language is CRAP !!! All i want is a plain and simple TEXT format (the actually contents).

Someone else had an article… Exporting Your Stuff From Evernote showing that everything inside any note can be seen found inside our finder Library Folder just like iTunes hidding everything inside the OS Finder Files. BUT ALL OF THIS NO SIMPLIFICATION FOR WANTING MY EVERNOTE TEXT hundreds of notes into my FileMaker database.

i am on my 3 week trying to find simpiest way ? BUT whenever i import into FileMaker ONE EverNote file thats been exported to my desktop i get multi notes all in hyper language.

Still no answer? Unless i experiment more trying to extract them from the Finder Library locations ?

ANYBODY found simply secret how to extract text (your notes) into FileMaker?

Jaclyn Van Den Berg - April 17, 2012 Reply

Hi There – I tried your suggested Exporting options and I am frustrated because when I right click like you said, I don't get any of the options you explained. Help!!? Should I be using a specific web browswer? Thanks in advance for your help!

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - April 17, 2012 Reply

    Are you in the Mac or Windows client or logged in to the web? <p style=”color: #A0A0A8;”>

      Jaclyn Van Den Berg - April 18, 2012 Reply

      Logged in to the web. But also wondered – I don't need the premium edition for this do it? It is really just for journal purposes, not a major project or anything – but just trying to figure out the best and easiest way to export if I wanted to print the actual journal into a book.

      Jaclyn Van Den Berg - April 20, 2012 Reply

      Downloaded the Windows version and NOW I see what you are saying. Knew I could figure it out. Thanks for your help – this helps me out a ton!
      Cheers,
      Jaclyn

        Brooks Duncan
        Brooks Duncan - April 20, 2012 Reply

        Awesome Jaclyn! Glad it helped. <p style=”color: #A0A0A8;”>

          lcopernic - April 21, 2012 Reply

          Ha The difference between windows client and logged from a pC to the web !
          I was caught.
          thank you

Towanda Glickson - March 17, 2012 Reply

Its really a useful information for who worried about their data protection. hope you missed to review iDrive, carbonite and SOS online backup in this list.

Karen - January 29, 2012 Reply

Agreed! If Evernote can't allow export in any other standard formats, it will cease to exist pretty quickly.

jn122 - January 27, 2012 Reply

Like previous three comments (rachael, Dubidub and Aaron) the question of export formats is crucial. Evernote provides all the functionality and more that I need for a research project I am involved with but I need an export format that will allow text to be imported into text analysis software. Unfortunately ENEX format is far from standard and html is even less useful. Any scheduled development taking place on expanding export formats.

rachael - July 23, 2011 Reply

Where can I get an enex converter? Im want microsoft word processor to be able to open my notes. Or even wordpad or something like that. You can't even copy and paste. I am relatively new to evernote. I love it. It is perfect for story writing. BUT if i can't export to .wps or .rtf or some other standard there is no way I can send that data to anyone who doesn't have evernote. Any suggestions? (Other than using works or notepad to write)

    Ronald Pottol - July 28, 2011 Reply

    Well, you can share a link to the notebook or note, and if you are a premium customer, you can make it writeable (and you can revert to an older version if you need to).

      Brooks Duncan
      Brooks Duncan - July 28, 2011 Reply

      That's clever Ronald, thanks for that.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - August 9, 2011 Reply

    I am assuming you are not on a Mac, but just in case, this might help: http://www.documentsnap.com/export-evernote-rtf/

    Dan - November 8, 2011 Reply

    FWIW, I write as well, but have moved my writing entirely out of Evernote. One thing I must have is complete freedom to easily move my writing from one app to another and Evernote does not make it easy. Now, I am not complaining so much as noting that Evernote is not the best tool, IMO, for my writing.

    Personally, I use a combination of tools. When I am out and about I use WriteUp for my IOS devices to take notes, jot down ideas, write dialogue or whatever. You could also use SimpleNote, etc. I just prefer WriteUps Markdown functionality and the dev is active in that area too. I sync that with Dropbox to my computer (and everywhere else). At home on my iMac I use nvALT to take notes and jot things down. Again, excellent Markdown support, blazing fast, great dev, and once I got it into my work flow I have never looked back. That is also synced with my WriteUp folder in Dropbox so everything I have written is always with me whatever I am writing on.

    Finally, when it is time to work on a specific project, I move those very portable text files into Scrivener. Scrivener also syncs with SimpleNote, FYI. I have Word ready for when I get an editor/publisher that demands it, but there is very little I can't do in Scrivener and almost nothing I would want to do in Word. One more thing to note: when I am at my desk and want to write, but am not in project mode in Scrivener yet, I almost always rely on ByWord. It is minimalist but functional and extremely elegant. I much prefer it to Word which is far too bloated and feature rich for about 98% of word processing done today.

    Anyways, sorry to go on but you said you were a writer and I know how important work flow can be for a writer. Just wanted to put out there what has worked for me after A LOT of trial and error. Also, sorry for the frantic typing and any typos. The iPad sucks for this. : )

      Brooks Duncan
      Brooks Duncan - November 9, 2011 Reply

      Hi Dan, thanks for the great comment. I am a writing tool geek too. :)

      My writing workflow is pretty similar. I have my writing in plain text files that are on Dropbox. I have them all in nvAlt, and then from there launch ByWord. I do almost all my writing in Markdown too.

      On the iPad I access those same files using Notesy.

      I have tried Scrivener a bit, but haven't managed to pull the trigger on it. Great program though.

        dhmorrow - November 9, 2011 Reply

        It took me a long time to make the jump into Scrivener. My wife has used it for years for her books, but she writes fiction and I primarily write children's books and non-fiction. This last summer though I spent some time watching the tutorial videos, reading a few articles and actually putting some time into it (I tend to lose interest in things quickly). Anyways, shortly thereafter, something clicked and I was hooked. I think for me a lot of it had to do with understanding what it could do, and that I didn't need to use it for everything.

        I have not used Notesy in awhile. I will check it out again. I am always checking out apps – usually when I should be writing. nvALT and ByWord are beautiful, eh? : )

Dubidub - April 12, 2011 Reply

Does anyone, beside Evernote, support the ENEX format?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - April 14, 2011 Reply

    Not that I'm aware of. I've seen sonme projects here and there online with people writing converters etc., but I don't know of any other applications.

cawas - April 4, 2011 Reply

Thanks for the reply! I've had already searched the forums and the same subject is mostly unanswered there as well. Here are two good candidates to eventually find an answer: http://superuser.com/questions/261501/find-text-o… and http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=3

cawas - April 4, 2011 Reply

Just wondering, any news on this?

Aaron - March 30, 2011 Reply

I have a lot of notebooks in Google Notebook and I have finally, after several years, decided to switch to EverNote. That being said, I am concerned about the Export options. Google was generous enough to provide an open standard Atom export option, one that could then be imported into EverNote. But if I ever decide to leave EverNote for a competitor, unless that competitor can import ENEX files, I'm kind of stuck.

    ChristianK - July 14, 2011 Reply

    The ENEX files are written in XML. XML is an open standard and a competitor is free to invest a few hours into writing a parser.

BennyB - January 9, 2011 Reply

Thank you. This was exactly what I was looking for and was explained very well.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - January 9, 2011 Reply

    Awesome BennyB, glad it helped!

Tomasz Stasiuk - November 12, 2010 Reply

Great article! I was trying to do this, but if you select the export from the FILE menu, you just export the note that is selected. Rt clicking lets you export the entire folder.

wee - June 30, 2010 Reply

Brooks,

I am sure its a deliberate business decision so I still think its pretty fair.

wee - June 23, 2010 Reply

Few things I've noted:-

When we export the PDFs, we will lose the tags and the "OCR" done by EN on all the documents. So it could be painful still for those who relied on EN's tagging system, or for those who did not properly name their PDF files and relied on the search capabilities.

    bylr - October 9, 2011 Reply

    The reason Evernote won't export an OCR version is that there isn't one, properly speaking. Evernote is optimized for search, so it takes a very broad interpretation of image recognition. E.g., if Evernote encounters the word "boat", it may index it in your database as "boat", "boot", "bool", etc—words that are visually similar to what it thinks the real word is. The advantage is that it's really good at searching your images… but the drawback is that it doesn't actually create an OCR version.

      Brooks Duncan
      Brooks Duncan - October 10, 2011 Reply

      That's interesting. I didn't know that. So that's the case for PDFs as well as images?

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