Questions about the Move Away from ON 2016 and To ON for Win10

Iron Contributor

We have the ProPlus edition of Office 365 installed on a terminal server running Windows Server 2012R2, which is used by multiple user accounts. It installed OneNote 2016, which we use extensively. MSFT announcements over the past year indicate that ON2016 features will not be added, although the product will be maintained through the Office 2016 product life, because Microsoft is transitioning to OneNote for Windows 10.

  • Will a product similar to the "new" one be available for terminal servers and Mac OS? If so, how where do we find it?
  • Does the "new" edition allow for local backups or syncs to the local machine? If not, how can we ensure the availability of the data?

It does not seem like the OneNote team is thinking or communicating about the needs of organizations that have been using OneNote.

4 Replies
best response confirmed by Joseph Nierenberg (Iron Contributor)

Good question, to recap there is OneNote 2016 on Windows, which is no longer being updated with new features. 


"Keep in mind that OneNote 2016 is no longer being updated with new features and there won’t be a OneNote 2019. OneNote 2016 will continue to receive other updates, like critical fixes and security updates, while it’s still supported. Mainstream support for OneNote 2016 ends in October 2020, and extended support ends in October 2025."


OneNote for Windows 10 is the replacement app and only supports cloud storage, no local access to notebooks.  There isn't a way to publish OneNote for Windows 10 on TS/RDS as I understand (please someone correct me if this isn't right!) and in fact, Office 365 support for Windows Server 2019 has been dropped. However, Office 365 ProPlus will continue to be supported on Windows Server 2016 until October 2025.


There may be some other options in the future for this workload, so it's worth keeping a lookout, perhaps around Ignite timeframe, in September.  This post provides some good commentary on what happened last year. 


By the way, Microsoft may just advise using OneNote from a browser if there isn't a supported app on a particular platform.

Thanks for the info, @Cian Allner.  Among my firm's primary goals are maintaining access to duplicate data sets (synced to SPO and backed up elsewhere) and non-Office software available for use on our TS, which we access through a VPN and RDP. It seems like that design won't be sustainable past Windows Server 2016 (which also means we won't be able to work out video conferencing through a client on the TS with the camera on the local machine, which is possible with Windows Server 2019). All in all, not a happy development, but at least I know about it now and can plan.

Good points, it's surprising some of these changes but that's how it's shaping up currently. I think Microsoft sees Windows Virtual Desktop as the way forward for these workloads and the best way to access Office 365 from a remote desktop, once it's available.


Microsoft 365 adds modern desktop on Azure


"The only service to enable a multi-user Windows 10 experience, including compatibility with Microsoft Store and existing Windows line-of-business apps while delivering cost advantages previously only possible with server-based virtualization."

@Joseph Nierenberg 


I can't find where OneNote App for Windows 10 stores backups of your notebooks.  Comments in Microsoft Community say you don't need backup, because main notebooks are stored in the cloud.  However, if you accidentally delete a section, and don't notice it for a year, and it's no longer in the OneNote recycle bin, you can't get it back without backups.  If anyone knows that OneNote App for Windows 10 does do a backup, please post information about how to control the backups (how many backups it stores), where it stores them, and how to restore lost sections from the backups.