Change the default version of OneNote on your computer

You may have noticed that Windows 10 comes with OneNote. It's a version that's deeply integrated with Windows 10 and is simply called OneNote. If you also have OneNote 2016 installed, you'll have two versions of OneNote on your computer. You can make your either version the default with a few steps.

Setting the default version of OneNote on your PC

When it detects two versions of OneNote, Windows may prompt you to select the version that you want to use as the default app for opening future notebooks. If you miss this prompt or you change your mind about your selection, you can manually change this setting. Don't worry — you'll need to do this only one time.

  1. Press the Windows button in the lower-left corner of your screen, and then choose Settings.

  2. In Settings, choose System > Default apps, scroll to the bottom of the list, and choose Set defaults by app.

    Screenshot of the Set Defaults by App setting in Windows 10.

  3. In the list under Set your default programs, find the version of OneNote that you'd like Windows to use as the default, and then choose Set this program as default. For example, choose OneNote (desktop) if you want to always open notebooks in OneNote 2016.

  4. Click OK to save your changes.

To change this setting at any time, repeat the steps in the preceding list and make a different selection.

Setting the version of OneNote that opens from the web

If you open OneNote link in Windows 10 with Internet Explorer or use OneNote Online and decide to open the OneNote app, you can set the default version here too.

  1. Press the Windows button in the lower-left corner of your screen, and then choose Settings.

  2. In Settings, choose System > Default apps, scroll to the bottom of the list, and choose Choose default apps by protocol.

    Screenshot of the Choose Default Apps by Protocol setting in Windows 10.

  3. Scroll down to the OneNote protocols and click the ONENOTE URL:OneNote Protocol icon.

    Screenshot of the OneNote protocols in Windows 10 Settings.

  4. In the Choose an app dialog box that appears, choose OneNote 2016 (the desktop app).

    Screenshot of the Choose an App option in Windows 10 settings.

    Note: If you're changing from the desktop app to OneNote for Windows 10, look for the OneNote 2016 icon, click it, and in the Choose an app dialog box, choose OneNote.

  5. Click the ONENOTEDESKTOP URL:OneNote Protocol icon and in the Choose an app dialog box that appears, choose OneNote 2016 (the desktop app).

    Note: The ONENOTE-CMD URL:onenote-cmd protocol can't be changed because it's used for all of the Windows 10 features that work exclusively with OneNote for Windows 10.

  6. Close the Choose default apps by protocol Window.

Now when you open a link in Windows 10 with Internet Explorer or open OneNote from OneNote Online, OneNote 2016 will open.

Pinning the OneNote icon

To get to OneNote quickly, you can pin one or both versions of OneNote to your Start menu or taskbar—or to both.

Pin to Start
  1. Click the Windows Start button in the lower-left corner, click All apps, and scroll to OneNote.

  2. Right-click the OneNote or OneNote desktop icon and choose Pin to Start.

    Repeat this step if you'd like to pin the other OneNote app to Start as well.

Pin to the taskbar
  1. Click the Windows Start button in the lower-left corner, click All apps, and scroll to OneNote.

  2. Right-click the OneNote or OneNote desktop icon and choose Pin to Taskbar.

    Repeat this step if you'd like to pin the other OneNote app to the taskbar as well.

Note: You can unpin icons from Start or the taskbar by following the previous steps and choosing Unpin from Start or Unpin from taskbar.

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