If you have been using earlier versions of Notebooks, migrating your documents from Notebooks 6 to Notebooks 8 is probably one of the first steps. The migration is necessary, because Notebooks 7 was a new app, and it is not possible to automatically transfer documents from one app to another. It is not possible to simply restore the contents through iTunes, either.
The process of getting your documents into Notebooks 8 is not complex at all, and the exact procedure depends a little on your setup. Before we go into detail, a few remarks and recommendations:

Before you Migrate Documents from Notebooks 6

  • If you have defined your own sets of extra keyboard keys in Notebooks 6, please make sure to at least once open a plain text document and bring up the keyboard; this ensures that your keys are saved in a place from where they are synced to Notebooks 8.
  • Other settings are not synced, but this gives you a chance to go through the settings options in Notebooks 8 and maybe find a few new ones.
  • The migration is not destructive, because your documents remain unchanged in Notebooks 6.

Import from your Dropbox or WebDAV Server

If you have been synchronizing Notebooks with a Dropbox account or a WebDAV Server, then the migration is simple:

  1. Set up your Dropbox or WebDAV server in Notebooks 8 sync settings.
  2. From the top level in Notebooks 8, select Sync Dropbox or Sync WebDAV from the action menu.
  3. Wait until the sync is finished and all your books and documents have been imported.

After logging in to Dropbox you may find yourself in Notebooks 6 rather than Notebooks 8 (on iOS 11 you may actually see a message stating that Notebooks needs to be updated); this is because iOS automatically decides which version to launch and obviously thinks that Notebooks 6 is “more important” because you used it more frequently. There are multiple options to handle this situation:

  • Temporarily remove the Dropbox app from your device. Notebooks then uses a different method for logging in to Dropbox. After successful login, you can reinstall the Dropbox app. (Since Dropbox does not store any local documents, this process is non destructive).
  • Remove Notebooks 6 from your device, but before you do, make sure that all you documents have been synced to Dropbox. Notebooks 7 can then successfully log in to Dropbox.
    If you want to go back to Notebooks 6, just remove Notebooks 8, reinstall Notebooks 6 and sync again.
  • Finally, you can use the zip/unzip method described below.

Migrate Without External Server

To migrate your documents without going through an external server, you can create an archive (or archives) of your documents in Notebooks 6, send the archive to Notebooks 8 and extract it. The steps in detail:

  • Compress the Documents in Notebooks 6
    1. Install the latest version of Notebooks 6, which allows you to compress the whole contents of Notebooks from its top level.
    2. To transfer all your documents at once, move to the top level of Notebooks, tap the action button at the bottom of the screen and select Process > Compress; this creates a zip archive of all your documents.
      In case you have too many documents and Notebooks is unable to compress all of them in one swoop, you might consider archiving your books one at a time (the books you created at the top level).
  • Transfer the Archive to Notebooks 8 on the Same Device
    1. Open the archive by tapping its title (you see its table of contents).
    2. Tap the action button, select Open in… and select Notebooks 8.
  • Transfer the Archive to Notebooks 8 on a Different Device
    1. If your devices support AirDrop, you can use that to send the archive to Notebooks 8 on the second device.
    2. Alternatively, you can use WiFi Sharing and move the archive from Notebooks 6 on one device to Notebooks 8 on the other device. To do you, you need to activate WiFi Sharing on both devices, connect from your computer and move the archive from device to the other.
  • In Notebooks 8
    1. The last step in the above sequence opened Notebooks 8 and imported your archive to its top level.
    2. Open the archive (again, you see the table of contents), tap the action button and select Unzip.
    3. It might take a little while, but when Notebooks is done unzipping the archive, you should find all your documents, books and tasks in Notebooks 8.

Migration under iOS 10 or later

If the device running Notebooks 6 has already been updated to iOS 10 or later, the options above my no longer be available; under iOS 10, the switches to turn on export or sync options are no longer functional, and the action menu only shows part of the available options, skipping compress. On iOS 11, Notebooks 6 does not run at all. So you need to use different techniques to retrieve the documents from Notebooks 6:

Use a 3rd Party App to Extract Your Documents

With an app like iExplorer, you can copy Notebooks’ documents from your iPad or iPhone to your computer. Launch iExplorer and follow the instructions to connect your device. You then find your documents in the section Apps > Notebooks > Documents > Notebooks. From here you can export them to your computer. Once exported, you can import them into the latest version of Notebooks through iExplorer as well.

iExplorer is a paid app, but the demo version already allows you to do a lot, so you probably don’t even need to purchase a license. – We are not affiliated with the makers of this app, we just found out that it works well.

Extract your Documents from an iTunes Backup

  • Make a (non encrypted) backup through iTunes
  • Download one of the (free) iPhone Backup Extractors, as for example
    • https://supercrazyawesome.com or
    • https://www.iphonebackupextractor.com
    • https://www.icopybot.com/itunes-backup-manager.htm
  • Launch Backup Extractor, scan for iTunes backups and choose the latest one.
  • From the list of application that appears, choose Notebooks and extract its contents to a folder on your computer. (You probably see Notebooks twice in the list of apps, so you may need to try both)
  • In the exported folder, navigate to Documents/Notebooks to find all you documents and their accompanying system files.

To get the documents into Notebooks 8 you can use the import/sync options described above; if you decide to use WiFi Sharing, you can connect to Notebooks from your computer, and you can simply drag&drop the contents of the Documents/Notebooks folder into Notebooks 8.
Alternatively, you can also use iTunes File Sharing (activate that option in Notebooks’ sync settings) and transfer your documents to Notebooks 8 via USB connection.


Migrate Documents from Notebooks 6 to Notebooks 8

14 thoughts on “Migrate Documents from Notebooks 6 to Notebooks 8

  • December 31, 2013 at 3:17 am

    I just bought the apps a few weeks ago. Why is Notebooks 7 worth me paying another $20 already? I don’t see any differences listed and I feel that there should be a discount for current users. I chose Notebooks over other app developers because they charged high update fees among other things.


    • January 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Michael,

      if you bought Notebooks 6 within the past 30 days, just contact Apple through your App Store account and ask them for a refund; you can then go ahead and buy Notebooks 7 – without paying twice (we currently have an introductory offer).

      As you may have seen elsewhere on this site, Notebooks 7 is the first “paid update” in five years. We know, there never is the right time for an update like this, and we know it will upset some users – but we also know that many other users support this approach. And there is no need to be afraid that we would repeat this on a regular basis.


  • December 31, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I am attempting to import/sync Notebooks 7 on my iPhone 5s from Dropbox, but am not having much luck. In v7 I open Settings/Import (sync) and choose Dropbox, and from there I go to Dropbox/Settings, and tap on the green “Login to Dropbox”. However, the screen changes a couple of times, and then takes me Notebooks 6 for some reason. I cannot seem to get past the login screen for Dropbox.

    What am I doing wrong? I believe I followed the instructions. I also tried importing directly from Notebooks 6, but am unable to find the compressed archive, let alone try and open it somehow.

    • January 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Hello Nick,

      I am sorry to hear you are having troubles migrating your documents to Notebooks 7, but we’ll find a way, I am sure.

      When you log in to Dropbox through Notebooks’ settings, Notebooks calls the Dropbox app, and then Dropbox calls Notebooks again. When multiple versions of Notebooks are installed, the iOS decides which Notebooks version to pick, and obviously, it takes the wrong one in your case.
      To change this, you might try to open and close Notebooks 7 a couple of times, thus indicating to the iOS that Notebooks 7 is the “more important” app. After that, try to log in to Dropbox again and see if you arrive back at the correct version.

      When importing directly from Notebooks 6, tap the action button in the toolbar (the box with the curved arrow) and select Process>Compress. Notebooks creates an archive from the selected book and puts it as a document in the same book you are currently in; the name of the archive is that of the book you are compressing, and the icon is labeled with “zip”. – When you then open this archive and tap the action button again, select “Open in…” and then Notebooks 7. – In Notebooks 7, you will find the archive at the top level.

      I hope this helps.

      • January 10, 2014 at 1:53 am

        Just migrated from NB6 to NB7, but Dropbox is still opening NB6 when trying to set up NB7 sync. I tried opening/ killing NB7 several times.

        • January 13, 2014 at 9:11 am

          Hello Mike,

          unfortunately, this close/restart trick does not work reliably… the iOS always automatically decides which version of Notebooks. There are two options to handle this situation:

          – Remove Notebooks 6 from your device, but before you do, make sure that all you documents have been synced to Dropbox. Notebooks 7 can then successfully log in to Dropbox and sync. In case you want to go back to Notebooks 6 (which we don’ hope), just sync Notebooks 7, remove it, reinstall Notebooks 6 and sync again.
          – Alternatively you can use the zip/unzip method described in the migration guide


  • January 2, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    After I have synced the ios7 version of notebooks with dropbox, then I do not need the ios6 version. If I simply delete the ios6 version, what will happen to the notes that it contained? I want to make sure that I only have one set of notes – those synced with ios7, as I do not have too much space.

    • January 3, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Hi John,

      when you delete Notebooks 6, all documents it contains are deleted as well, so all the space they are taking up right now will be freed up. – The documents you have on Dropbox and in Notebooks 7 will not be affected by that.


  • January 3, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Hi Alfons,

    Over the years and despite some challenges, I really learned to appreciate Notebook Apps. It is one of if not the only Notebook Apps worth having and its functionality is amazing.

    However, I am not ready to migrate to the new version as of now. There might be too many bugs in the new version, as everything goes slower in IOS 7 anyway.

    My questions are as follows:

    – Do you plan to upgrade the old version and will support be phased out?

    – How much will be the price of the new Notebook 7?

    – I couldn’t figure it out but what exactly are the differences between the two apps, aside of the ability to create an eBook with Notebook 7?

    Looking forward to your response and in the meantime, Create an Outstanding 2014!


    • January 7, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Hi Andreas,

      thank you for your feedback.

      – We planned to have a few minor updates for Notebooks 6, but beginning Feb 2014, all apps and app updates need to use Apple’s latest development environment. With this environment it is no longer possible to create apps with the native iOS 6 interface (on iOS 7 at least), as the result would be a “hybrid”, something that is not Notebooks 6 and not Notebooks 7, either. So it is questionable whether an update like that makes sense at all.

      – We have an introductory offer right now, but when it ends the price of Notebooks 7 will be around $15.

      – As far as functionality is concerned, “Create eBook” and “Compile” are the two most important additions. (The interface update may seem like a natural extension, but it required quite some effort to implement, too).
      As before, we will keep our update cycles with Notebooks 7, and we still have a long list of things we want to add.


  • January 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I am having an issue with transferring my “books” from 6 to 7. Does the COMPRESS feature work only on documents or can I move over my entire structure which contains nested books. Please advise. I can’t seem to get ACTION features to become active unless I select documents, I can’t seem to select books.

    • January 7, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Hello Cedric,

      the compress action works on books and selected hierarchies, too. To compress the current book, for example, just open the action menu by tapping the button with the curved arrow and select “Compress”. This creates an archive of the current book and all or its contents (except for protected documents in case Notebooks is locked).

      I hope this helps.

  • January 12, 2014 at 11:02 am

    When unzipping the archive from Notebook 6 in Notebooks 7 the contents of the books seem to have shifted one book down. The first book in NB6 was “Due tasks”. Is doen’t appear in NB7 but the due tasks are stated in the second book of NB6. And the contents of the second NB6 book are shown in NB in the third book of NB6 and so on.

    Also I can’t delete books n NB7 by swiping. Has that changed?

    • January 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Afte complete closing the app and restarting it seems to work.

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