Search for notes

Note: If your notebook contains password-protected sections and you want to search for notes in those sections, you must enter the passwords for those sections before you begin your search.

  1. In the Search box, type the text that you want to find.

  2. Click the Change Search Scope arrow next to the Search button, and then do one of the following:

    • To search for the specified text in only the current section, click This Section.

    • To search for the specified text in all open sections, click This Section Group.

    • To search for the specified text in all sections and pages in the current notebook, click This Notebook.

    • To search for the specified text in all sections and pages in all of your notebooks, click All Notebooks.

  3. Click the Search button.

    If one or more instances of the text are found, the total number of pages appears in the toolbar area.

  4. To move from one instance of the text to another, click the Previous Match or Next Match arrows.

  5. To review the list of pages that contain the text, click View List, and then do any of the following in the Page List task pane:

    • To open a specific page that contains the text, click the title of the page.

    • To sort the list of pages in a different way, click the option that you want in the Sort list by list.

    • To change the scope of the search, click the option that you want in the Search list.

      Note: To keep the search results in the Page List task pane manageable, OneNote displays only one match per page. In the Note Search Results list, click any page to display additional occurrences that may be found on that page.

  6. To end the search, click the red Exit Search and clear match highlighting button.


  • Once you select the scope for a search, it is automatically applied to all subsequent searches of your notes. For example, if you select This Section and search your notes, but you later want to search for text in all of your notes, you must change the scope (for example, to All Notebooks) before you begin your next search.

  • When searching for text in your notes, you can choose to include searching for matching spoken words in any audio and video (.wma and .wmv) files that you have recorded in OneNote. On the Tools menu, click Options, and in the Category list, click Audio and Video. Select the Enable searching audio and video recordings for words check box, and then click OK.

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