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GoodNotes 5 Crashes - Troubleshooting Basics

Crashes while using the app are never ideal and in rare cases the app might quit unexpectedly. Depending on your device and/or usage the might app crash on import or export, it might not open specific documents or it cannot be launched at all, this article will look to resolve such issues. Crashes can be frustrating interruptions, and in order for us to provide prompt assistance, it's important to let us know as many details about the crashes as possible. While we work hard every day to improve the app with frequent updates, here are a few things you can try to help crashes.


Things to try first

Please try each of the following first, especially when the crashes seem random:

If you're working on documents that have a large number of pages/strokes or that were created from large PDFs (e.g. planners, medical textbooks), and notice the app having some difficulty rendering them, those documents can be causing memory errors that might lead to random crashes. Please try these suggestions:

  • Open those documents one at a time and close any unused ones, especially those in Split View or Slide Over.
  • Disable "Auto Backup" in GoodNotes ⚙️ menu > Settings > Auto Backup. Alternatively, you can leave auto-backup enabled, but set .goodnotes as the only auto-backup format. Generating PDFs demands much more memory and could crash the app.
  • Tap the Search icon near the top-left corner after you've imported one such PDF, and wait until there's no "Indexing..." message before continuing working on it. Being an intensive task, indexing makes every piece of your typed and handwritten content searchable, so exporting it to PDF during this process, for example, might crash the app.
  • Disable "PDF and Handwritten Notes Indexing" in GoodNotes ⚙️ menu > Settings > Search Indexing.
  • Offload the app (iOS/iPadOS only): Open the Settings app > General > iPad/iPhone Storage > GoodNotes > Offload App. This might take a while. After that, tap "Reinstall App." Your GoodNotes library will be placed back.
  • Use an optimized version of the PDF.

If none helped, please proceed with the steps below.


The app crashes when opening / exporting any document or importing any file

Please send us the Diagnostic Data.


The app crashes when opening / exporting a specific document

This is most likely due to memory issues while the app's exporting that document to PDF, which is a CPU-intensive process.

If you have a Mac, you can use GoodNotes for macOS (which you can redownload for free) and retry the export there, assuming you have "Use iCloud" enabled in GoodNotes on both devices so that you can see the document on your Mac. If you don't have a Mac, please export groups of pages, and use an online tool to merge them back together.

If it's an imported PDF document, the export failure is likely due to how the original PDF was encoded. In that case, it's advisable to compress the original PDF and import the compressed PDF going forward.

Otherwise, please send us:

We'll verify the issue and try to export the document to PDF for you.


The app crashes when importing a specific file

If it's a large file, your device has likely run out of memory (RAM) during the process. If you have a Mac, which has much more RAM and computing power to handle this operation, you can try importing that file to GoodNotes for macOS. If successful, the PDF document will be downloaded to your GoodNotes library on your iPhone/iPad via iCloud.

If that didn't help, please send us:

  • The Diagnostic Data.
  • The file you're trying to import. If it's over 50Mb in size, upload it to a service like WeTransfer or your own cloud storage and provide us with the link.

The app crashes on launch

Unfortunately, your library might be corrupted. We might be able to recover it if you send it to us as per the instructions here: App crashes when launching with Support ID popup.


The app crashes with or without a pattern

Please send us the following:

  • The Diagnostic Data.
  • The exact steps, if any, that are needed to reproduce the crash. For example:
    1. Open the app.
    2. Open an existing document.
    3. Bookmark the page from the icon on the toolbar.
  • Any documents that seem to cause the crash.

How to export the Diagnostic Data

The Diagnostic Data contains valuable information that can give us clues about the crashes. If you can relaunch the app immediately after a crash, please open GoodNotes ⚙️ menu in the top-right corner of the Documents tab > About > Export Diagnostic Data.