The simplest way to undo text in Apple’s Notes app

You can undo typing, but you can't undo that awkward thing you did in seventh grade.

Apple’s Notes app is the standard note-taking tool built into iPhones and iPads, but it’s not easy to figure out how to undo what you’ve typed. That can be troublesome if you delete too much or accidentally overwrite a chunk of text. Luckily, there are a couple options.

The easiest way to undo in Notes on iPhone

When you open the on-screen iPhone keyboard in Notes, you’ll see several icons inside a light-gray bar at the top of it. Tap the one that looks like a pen tip inside a circle and the undo and redo icons (curved arrows) will appear at the top of your phone’s screen.

The easiest way to undo in Notes on iPad

Apple’s iPad operating system, iPadOS, makes undoing and redoing actions a little easier than on iOS. When you’re typing on the tablet’s screen, the undo and redo icons are tucked away in the top left of the keyboard. If you’re using an external keyboard, just hit Cmd+Z to undo and Shift+Cmd+Z to redo like you would on an Apple computer.

Shake and swipe to undo on iOS and iPadOS

If you prefer using your whole hand instead of one finger, you can shake your iPhone or iPad three times. This will bring up a dialog box that asks if you want to undo what you’ve typed. Shake it three more times to bring up an option to redo typing. You can turn this capability on or off by going to Settings > Accessibility > Touch and tapping the toggle switch next to Shake to Undo.

The middle ground between your entire hand and one finger involves swiping across your phone or tablet screen with three fingers. Quickly drag your fingers to the left to undo, or to the right to redo. This gesture will work anywhere on the screen, but try to stay on top of the note—you risk hitting keys if you brush your fingers across the keyboard.

John Kennedy
John Kennedy

is PopSci's DIY editor. He previously covered legal news for Law360 and, before that, local news at the Journal Inquirer in Connecticut. He has also built and remodeled houses, worked as a fencing coach, and shelved books at a library. When he's not taking things apart or putting them back together, he's playing sports, cooking, baking, or immersed in a video game. Contact the author here.