Move OneNote notebooks from your computer to OneDrive

If you’ve used OneNote for Windows 2016 to create notebooks on your local hard drive, you won’t be able to use these notebooks with any other versions of OneNote (such as OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, or the OneNote mobile apps) unless you move them to your free, cloud-based OneDrive account.

Keeping your notebooks on OneDrive provides several benefits:

  • You have private access to your notes from anywhere in the world

  • You can read and edit your notes from virtually any computer or mobile device

  • You can share notes with people you select and work together with them even if you’re in different places

If you’ve previously used OneNote 2016 for Windows (also called the desktop version of OneNote), and you now use the newer OneNote for Windows 10 app, you’ll be prompted to move your old, hard-drive based notebooks to your OneDrive account.

Note: For more information about using the OneNote 2016 desktop app and the newer OneNote for Windows 10 app on the same computer or device, see What’s the difference between OneNote and OneNote 2016?

Step 1: Find and select the notebooks you want to move

Do the following:

Click the Start button in Windows 10, type OneNote, and then click the app that’s simply called OneNote in the search results list.

  1. In OneNote for Windows 10, click the Show Notebooks button Show Notebooks button , and then click More Notebooks.

  2. In the More Notebooks window that opens, select the check box next to the names of the notebooks that you want to open.

    Screenshot of the More Notebooks window in OneNote

  3. Click Open Notebooks.

Step 2: Save the selected notebooks to OneDrive

Do the following:

  1. When the Save to OneDrive window appears, select the OneDrive account where you want to move your notebooks. You can use a free Microsoft account or an account given to you by your work or your school.

    Screenshot of the Save to OneDrive prompt in OneNote

    Note: If you don’t yet have a OneDrive account, click Add Account. Creating a OneDrive account is easy and free.

  2. When you have signed in and selected the OneDrive account that you want to use, click Next.

Step 3: Open the notebooks from the new location

If you’ll continue using the OneNote for Windows 10 app, you’re all set. However, if you’re still planning on using the older OneNote 2016 desktop version as well, it’s a good idea to close the pointers to your old disk-based notebook locations and re-open such notebooks from their new location on OneDrive.

Do the following:

  1. In OneNote 2016, click the small arrow next to the name of the current notebook.

  2. In the Notebooks list that opens, right-click the name of any notebook that you’ve previously moved to OneDrive, and then click Close this Notebook.

    Repeat this step for any other notebooks in the list that were moved to OneDrive.

  3. To open any of your moved notebooks from the new OneDrive location, click File > Open.

  4. Under Open from OneDrive, click Sign In, if necessary.

  5. From the list of notebooks that appears under the Open from OneDrive heading, click the notebook you want to open.

Next steps

Once you’ve opened your notebooks from OneDrive in all of the versions of OneNote that you frequently use, you can opt to share selected notes with other people.

To learn more, see Share a page of notes or an entire notebook from OneNote for Windows 10

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