What happens to OneNote when I leave my company? Can someone take ownership, so it's not deleted?

Copper Contributor



I currently have OneNote on my local drive and I have shared it with people within my team who can access and edit it. I will be leaving this company but I need my OneNote to still be accessible as it has all documentation in it. It also has to be editable my any future people using it. 


Can anyone suggest the best way to do this? If I move it to "Sites" for this company, would that work? Once I leave my personal drive will be deleted, but I am not truly familiar with this application so I don't know the best way to do this.


Any help is greatly appreciated!

9 Replies

You need to move it to a network location that your colleagues can also access. I'd move it well before you leave so you're sure its all working for them. If anything goes wrong you'll find that its backed up locally (I presume) on your PC so you can recover it f anything goes wrong. When it is all sorted I would suggest deleting it from your own PC (locally) whilst "off line". I had someone delete his copy whilst on line once and it wiped everything!

Thanks @Allan Clarke. As I am new to OneNote, I am not totally familiar with what you have said below. By moving it to a network location, do you mean for example: C:\Team\OneNote? Or does it have to be moved on to OneDrive? Does moving it mean anyone who has access to the folder can view it? Or do they still have to be invited? If I am the one inviting them, does it mean that when I leave, they can no longer access it?


Thanks again for your response!

@NewbiesAs you suggest you have a team I assume you all work for the same company and that company has a LAN/WAN (i.e. a network that you all connect to). Move the OneNote to the company network and then everyone can access it. If you want to be extremely safe, create a completely new and empty OneNote Notebook on the company network (or use SharePoint if they have it or OneDrive is another option) which you can do from your PC. Once you've created a blank notebook and can see both of them in OneNote on your PC (one on your local drive C:?) and one on the network, you can then "copy" the notes, one by one, over to the new network Notebook. Use OneNote 2016, just right click a folder, choose to "copy" (not "move") and then select where, in the new notebook you want it to go (See here). Once they're all moved over you can give colleagues access and close the version on your PC and keep it as an archive copy (or delete it when you leave).

@Allan Clarke Yes you are correct that my team all work for the same company. We all have access to drive G:. I have copied everything across. I put the new notebook on 'Sites - ', if that makes a difference? I asked someone in my team to go into the folder and see if they could open it. They could see and open the notebook but couldn't view anything. Do I need to invite them to the notebook like I did for my original? If I leave, will the notebook remain in the same folder e.g. G:/team/Documents/OneNote.. with everything as I can see it? Can they then invite others to view the notebook? I could use OneDrive, if you think this would be better. We currently don't have the functionality of SharePoint, but it is in the process at the moment. I think I will have left before it is up and running.


Apologies if this seems quite trivial, I find it confusing as it is not a normal file like Excel or Word.


Thanks again!

@Newbies  If your team can see & open the notebook cant see why they cant see the content. You could try sharing to see if that fixes it. Otherwise, no idea why I'm afraid.

Hi @Newbies - One easy way to copy\move a OneNote Notebook is to create a new one in a location that is accessible (edit) to your team.  Ideally this would be a location in Office 365 such as SharePoint Online since a SharePoint site won't be deleted when a user leaves an organization (vs. your local PC or a network home drive, or even OneDrive for Business).


  1. Once you have created your new Empty Notebook, Open the OneNote Notebook that you want to copy and right click each section and select Move or Copy.
  2. One the Move or Copy Section window, select the new Notebook you just created, and then select Copy (I am more comfortable Copying and confirming then moving).
  3. Do this for each section until your newly created OneNote has all the content from your local OneNote Notebook.
  4. Confirm that your current Team members can access the new OneNote.
  5. I then update my original Notebook with a message in big bold print NOT to use this version anymore with a link pointing to the Copied version.  You could even change permissions on your local Notebook so people only have read access and you might choose to delete some of the content to nudge people to the new version.

One of the reasons to do it this way is to prevent problems that might occur for people that are syncing your Notebook if you were to use the Share or Move option from the File | Settings menu.


Also if there are password protected sections that you don't have access to (seems unlikely, but worth mentioning), then have the person that password protected the content copy the PW protected content or ask them to remove the password protection. 


Disclaimer:  For the past 7+ Years I have only saved OneNote Notebooks to OneDrive or SharePoint Online. Your experience with a local copy and network drive may be a little different.


@Gregory Frick  Why not just select "move" at the whole notebook level rather than moving each section one at a time?

@TylerH1  - You can try that if you want. It may work just fine.  I put some reasons for the approach I suggested in my response. You may have missed them.