How to Have Secret Conversations with the iPhone Notes App


There are plenty of messaging apps to choose from when it comes to having private conversations on the iPhone. One app you might not expect is the good old Apple Notes app. We’ll show you how it works.

While there are certainly better and safer ways to have “secret” conversations on an iPhone, the Notes app does have a few advantages. First of all, it’s not a messaging app – no one will think to check the Notes app for conversations. Second, every iPhone has it pre-installed.

RELATED: How (and why) to switch to Apple Notes

This work is done through the iCloud collaboration feature of the Notes app. To use it, you need to enable iCloud sync for Notes. You can do this in Settings > Your Account > iCloud > Enable for “Notes”.

Enable Notes for iCloud sync.

Let’s start in the Notes app. Tap the pencil icon in the lower right corner to create a new note.

Type a name for the note at the top of the screen, then tap the three-dot menu icon at the top right.

Open the menu.

Then select “Share Note” from the menu.

Faucet "Note on sharing."

Go to “Sharing options”.

Select "Sharing options."

Make sure “Can make changes” is selected and turn off “Anyone can add people”. This will prevent your collaborators from adding people.

Select "Can make changes" and turn off "Anyone can add people."

Go back to the previous screen and select how you want to send the invitation.

Choose how to share.

Before you can send the invitation, you will be asked to add people to the note. Use the search field to find people in your contacts and add them. You can do this at any time to add more people.

Add people.

When you’re done adding people, tap the “Continue” or “Copy Link” button in the top right. This will take you to the app you wanted to share with.

Faucet "Continue" Where "Add note."

Once they’ve been added, they can open the note, type it, and edit it. You can continue an ongoing conversation or take turns deleting messages after seeing them as top secret.

Conversation in the notes.

To remove someone from a note, open the three-dot menu again and navigate to “Manage Shared Note”.

Select "Manage shared note."

You can now select a person and press “Remove access”.

Faucet "Remove access."

That is just about everything ! Text appears mostly in real time, although it’s not as smooth as Google Docs. It’s basically a modern version of delivering physical notes in class, not really instant messaging. Use this knowledge wisely.

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