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The best version of OneNote on Windows

We’re incredibly lucky to have millions of passionate OneNote users around the globe, and we love learning how we can help you remember, think, and organize better. In spending time with you, we heard a recurring theme: you want a single version of OneNote on Windows that combines all the benefits of the modern Windows 10 app with the depth and breadth of capabilities in the older OneNote 2016. We took that feedback to heart, and over the last few years we’ve been focused on making OneNote for Windows 10 the best version of OneNote on Windows.

 

Beginning with the launch of Office 2019 later this year, OneNote for Windows 10 will replace OneNote 2016 as the default OneNote experience for both Office 365 and Office 2019. Why OneNote for Windows 10? The app has improved performance and reliability, and it’s powered by a brand new sync engine (which we’re also bringing to web, Mac, iOS, and Android). You don’t need to worry about being on the latest version since it’s always up-to-date via the Microsoft Store, and it lets us deliver updates faster than ever before. In fact, over the last year and a half we've added more than 100 of your favorite OneNote 2016 features based on your feedback (thank you!), with more improvements on the way including tags and better integration with Office documents.

 

We’d love for you to start using OneNote for Windows 10 today, however we know some of you might not be ready yet. Maybe you rely on a feature we don’t yet support on Windows 10 (please let us know using the Feedback Hub), or you don’t want to store your notebooks in the cloud. If so, you’re more than welcome to continue using OneNote 2016.

 

What’s happening to OneNote 2016?

While we’re no longer adding new features to OneNote 2016, it’ll still be there if you need it. OneNote 2016 is optionally available for anyone with Office 365 or Office 2019, but it will no longer be installed by default. If you currently use OneNote 2016, you won’t notice any changes when you update to Office 2019. We’ll continue to offer support, bug fixes, and security updates for OneNote 2016 for the duration of the Office 2016 support lifecycle, which runs through October 2020 for mainstream support and October 2025 for extended support. For more details, please refer to this FAQ.

 

A preview of what’s to come

We've been listening to your feedback about what you like—and what you don't—and working hard to address it in the product. Your opinions, feature requests, and, yes, complaints have been critical in helping us shape the current experience. Today, we’d like to walk you through some of the work we’ve done to bring your favorite features from OneNote 2016 to OneNote for Windows 10, highlight some of the capabilities that are only available in the Windows 10 app, and give you a sneak peek at a few of the improvements coming this year.

Your favorite features, improved

OneNote for Windows 10 was designed to feel natural with any input method, from mouse and keyboard to pen and touch, and it contains numerous improvements under the hood for better performance, reliability, and battery life. It also has a number of new features not available in OneNote 2016, including ink effects* and dramatically improved ink-to-text (check it out—it’ll even preserve your ink color, size, and highlights!), Researcher*, a notification center, deep integration with Windows 10, and much more. 

 

 

For many of you, shifting our focus to the Windows 10 app won’t come as a surprise. Aside from a handful of targeted improvements, we haven’t added any new features to OneNote 2016 in some time. Instead we’ve been focusing on consistency, ensuring that nearly all your favorite features in OneNote 2016 are also available in OneNote for Windows 10. We’re almost there, and in the coming months we’ll be adding even more top-requested features.

 

Top-requested features coming soon to OneNote for Windows 10

Here's what you can expect later this summer:

  • Insert and search for tags: OneNote 2016’s popular tags feature is coming to OneNote for Windows 10! Soon you’ll be able to insert, create, and search for custom tags, making it easy to mark key information and find it later. Tags you create will now roam with you to across your devices, and OneNote will even show you tags other people have used in a shared notebook so you don’t have to recreate them yourself. The new tags experience was designed based on your feedback, and it will be available later this summer.

 Tags.png

 

  • View and edit files: See live previews of Office files in OneNote, work together on attached documents, and save space in your notebooks with cloud files. You’ll get all the benefits of saving a file on OneDrive with the context and convenience of an attachment or preview on a OneNote page.

 

Cloud Files.png

 

  • Additional Class Notebook features: The full slate of Class Notebook features available in the add-on for OneNote 2016 will be available in OneNote for Windows 10 this summer. Best of all, you no longer need to install a separate add-in—it's all built-in!

 

These are just a few of the improvements coming soon to OneNote for Windows 10. The app is updated every month with new functionality, and we have a lot of cool stuff in the works—including page templates. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements.

 

An improved sync experience

We've been hard at work making sync faster and more reliable on OneNote for Windows 10, as well as on Mac, iOS, Android, and web. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here's a look at the new sync engine in action:

 

 

You can try the first set of improvements today by opening a OneDrive notebook in OneNote for Windows 10, Mac, iOS, or Android. These improvements will be rolled out to OneNote Online in the coming months, as well as notebooks on OneDrive for Business and SharePoint.

 

Improving the user experience

Last year, we unveiled a new look and feel for OneNote on Windows 10, Mac, iOS, Android, and OneNote Online that aligned the disparate designs into a single, unified interface. In addition to bringing consistency to our apps, the new user experience scales much better for large notebooks and significantly improves accessibility for those who rely on assistive technologies. To learn more about the new design, check out our help article.

 

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This is just a quick look at OneNote for Windows 10, but we’re not done yet. We'll continue listening to your feedback and incorporating it into our future plans, so leave us a comment below or add your feature request using the Feedback Hub. You can also join the Office Insider program for early access to the latest updates. And before we sign off, we want to say a huge thank you for your support. We really hope you love the new OneNote for Windows!

 

—OneNote Team

 

*Requires Office 365 subscription

 

492 Comments
Occasional Visitor

I have used OneNote extensively for years in my work as an attorney and use it for everything from case files, to research, to legal outlines.  Literally thousands of pages.  OneNote may be the single most important piece of software I have ever used and continue to use.  I use OneNote daily in a federal government setting and storage of our notes on a Microsoft server is not an option.  We store our OneNote notebooks on a network drive, which everyone can access.  Also, we do not have access to Windows Store Apps.  What provision will Microsoft be making for government customers who can't store their files on OneDrive?  This "upgrade" has the potential to eliminate my use of OneNote in my work. 

 

Aside from the above, I also use OneNote at home.  I have no desire to store the vast majority of my notes on a Microsoft server.  I store my files on a network attached storage device.  Why don't I want to store my files online?  I have been the victim of security breach after security breach over the last five years and I don't trust putting my data online.  I am also concerned about whether my data will be searched and used for profit.

 

Microsoft has a wonderful product in OneNote and I am not opposed to a universal app, but please don't alienate certain of your customers because they can't or don't want to use OneNote the way you want them to use it.

Senior Member

@Doug WalshThat is what OneDrive for Business is meant for.

 

Or you could encrypt.

Senior Member

@Travis Elder

I am fairly certain that Governments store information using MS services and it is an option.

 

As for shared notebooks that is an option. 

 

I'm a regular user of OneNote for years.

 

I use a lot OneNote 2016 and love the way I can add tasks in Outlook linked with it.

 

Today I've tried the Windows 10 version and I'm a bit frustrated.

 

First: it needed 3 tries to sync my work notes. No explanation of the error was shown.

 

Second: it could not sync part of my notes after it finally start to show something.

 

Third: it does not support Outlook tasks, witch I use a lot.

 

One more thing: OneNote for Android has a broken search since always. It can find in witch page is the thing you want but not in witch part. So if you have a scrollable note search is almost pointless. Already sent a lot of feedback, have up to try.

 

Really hope to not need to change this tool.

Occasional Visitor

Put the tabs back on the top! I don't want to click three times to get to a different page. That's just bad design. 

Occasional Visitor

Until OneNote App has the ability of creating NEW SECTION GROUPS, the app can't/won't be able to replace the desktop version.

 

I use this feature 90% of the time!!!

  • I really hope tag searching is improved in the win10 version and not just duplicated.  Searching should allow for secondary searching/filtering (eg search by tag then show in order they show up in the notes.).
  • Onetastic functionality really should be standard functionality because most of it is a desprite attempt to fill in for missing features (pdf rotation, image cropping, macros, toc, customizable fonts and headings, etc)
  • Win10 version ui needs to be more customizable.
  • Keyboard shortcuts are also a necessity for any power user.
  • Will we get page break vote for printing in the win10 version?
  • How about better table suppory?

 

  • In short, I like the idea of having one app that is continuously improved, but will not give up desktop version till much more of the functionality and customizable user interface is present in win 10.

 

Senior Member

@Eric FuentesThe UWP can create new section groups. Right click on +Section and you can create a new section group.

Occasional Visitor

Count me with the people who both enjoy having notebooks, pages and subpages off of tabs and on a bar to the left and to the right of my screen, and who want a LOCAL copy of their notebooks. 

 

I'll keep 2016 until it dies in 2020 and then I'm gone and won't be upgrading.   Hopefully by then someone will have developed a desktop version of what OneNote used to be with the ability to move OneNote notebooks into it, and I'll move to that.  And I won't be renewing my Office 365 when it comes up for renewal

I've used OneNote since 2005.  I'm a bit sad now.

Regular Contributor

I do not understand this push to take the phone UI and put it on a desktop. I like to see all of my notebooks and sections available. I like the history tab to quickly get back to recently accessed notes. There is so much more....

 

Not a fan of this move at all. I was hoping OneNote for Windows 10 would be killed and OneNote 20nn would become the standard.

Occasional Visitor

My OneNote notebook is not something I want to share with the cloud. I will have to look elsewhere and migrate my data there if the UWP version does not support local notebooks.

Regular Visitor

This appears to be a decision on par with putting a Windows metro interface on Servers.

 

This is horrible news and you will lose many customers/users on the local storage aspect alone.

 

I would hope that if you guys are that far off base with the users of the tool then you’d listen to what they are saying now.

 

Please rewrite this article and say it’s all a joke, April Fools....my bad.

Visitor

This must be the most brain dead decision ever to kill off Onenote desktop. It's like killing off outlook desktop and forcing people to use outlook.com web UI. 

VBA Macros for Onetastic, Outlook desktop and other desktop app integration, many other rich features. Microsoft must have hires some short attention span Googlers onto their team

Hey folks! Thanks for all of the great feedback and discussion so far. I wanted to chime in with a few answers to your questions:

 

@Raymond Boone If you don't see the notebook you're looking for in the More Notebooks list, you can open it by going to the notebook on OneDrive or SharePoint and clicking "Open in OneNote." It should appear in the More Notebook list from that point forward. And don't worry, you can still use OneNote 2016 with Office 2019 and Office 365 if you want.

 

@Denise Vajdak Yes! It's actually much easier than in OneNote 2016. Any tag someone has used in that notebook will appear in the Used In This Notebook list. From there, you can quickly insert a tag right away without having to make it your own. If you like the tag and want to keep it, you can add it to your personal set of tags.

 

@Tom Saunders We'll have more to share on page templates soon. 

 

@Brian Krienke We'd love to hear your ideas! Please post them in the Feedback Hub or on UserVoice and let us know. You're also welcome to let me know on Twitter.

 

@Byron Dowell Yes, OneNote for Windows 10 will let you search the text in images, ink, and more.

 

@Lawrence Scheeler We've redesigned the tags experience to address a lot of the problems with the old experience. I think you'll be very pleased with the feature once it's released. 🙂 Additionally, OneNote for Windows 10 supports nearly all the same keyboard shortcuts as OneNote 2016. For the full list of keyboard shortcuts, click here.

 

@Ed Hansberry With the exception of Find By Author, all of the features on the History tab are available in OneNote for Windows 10. We've just moved them to a new location to make them easier to find and use. Recent Notes, for example, is now it's own view. The new UI is also the same one we use on web, Mac, iOS, and Android, so you have the same interface no matter which version of OneNote you're using.

Visitor

Please support SD Card for Onenote Android.

 

That is the third top voted idea of Onenote Android, but it doesn't support this idea and doesn't give any response about it.

https://onenote.uservoice.com/forums/327162-onenote-for-android/suggestions/6688163-enable-move-to-s...

 

Most of Android phone has SD Card, but Onenote for Android doesn't support this.

 

If Onenote UWP app will be default app instead of Onenote 2016, It must have Onenote 2016's function and shortcut keys.

Onenote UWP isn't better than Onenote 2016 and it isn't as same as Onenote 2016 yet.

Occasional Visitor

I make frequent use of the the search UX and its granular features in OneNote 2016 win32 program to rapidly find specific keywords and content in my notebooks.

 

Replicating the same workflow in OneNote for Windows 10, I find the search UX is quite slow and the UX leaves much to be desired.

 

When can OneNote for Windows 10 users anticipate search UX and feature parity in the UWP app?

 

Grateful for your work in continuing to develop OneNote!

 

Regards from Australia 💚💙💜

Occasional Visitor

Please fix some annoying bugs before switching to OneNote UWP.

1. Some images can't be displayed only in OneNote UWP, while OneNote Desktop, iOS are working normally. I have reported this problem a year ago but you didn't pay any attention. I contacted OneNote team and let them control remotely my computer and reproduce the problem but you didn't do anything after that.

2. When clicking open more notebooks, it lists a lot of notebooks that have been deleted many years ago. Again, this only happens when using OneNote UWP.

Additionally, add the feature to import local OneNote book. Otherwise, you have to stick to OneNote desktop.

Occasional Visitor

What about the backup functionality in Onenote 2016, will it be possible to backup notebooks stored in the cloud locally on the computer? The automatic backup feature has been nice and also the possibility to export notebooks to onepkg-files has been useful. I hope there will be similar functionality in the future versions of Onenote.

Frequent Contributor

@William Devereux - looking at feedback provided by the community, it should be clear to you that you should NOT be announcing retirement of one app without completing the FULL feature parity with the other. The way Microsoft is going, it gives an impression that product quality has been superseded by pace and experimentation. Nearly all of the work in recent past (from O365 groups to OneNote UWP now) has been half-baked products and ideas forced down the throats of the users. Just saying that classic / old product is still supported is not enough, it only adds to confusion and a state of uncertainty. Then, there is this issue of sending users to UserVoice for the features and functionality that has been either stripped off, or just not implemented. The feedback on UserVoice is not maintained and no effort is made to either mark similar feedback as one or clubbing those together to consolidate the votes. I could go on, but...

While I'm pleased to see features move to the newer app--especially tags, which will let me finally ponder ditching Evernote--the thought of losing local notebooks is incredibly frustrating. For many of my notebooks, I *do* want them in the cloud, but for some, I just don't, or, especially at work, can't.  It scares me to know that one of the best tools I have at work will, in the not-too-distant future become software that I probably won't be able to use. 

Occasional Contributor

I've always dismissed the UWP version of OneNote as immature, with no actual use. Main problems with it include:

  • Very poor support for east Asian and right-to-left languages
  • Actively suppresses some special characters like zero-width non-joiner, even if they are copied and pasted. (Same with Sticky Notes.)
  • Does not properly sync formatting
  • Does not properly preserve formatting
  • Lack of regard for very popular non-American standards like the Metric system, A4 papers, day-first dates, east European writing conventions
  • Underfeatured in comparison to what we already have.
  • Does not save notebooks to disk; only online. Hence, not suitable for business.
  • Cannot be updated via WSUS or an equivalent updating facility that permits convenient indirect update of computers that are normally not connected to the Internet. (Internet is a big distraction. We don't want mission-critical workers to die because they were paying attention to Facebook instead of their work.)
  • Deployed via Microsoft Store only. Hence, not suitable for business, even if received from Microsoft Store for Business.
  • Inferior performance and reliability. (Yes, I am contradicting the above that reads "improved performance and reliability". Basically, Microsoft is slapping this phrase to everything it advertises without proper regard for the de facto accuracy of the statement.)
  • Does not come with help and support.
  • Built on the disreputable UWP which everyone hates.
  • Is not visually appealing.
New Contributor

I "bought" OneNote 2016 for my iPad by linking it with my Office 365 account. If I own a Office 365 account, will I still be able to get OneNote for Windows 10 for free? Or are there any extra costs for me?

 

Thanks for answering.

Occasional Visitor

I wonder whether the print functionality in onenote uwp would be upgraded?

The print functionality in onenote2016 performs way better than the one in onenote uwp.

This is one of the badest MS News for me so long! We replace alle Notebooks in our compnay with MS Surface Pro and every employee use on ore more OneNote Notebooks and SharePoint! Changing to the UWAPP cuts too much features and this is not acceptable for us! 

Contributor

Excellent
I stop OneNote 2016, and start OneNote for Windows, now.

Senior Member

What about using OneNote ( Windows or Mac ) in connection with SharePoint 2013 / 2016 Server onprem ? 

Visitor

Noooo... OneNote is the one program I really love and you're killing it :(

 

OneNote for Windows 10 is useless to me without the following features:

 

  • Screenshot function (!!!!)
  • Grammar Check, Thesaurus, Language Setting (!!!!)
  • Paste without formatting
  • Adding time, date and formulas / symbols
  • (Freeform to equation)

Looks like the Windows 10 version don't even have the basic search feature.

Senior Member

@Stone Cut

Screen Clipping - OneNote has a new screen clipping feature. It's activated with a Surface Pen, but there seems to be no UI element for it. 

 

This Autohotkey script/exe while running, will remap Win+Shift+s to act like the surface pen and trigger the new Clipper.

 

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AqK8KGjlwcup19BwlfWh-JaXKgbQMg

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Features are being ported to the UWP version of OneNote, but even as it is right now it supports latex styled equation editing, and ink to math mode. It's very similar to the current 2016 version in that it supports entering mathmode by pressing "alt+=". Symbols, everything, if the ink entry doesn't suit you. The only think missing is a GUI representation, which is very minor.

 

Also, the new paradigm for screen shots is using Windows Ink

 

Senior Member

@Vitor Canova Weingaertner 


Hello Vitor, besides what the article mentions about tag searching being worked on, what "basic search" are you referring to?


The current version of OneNote UWP has a fairly decent search, just like the W32 version. You can search pages, sections and notebooks.

@Eric Pellegrini

 

What I mean is: Where is the search?

 

note.PNG

Regular Visitor

I might be ok with this if I knew that OneDrive had server side encryption, personal edition.  Everyone has it, dropbox, google drive, and iCloud.  Why can’t MS have this feature accross the OneDrive offerings?  Yah, I know, use the business version or encrypt in my own.  But that shouldn’t be an option with all of the hacking and selling of personal information going on.  Take that decision out of my hands and encrypt on the server side while data is at rest.

 

 

Senior Member

@Doug WalshIf you password protect your notes they are encrypted locally and on the server.

Regular Visitor

Good point that I missed.  Still wish that it was done automatically and then you don’t have to think about it.  I just read that Evernote is encrypted on the server side with Google Cloud.  I just wish it was done automatically.

 

Thanks for the reminder!

Senior Member

@Vitor Canova Weingaertner  you can find it with Ctrl-F, or click the magnifying glass icon.

 

Sketch.png

@Eric Pellegrini Thanks. My bad. I was looking for it near were it used to be. Or near the left side.

 

But I believe "CTRL+F" is not a OneNote global shortcut. It's "CTRL+E". At least it's the way it worked here. In my OneNote "CTRL+L" worked, the same shortcut used in the Portuguese version of Office. Hate when they use different shortcuts by language.

Visitor

 @Eric Pellegrini

Not sure if this is a language problem on my side but when you say "Also, the new paradigm for screen shots is using Windows Ink" - what exactly do you mean? How do I select a screen area to add, for example? I use a desktop pc.


If only the GUI representation is missing then I wonder why I can't implemented? That should be easy.


Also, how can I password protect my notes using the W10 app? I don't see such an option whereas it's prominently displayed in OneNote 2016.

Occasional Visitor

How disappointing! OneNote for Win 10 simply does not work yet. I use Classnotebook for all of my classes. Pages either don't distribute at all or distribute slowly. Syncing is spotty at times, there is not the same amount of functionality as OneNote 2016, and last but not least EVERYTIME I try to use it to distribute assignments via my LMS (Schoology), I have to reconnect ALL of my classes. None of this is an issue with OneNote 2016. I am piloting all of this for a 6 high school district, and this is not what I want to hear. Unfortunate.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Backup method needed for "OneNote for Windows 10"!

 

Currently I'm using OneNote 2016 for business and private. 12 notebooks, many sections, several thousands of pages, 10+ GB. It's the most important single software I've ever used!

 

(And OneNote is the reason why I use a Surface Pro as computer. Without OneNote there's no need for a Surface Pro! Without OneNote there's no need for Windows!)

 

Today I read that in the near future I would need to migrate to "OneNote for Windows 10". However I would only migrate if the data can be backuped. The cloud is good but additionally it must be possible to back up all data. OneNote for Windows 10 would need a mechanism like OneNote 2016 already has: e.g. every day a copy of every notebook or section is stored in some folder; e.g. 20 of such versions of each notebook or section are kept in this folder. The contents of this folder may then be backuped.

 

Without such a backup method it would be impossible to have important data in OneNote for Windows 10. 

 

 

Unbenannt.JPG

 

 

Senior Member

@Stone CutWindows Ink works with keyboard, mouse, touch or pen.

 

Windows Ink is a system wide interface for dealing with ink between apps. MS also created a new hub of sources, the Windows Ink Workspace which supports the new Sticky Notes and a screen sketch tool.

 

You can activate the ink workspace with Win-W, or you can right click on your task bar and enable the icon. 

 

This works PER screen if you have multiple screens. 

Occasional Visitor

10 million users? Sounds phishy.  The context of your statement leaves a lot to be desired.  I wonder how many are hardcore users?  You also obviously admit there are feature parity issues. Why do we have to provide feedback just port all the features.........

Visitor

@Eric Pellegrini

I just now tried the Windows Ink stuff - there's no option to create a screen clipping. I even went into the Microsoft Store for Windows Ink apps and couldn't find one. Either way, even if there were an (obvious) app it would - similarily to the Screen Clipping tool - require me to perform multiple keypresses to insert a screen shot / clipping at the current position.

 

This will be a major dealbreaker for me. I've used OneNote religiously since 2007 and have multiple gigabytes of notes for which I will need to find a new solution.

 

I had to use a different screen clipping app to create this one:

 

Windows_Ink.png

Senior Member

@Stone CutBildschirmskizze, to take a screen shot, and then use the crop feature to select the part of the screen you want.

 

You can copy to the clipboard, or save the image.

Visitor

@Eric Pellegrini

That's infinitely more cumbersome and time-consuming then just selecting the area right form within OneNote and pasting it at the current position. That just one click.

 

I use this function a LOT to create user documentations for software projects. Using Windows Ink functionality for this would take forever compared to the previous workflow.

 

Screen Clipping **has** to be included within OneNote for Windows 10 for me to even consider using it!

 

Why can't the UWP app not "simply" receive all the functions the proper Win32 program has before you retire it?

 

The title of this blog entry is a bad joke, to be honest. The UWP app definitely isn't the best version of OneNote for Windows. At least not at this point. I wouldn't mind the UWP app if it were feature-complete. But alas, it isn't.

Occasional Visitor

 This is a terrible, premature decision. The modern app is missing many features and is unlikely to gain a large subset of those due to the way Modern UI apps are created (especially by Microsoft). 

This will erode your user base. If you think doing this will gain you more users of a different kind, good luck. None of us will recommend it because we'll already have been burned.

Do the right thing here.

Regular Visitor

Good point that I missed.  Still wish that it was done automatically and then you don’t have to think about it.  I just read that Evernote is encrypted on the server side with Google Cloud.  I just wish it was done automatically.

 

Thanks for the reminder!

Regular Visitor

Can someone tell me where on OneDrive does your OneNote should be?  I have OneNote folders in Office Lens and IneNote Files.  

 

Youd think it it all should be in OneNote files.  That correct?

 

thank you!

@Doug Walsh Actually I usually create them in OneDrive first (any folder) and after open in the app. I think the default folder should be "Documents".

Senior Member

@Stone Cut, we seem to have a language issue. An action taking a finite time longer than another action is not infinitely longer.

 

you didn't seem to know what the new features in W10 are, so i picked an easy entry example. 

 

new app support new APIs for automatic screen shots and insertion. These can be and are bound to keyboard shortcuts. They also make it easy for any app to be a OneNote app.

 

 

 

 You could take a moment to find out about any of this, but you seem to rather want to express yourself in an angry reply. 

Senior Member

@Eric Pellegrini - While hyperbole might not be the most effective rhetorical strategy over the internet, it is pretty obvious in this case he does not think that it would take until the heat death of the universe to crop an image.