Request: Validate Pro license without iCloud Drive

Future feature request to validate a pro license without iCloud Drive.

Use Case: My work doesn’t block all of iCloud but they do block iCloud Drive (no cloud storage services outside of the Microsoft Suite). This means I can download Bear but can not validate my pro license. Since I’m not going to use syncing for work things, all I am missing out on is the theme changes so not that big of a deal.


I’m afraid We will not change the license validation in a short period but we’ll think about possible solutions to overcome this problem.


Not a big deal! There just seems to be other ways to do it, so passing along my input that is value that! Low priority item for sure.

Not a low priority at all. I have the same issue. You are ignoring a large part of your user base if you require iCloud Drive to enable a Pro license. I’m going to have to switch to another product if you don’t fix this.

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This article might be relevant: PSA: Disabling iCloud Drive in iOS 17 No Longer Turns Off Third-Party App CloudKit Syncing - MacRumors

In iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma, turning off iCloud Drive no longer impacts third-party apps that use Apple’s iCloud database to sync their data, a notable change that is likely to be welcomed by both developers and users.


I am also in this situation. Some clarification from the devs as to whether iCloud syncing will work in MacOS Sonoma/iOS 17 with iCloud Drive disabled would be helpful.

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Same for me. I cannot enable iCloud Drive so I can’t use Bear for work at all. iCloud is allowed (Calendar, Notes, Reminders, etc), but Drive specifically is blocked.

I’ve been using Obsidian but I prefer Bear.

Is there any ballpark of a timeline on the promised Web version to get around the iCloud Drive needs? Will the changes mentioned about iOS 17/Sonoma be implemented with Bear?

I don’t mind paying Bear’s very fair Pro subscription price, but I’m not sure I can do so indefinitely on the hope there is a solution coming. Thanks for any info you can provide.

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Same here. I’d happily purchase a second license if I could purchase Pro without iCloud Drive (which is not allowed).

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Glad others are bringing this up! I agree with the comment about Obsidian (which I can use and customize at work) vs using Bear exclusively.

If I could layout “requirements” for this, it would be:

  • be able to validate pro license without iCloud Drive enabled
  • maintain the ability to choose if sync is enabled or disabled with Pro (I don’t need to sync my work stuff)
  • key features of Pro to maintain
    • search in images/pdf
    • other file formats for export
    • themes

Obsidian is a great concept but Bear has a level of polish that can’t be emulated with plugins. I’d prefer to keep a few benefits of my personal Pro license with some work stuff. Searching is a huge feature and the themes are nice to have.

One option: is there a way to keep the current beta version (which seems to have all the features) for Pro licenses? TestFlight will expire, but keeping that version meets my needs currently.

I’m in the same scenario. My work does allow iCloud Drive but I don’t want to turn it on and have my personal files on a work laptop.

I’ve though about using Bear but I’m concerned if it ever got turned on my work notes would suddenly cross over to my personal notes.

I’d really like to have a way to section off notes (vaults) or even store the db in a custom location ( at the cost of no sync )

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yes, agree 100%. Obsidian is neat but Bear does the things I need a dozen plugins to achieve the same functions, and I’ve yet to find a suitable Webclipper - Bear’s just works!

I’d love to be able to sync without the need for full iCloud drive access, but I’d be happy with an unlock file/code/key that I could place in the app’s data folder to “unlock” pro features.

I’m hopeful that the coming changes to iCloud in macOS Sonoma will resolve this completely.
Until then, I’m manually exporting notes from my work MacBook and importing them to Bear on my personal Mac. It works, but it’s no substitute for automatic sync :slight_smile:

I missed out on the Beta completely unfortunately, so I can’t use Panda or that version. Does sync work on the beta app? Is it still available somewhere?