Frequently Asked Questions about OneNote in Office 2019

Beginning with the release of Microsoft Office 2019, OneNote for Windows 10 will be the default OneNote experience for Office 365 and Office 2019 customers. Learn more about this announcement, and continue reading below for more details about what this means for you.


General information

Can I continue using OneNote 2016?

Will I lose OneNote 2016 when I update to Office 2019?

I’m an Office 365 subscriber. What will happen to me?

I’m installing Office 365 or Office 2019 for the first time. Which version of OneNote will I get?

How do you know if I’ve used OneNote 2016?

I used OneNote 2016 in the past, but I’d prefer to use OneNote for Windows 10. Can I remove OneNote 2016?

I previously removed OneNote for Windows 10. How do I get it back?

I purchased a perpetual license for Office 2016. Will anything happen to me?

I have a perpetual license for Office 2016. What will happen when I upgrade to Office 2019?

What happens if I’m on Windows 7?

How long will you continue to support OneNote 2016?

Can I use OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote 2016 side-by-side?

What does this mean for OneNote for Mac?

I have a favorite feature in OneNote 2016. Is it coming to OneNote for Windows 10?

OneNote for Windows 10 is free. What do I get if I subscribe to Office 365?

How do I access my local notebooks in OneNote for Windows 10?

Can I use OneNote for Windows 10 if I’m not connected to the internet?

How can I develop add-ins for OneNote?


Additional information for IT Administrators

Do I need to change the way I deploy OneNote for my organization?


Additional information for Educators

How does OneNote for Windows 10 affect the tools I use in the classroom, like Class Notebook?

How do I install Class Notebook in OneNote for Windows 10?

Is there any difference between Class Notebook in OneNote 2016 and OneNote for Windows 10?

Do you have training or professional development available for OneNote for Windows 10?


General information

Can I continue using OneNote 2016?

Yes — OneNote 2016 isn’t going anywhere. You can continue using it for as long as you want, even if you upgrade to Office 2019. However, after the conclusion of the Office 2016 support lifecycle (October 13, 2020 for mainstream support and October 14, 2025 for extended support) we will no longer provide support, security updates, or fixes for OneNote 2016.

We strongly encourage you to start using OneNote for Windows 10 for the latest we have to offer (you can run both apps side-by-side on the same computer or device).

Will I lose OneNote 2016 when I update to Office 2019?

No. If you use OneNote 2016, you won’t see any change when you update to Office 2019. OneNote for Windows 10 is included in new installations of Office 2019 by default, but you can choose to install and use OneNote 2016 at any time.

I’m an Office 365 subscriber. What will happen to me?

If you use OneNote 2016, you won’t see any change. You can continue to use it just as you always have, although we encourage you to start using OneNote for Windows 10 today for the latest we have to offer.

If you’ve never opened OneNote 2016, you’ll be automatically updated to OneNote for Windows 10 as soon as Office 2019 is released to ensure that you have the best and most up-to-date OneNote experience. Of course, you’re welcome to install OneNote 2016 at any time. We’ll soon be sharing more details about how to do this.

I’m installing Office 365 or Office 2019 for the first time. Which version of OneNote will I get?

When you install Office 365 or Office 2019, you’ll get OneNote for Windows 10 by default. If you’d prefer to use OneNote 2016, you can install it at any time. We’ll soon be sharing more details about how to do this.

How do you know if I’ve used OneNote 2016?

When you update Office 365 or install Office 2019, we’ll check for any of three things:

  • Is OneNote 2016’s “first run” key enabled in the registry for the current user?

  • Does any user on the computer or device have a “OneNote Notebooks” folder in the root of their Documents folder?

  • Has OneNote 2016 sent a message to the Office Updater identifying that it’s been used on that device? (Requires Office 365 with the June 2018 update).

If any of these are true, OneNote 2016 will be identified as “in use” and we will not upgrade you to OneNote for Windows 10. We will always err on the side of caution, so we won’t take any action if there’s any reason for us to suspect that you’ve used OneNote 2016 before. Of course, you’re welcome to use OneNote for Windows 10 side-by-side with OneNote 2016 on the same computer or device.

If you don’t want to use OneNote 2016 anymore and would like to save space on your hard drive, we will offer a way for you to remove it. We’ll soon be sharing more details about how to do this.

I used OneNote 2016 in the past, but I’d prefer to use OneNote for Windows 10. Can I remove OneNote 2016?

Yes — if you don’t want to use OneNote 2016 anymore and would like to save space on your hard drive, we will offer a way for you to remove it. We’ll soon be sharing more details about how to do this.

I previously removed OneNote for Windows 10. How do I get it back?

OneNote comes pre-installed with every edition of Windows 10. If you’ve previously removed the app for any reason, you can easily reinstall it by opening the Microsoft Store app on your Windows 10 computer or device and searching for “OneNote” (or click here to go there directly).

I purchased a perpetual license for Office 2016. Will anything happen to me?

Nothing will change. You can continue using Office 2016 just as you always have. However, we encourage you to start using OneNote for Windows 10 today for the latest we have to offer.

I have a perpetual license for Office 2016. What will happen when I upgrade to Office 2019?

When you update to Office 2019, you’ll keep OneNote 2016 so you can use it just as you always have. However, we encourage you to start using OneNote for Windows 10 today for the latest we have to offer.

What happens if I’m on Windows 7?

Office 2019 is not supported on Windows 7. For Office 365 subscribers, you can continue using Office on Windows 7 until January 2020. OneNote 2016 will continue to be supported until October 2020 for mainstream support and October 2025 for extended support, long after support for the Windows 7 operating system ends.

If you need to stay on Windows 7 for a while longer but want the latest and greatest OneNote experience, we encourage you to check out OneNote Online, which includes many of the benefits found in OneNote for Windows 10 — including a consistent interface, improved sync engine, great new features, and more.

How long will you continue to support OneNote 2016?

OneNote 2016 will be supported for the duration of the Office 2016 support lifecycle, even if you installed it as part of Office 2019. During this time, we will continue to service OneNote 2016 with bug fixes, security updates, and other critical improvements, but no new features will be added.

Office 2016 will reach the end of its mainstream support lifecycle on October 13, 2020, while extended support will run through October 14, 2025. While you can continue to use Office 2016 (including OneNote 2016) after that date, you will no longer receive any updates to those versions.

We strongly encourage you to start using OneNote for Windows 10 for the latest we have to offer, and you can run both apps side-by-side.

Can I use OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote 2016 side-by-side?

Yes — you are free to use the OneNote for Windows 10 app and OneNote 2016 interchangeably. While the two apps store your notebooks separately, they can sync with each other if you’re connected to the Internet.

What does this mean for OneNote for Mac?

This change only applies to Windows, where we have both OneNote 2016 and OneNote for Windows 10. Other versions of OneNote, including OneNote for Mac, OneNote for iPhone and iPad, OneNote for Android, and OneNote Online are unchanged. All of these versions will continue to receive updates every month with new features and improvements.

I have a favorite feature in OneNote 2016. Is it coming to OneNote for Windows 10?

If you have a favorite feature in OneNote 2016 that you are not yet seeing in OneNote for Windows 10, please let us know using the Feedback Hub. In the meantime, you’re more than welcome to continue using OneNote 2016 side-by-side with OneNote for Windows 10.

OneNote for Windows 10 is free. What do I get if I subscribe to Office 365?

While the core OneNote experience is free on all platforms, Office 365 subscribers get access to additional benefits, including creating notebooks on OneDrive for Business and SharePoint, extra storage for your notebooks above and beyond OneDrive’s free 5GB allowance, and premium features like Math Assistant, Researcher, and more.

How do I access my local notebooks in OneNote for Windows 10?

In the latest versions of OneNote — specifically, our apps on Windows 10, Mac, iOS, Android, and OneNote Online — your notebooks are stored in the cloud so you can access them from anywhere. Notebooks stored only on your hard drive or a file share (called local notebooks) are not supported.

If you have any local notebooks left over from OneNote 2016, you can easily move them to OneDrive or SharePoint so you can access your notes from anywhere. SharePoint On-Premises is also supported. To get started, simply open OneNote for Windows 10 and follow these simple instructions to move your notebooks to OneDrive. OneNote always keeps a copy of your notes cached on your device so you can access them even when you’re offline.

We understand and respect that some people might not want any data stored in the cloud. For the vast majority of OneNote customers, however, having access to their notes on all their devices is a core part of the value of OneNote. We know that this means some of you might look for other solutions, and we understand. We have an open file format that other note-taking apps and developers can use to export notes from OneNote.

Can I use OneNote for Windows 10 if I’m not connected to the Internet?

Yes — Like all versions of OneNote, OneNote for Windows 10 caches a copy of your notebooks so you can access them even while you’re offline. The next time you connect to the Internet, all of the changes you made will sync to OneDrive so you’ll be able to see them on other devices.

Please note that while you can always view and edit your notes while you’re offline, some features which require Internet connectivity may not work, such as Optical Character Recognition, Researcher, creating and deleting notebooks.

How can I develop add-ins for OneNote?

Anyone can build on top of OneNote using our Developer APIs, which are already used by hundreds of developers to create experiences that are integrated with OneNote.


Additional information for IT Administrators

Do I need to change the way I deploy OneNote for my organization?

If you’re an IT Administrator who is responsible for deploying OneNote across users in your organization, please see the following for more information:


Additional information for Educators

How does OneNote for Windows 10 affect the tools I use in the classroom, like Class Notebook?

Many of the Class Notebook features you know and love are already built into OneNote for Windows 10, with the rest on the way later this summer. Best of all, you don’t need to install a separate add-in anymore. Class Notebook, Stickers, Forms, and many other features you rely on in the classroom are now deeply integrated into OneNote for Windows 10. The Class Notebook experience on Windows 10 is identical to OneNote Online, and more improvements are coming all the time.

How do I install Class Notebook in OneNote for Windows 10?

OneNote for Windows 10 has all the Class Notebook features built in, so you don’t need to install a separate add-in anymore. Teachers will automatically see the Class Notebook tab on the ribbon, but you can manually enable it at any time by clicking the Settings and More button Settings And More Button in the upper right corner, and then clicking Settings> Options > Class Notebook Tools.

Is there any difference between Class Notebook in OneNote 2016 and OneNote for Windows 10?

OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, and the other modern apps have the same Class Notebook features, and additional improvements are being added all of the time.

A handful of OneNote 2016’s Class Notebook features aren’t available in this version yet, but they will be released later this summer. These features include Undo Page Distribution, Content Library Distribution, Page Distribution to Specific Individuals or Groups, and Bulk Section Group Creation/Distribution.

Do you have training or professional development available for OneNote for Windows 10?

Yes — we have training and professional development for both OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote 2016.

To get started, please visit the Microsoft Educator Community for self-paced courses, or the Education Help Center for tips and directions.

General training courses for OneNote for Windows 10 are available on the Office Training Center.

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