Evernote’s “secret” character limit to notes

I have a 14 MB HTML file that I want to upload to Evernote. Shouldn’t be a problem with my Premium Account which allows a maximum note size of 50 Mb. Even with the free Account, notes may be 25 Mb. So why am I writing this? – Because it doesn’t work. This is the error message that I kept getting even though my file was far from the Limit that Evernote advertizes in terms of megabytes:

Evernote error: Note … content is too long xxxxxxxx, max is 5242880

I would like to share this with you because this has caused me so much headache cause I could not find any info on this on the web. It even took the Evernote support a couple of days to come up with a clear statement about this issue:

For various technical backend and integration reasons, there is a character limit on our notes, which happens to be 5242880 Unicode characters.

So the explanation basically is that there are more limitations to your EN account that Evernote chooses to mention on pages where they pretend to inform customers about the limitations. Why are you not informing users (or at least offering some comprehensible error messages), I asked the Evernote support:

We do not advertise our character limit openly because the vast majority of our users never hit this limit when creating a single note.

Although there is apparently nothing anyone can do about this character limit, this experience seriously cracked my good image of the Evernote folks and their information policy (also their support turned out to be much less competent than I had expected. Kept asking questions that I had just answered).

They see the character limit issue as a “misunderstanding”, which means that they are still blaming it on me, since it is me who misunderstood. Maybe they are right. I should just have looked up the specifications of ENML and it would have immediately become clear:


Maximum length of a Note.content field Note.content fields must comply with the ENML DTD.


3 thoughts on “Evernote’s “secret” character limit to notes

  1. […] Now this is what I have done so far. The problem is: it doesn’t work if you have a lot of records in Citavi. Or to be more precise: if  the resulting HTML file contains more than 5242880 Unicode characters. This is an additional limit to Evernote notes which they have unfortunately not advertized because “because the vast majority of our users never hit this limit when creating a single note” (EN support). I discuss this issue in more detail in a separate post. […]

  2. That’s useful info for me as I consider ways to work on my novel projects using my new tablet, on which I want to install the fewest apps possible to leave space for data. Since I already committed to having Evernote installed, I was thinking of possibly just using it as my composition environment, with a 1:1 relationship between chapters and notes. There would be some solid advantages to using Evernote for that. However, I tend to write pretty long chapters, and I was concerned about hitting a character limit rather than a data size limit. I’m glad you brought this up & that I found it via Google. I’m confident that my chapters aren’t *that* long, but it will be good to know for other possible uses.

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