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Frequently Asked Questions about Goodnotes 6

What is the difference between GoodNotes 5 and Goodnotes 6?

Goodnotes 6 comes with various new features:

For questions about the new AI features, see Goodnotes AI - Frequently Asked Questions.

(*) Available with a subscription / one-time purchase. Interactive Exam Practice is limited in the free version. 

The good news is that you do not need a new app! GoodNotes 5 and Goodnotes 6 both come bundled together in one app, all you have to decide is which one to use. Some users may wish to stick to using GoodNotes 5, which is possible to do if you have already purchased it. Your notes in GoodNotes 5 are safe and you can continue to use the GoodNotes 5 version that you paid for! However, many users may decide to upgrade to Goodnotes 6 to take advantage of its new and experimental features.

Now that Goodnotes 6 has arrived, what happens to me as an existing GoodNotes 5 user?

You are encouraged to give Goodnotes 6 a try via our 7-day free trial!

From August 9th, 2023 (the launch day of Goodnotes 6) onwards, the App Store listing of the app is now Goodnotes 6.

If you downloaded the free version of GoodNotes 5 before August 9, 2023:

  • You will be upgraded to the free plan of Goodnotes 6 when you get the latest App Store version. The automatic upgrade ensures that our new users enjoy a consistently great note-taking experience. Rest assured you will retain access to all your existing documents.

If you paid for GoodNotes 5 before August 9, 2023:

  • You can continue to use the paid GoodNotes 5 experience and your notes are safe.
  • You can upgrade to Goodnotes 6 and switch back to GoodNotes 5 anytime. If you then choose to pay for the yearly plan or the one-time purchase, you will get a discount.
    • If you have more than 3 notebooks in GoodNotes 5, and you choose the free plan in Goodnotes 6, you won’t be able to edit or add more than 3 notebooks. You will still be able to view them.
  • We will still be pushing maintenance bug fixes and performance improvements to GoodNotes 5. So, while the newest features will go to Goodnotes 6, paying GoodNotes 5 users who don’t upgrade can rest assured you’ll continue to have the delightful experience you’re used to.

How about those who freshly install Goodnotes from the App Store?

  • If you download the app for the first time, you will be shown the onboarding flow for Goodnotes 6; GoodNotes 5 will not be available.
  • If you delete your paid version of GoodNotes 5 and redownload "Goodnotes," you can complete the Goodnotes 6 onboarding and switch back to GoodNotes 5 from the Goodnotes menu.

What are the limitations for free users?

At Goodnotes, we want to make sure you have the best note-taking experience possible, even if you're using the free version of the app! As a free user, you'll have access to all the basic features that make Goodnotes the number one note-taking app on the market. However, some of our premium features are limited or not available. Don't worry though, you'll still be able to take and organize notes, which is what Goodnotes is all about! Just be aware that:

  • Free users are limited to 3 notebooks.
  • Audio Recording is limited to 20 minutes per notebook.
  • Template file sizes are limited to 5 MB.
  • Interactive Exam Practice with AI Math Assistance is limited. 
  • Exported documents are watermarked. 
  • The following features are not available:
    • Email to Goodnotes
    • AI Typing
    • Regular bonus stationary from the Marketplace

Will One-Time Purchase users be able to access the same feature set as Subscription in the future?

The feature set will be almost the same. See Which subscription plan is best for me?

Can I get a discount if I buy the subscription plan or one-time payment?

See Am I entitled to a discount for Goodnotes 6 if I bought GoodNotes 5?

Can I still switch back to GoodNotes 5?

See Downgrade from Goodnotes 6 to GoodNotes 5.

Are documents created in Goodnotes 6 backwards-compatible with GoodNotes 5?

Notebooks created in Goodnotes 6 can be edited in GoodNotes 5. However, any new features exclusively available to Goodnotes 6 might not be available in GoodNotes 5. For example, if you create a folder with a custom icon and color in Goodnotes 6 (an exclusive feature) and switch back to GoodNotes 5, the folder will still exist in GoodNotes 5 but without the custom icon or color.

How do I create a Goodnotes account?

When you sign up for a Goodnotes 6 Subscription or Free Trial, we'll walk you through creating a Goodnotes Account. You can choose to sign in with your Apple, Google, or Microsoft account, so you won't have to remember another password!

Important: You might have different Apple/Google/Microsoft accounts with the same email address, but Goodnotes will see them as separate Goodnotes accounts when you create them. For this reason, it's important to make sure to remember the login provider and the login details so you can log back in to the app to have your subscription details retrieved correctly, instead of accidentally creating a new Goodnotes account. Otherwise, you might run into this error: Why am I getting "Subscription detected from App Store"?

What is the difference between iCloud and Goodnotes Accounts?

A Goodnotes Account is required for using Goodnotes 6 and cannot be skipped. It is an account, separate from iCloud, that you can use to sign in to Goodnotes and can be signed into using your Apple, Google, or Microsoft account. The data that you have syncing with Goodnotes will still be synced using iCloud Drive storage, which is part of your Apple account. While they are separate accounts, they work together to sync your notes across your devices and keep you logged in to access your subscription and purchases.

Can I use two Goodnotes Accounts on one device?

You can log in to different Goodnotes accounts on the same device (via a Google/Apple/Microsoft account) but note that your Goodnotes subscription / one-time purchase record is linked to only one Goodnotes account per App Store account. Your App Store account (aka "Media & Purchases" account) is the one you use to make App Store purchases.

If you want to use another Goodnotes account with a different Goodnotes subscription / one-time purchase, you will need to also sign in to the corresponding App Store account on the device.


More questions about subscribing to Goodnotes 6? See our Subscriptions FAQs.