If you have an iPad Pro, there's a new feature in iOS 11 that's designed to let you open up a new document in Notes just by tapping the Apple Pencil on the iPad's display.

The feature, Instant Notes, works even when the iPad is locked, so you can pick up the iPad and get right to writing without having to go through the hassle of unlocking the device, opening the Notes app, and creating a document.

Using Instant Notes

  1. On a locked iPad, press the Home button or the sleep/wake button to activate the display.
  2. Tap the Apple Pencil anywhere on the iPad's screen. instantnotesios11
  3. Once you've tapped the Apple Pencil on the display of a locked iPad, it launches straight into the Notes app, creating a new note for you (or allowing you to edit an existing note, depending on your settings). instantnotesios11 1

Because the iPad is still locked when the Instant Notes Apple Pencil gesture is used, you can't access additional notes or any other apps until you unlock the device with Touch ID. In this locked mode, you can access all of the Notes features, including the pen tools, the document scanner, the camera, and the sketch tools.

instantnotesios11locked
Instant Notes can only be activated from the Lock screen on the iPad. When the iPad is unlocked, you'll need to access your Notes through the app or through the new Notes option in the Control Center.

Turning Off Instant Notes

If you don't want to allow the Apple Pencil to open the Notes app, you can turn off Instant Notes in the Settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Notes and tap it.
  3. Choose "Access Notes from Lock Screen." The feature is toggled on by default. instantnotes1
  4. Select "Off."

Adjusting Instant Notes Settings

You can also adjust your Instant Notes options in the Settings app. A tap with the Apple Pencil can be set to create a new note, resume the last note created on the Lock screen, or resume the last note viewed in the Notes app.

When using the two options to resume the last note created on the Lock screen or in the Notes app, you can also set time limits. For the "Resume Last Note Created on Lock Screen" option, you can choose to automatically create a new note instead of resuming after a set time period.

ios11instantnotes2
For the "Resume Last Note Viewed in Notes App" option, you can set a time limit after which a passcode will be required to view the note. This makes sure someone who gets a hold of your iPad can't access sensitive data.

An Apple Pencil is required to activate Instant Notes, so it only works with iPad Pro models including the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Top Rated Comments

Billberryjuice Avatar
47 months ago
Sure it's faster, but police can use the junk shot to identify you. Junk shots are also tricky to do in a crowded cafe without attracting attention.
high risk, high reward
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
47 months ago
Great feature. Not sure the 2 steps needed that long guide lol.
Some of these how tos are more of a reminder that a feature exists. That's sort of the case with this one :)
[doublepost=1506122624][/doublepost]
Game-changing feature here! But it doesn't work well for me. As a workaround, I quickly tap 2-3 times and then I'm sure it works one of these times.
Does this happen to anyone else?
Seems to work reliably for me, but I always tap near the bottom edges. Not sure if where you tap is any kind of factor.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tmanto02 Avatar
47 months ago
Much needed feature and something that would make using iPads in the corporate world much easier
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applesith Avatar
47 months ago
Great feature. Not sure the 2 steps needed that long guide lol.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0098386 Avatar
47 months ago
I bloody love this new feature! It’s come in handy so many times due to its crazy fast speed loading up. Unlocking my iPad, closing whatever’s open, loading up Notes, press create new note... it’s time consuming when you need to write lots of notes.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvbrit Avatar
47 months ago
This does NOT require an Apple Pencil and is NOT iPad only. The same feature is available from the lock screen in control center on any device running iOS 11 and works the same way

Attachment Image
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
parler app

Apple Approves Parler to Return to App Store

Monday April 19, 2021 7:51 am PDT by
Following the removal of the app in January, Apple will now allow the social media app Parler to return to the App Store following changes to how the social media network moderates content, CNN reports. On April 14, in a letter to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck obtained by CNN, Apple said that the app has improved the way it moderates content, and says those changes are "sufficient" for it...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...