Day One Classic recovery options

In March 2016, Day One Classic was retired from the App Store. Since then, Apple has released several iterations of iOS and macOS. As these updates continue to be released, Day One Classic has become less and less compatible with newer operating system versions.

Day One Classic no longer works on iOS 15 and later. Users with Day One Classic and iOS 15 will see an error message when trying to launch the app.

This guide will show all recovery options available for Day One Classic, as far as possible.

iCloud (default)

iCloud was the default sync option for Day One Classic (version 1). Please try the following options in order:

iOS 15 or later

  1. The device will need to be signed into iCloud/App Store with your Apple ID in the device Settings app.
  2. Download the new Day One from the App Store and update to version 7.20 or later on the App Store.
  3. Go to Day One > Settings > Import / Export and tap Import from Day One Classic. Screen shot below.
  4. You will be prompted if you would like to import your journal. Tap Import. You’ll see a progress indicator.
  5. After the import is complete, your newly imported data will appear in a new journal titled Journal. If you’ve imported a journal previously, or already have a journal titled Journal, your imported data may appear in a journal titled Journal followed by a number.

macOS 10.15 or later

  1. The device will need to be signed into iCloud/App Store with your Apple ID in System Preferences > Apple ID.
  2. Download the new Day One on your Mac. Day One Mac
  3. Add the app to your dock.
  4. Open the Terminal app. It is in Applications > Utilities
  5. Paste this command and hit Return: open ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/5U8NS4GX82~com~dayoneapp~dayone/Documents/
  6. It should open a Finder window with a folder. If a folder did not open, it is possible data was not being synced to iCloud, or a different iCloud account was used previously. Please check the Apple ID in System Preferences to verify what account is being used.
  7. Copy that folder and paste to a folder like “Downloads” in Finder. 
  8. Rename the folder “Journal.dayone” (replacing the underscore with a period). 
  9. Accept the message in the dialog box. 
  10. Open the new Day One. 
  11. Click File > Import > Classic File and choose that file in the Downloads folder. 

Additional options via Mac:


Dropbox officially retired API v1 as of September 28, 2017. This stops Day One Classic (version 1) from being able to sync with Dropbox. 

If you have a Mac, please follow these steps: 

  1. Download Day One on your Mac. Day One Mac
  2. Add the app to your dock.
  3. Open Dropbox > Apps > Day One > Journal.dayone
  4. Download the file to the Downloads folder
  5. Open the new Day One. 
  6. Click File > Import > Classic File and choose that file in the Downloads folder. 

Day One Sync

Day One Sync first launched in October 2015. If this sync method was used, please sign into in a web browser and verify the amount of synced entries/photos. Day One support representatives can help get data synced to Day One Sync in the new version of Day One if this option was used for Sync. Please contact our support team with your User ID and we will help.

Journal from here, there, everywhere.

Download the Day One journal app for free on iPhone, Android, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

Journal from here there and everywhere mobile devices image.