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Feb 28 2024 07:00 AM - Feb 29 2024 10:30 AM (PST)
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Problems with One Note in Office 365 following upgrade to Surface Pro8

Copper Contributor

HI all

I use One Drive to back up all my storage. I recently upgraded from Pro 7 to Pro 8.

Having installed my office 365 subscription , and checked its update status,  it still refuses to download or open a very critical OneNote file  saying it is blocked as unsafe. 


This was  passworded safe location for  critical data and its loss is very would be very serious,

What can have happened

I am  home user and have been trying for some time to get past the automata to paid assistance
It does not seem to be available to home users any more

Roger Stenson

8 Replies



Where are your notebooks stored?


OneDrive personal

OneDrive for Business

SharePoint Online?


Also, What OneNote application you are using?"


OneNote for Windows 10

OneNote Desktop (2016 version)

Hi David
I keep all my personal data on my PC's in the OneData Folder. The files are present both on my PC and are fully and rapidly backed up by the OneDrive on line system thanks my gigabit wifi connection. I am very attentive to One_Drive's messages.
My One note software is derived from my current subscription to the home user Office 365 system. I am the sole user of that product in my household. The machine rarely leaves my home ,thanks to my Duo 1&2 systems .
I update my PC's every couple of years. THE One Drive system has so far brought forward my data faithfully to every new model. This time the brought forward copy of my 'MainNoteBook' one note file which is fully passworded is reported to be 'unsafe' and is blocked. It contains all my sensitive personal data.
Both my discarded Surface Pro 7 and Pro 8 were on Windows 11

Roger Stenson'
Further reply
Hi again David
The 'MainNotebook' file on my Pro 7 before the upgrade consisted of at least 15 busy pages.
Now on my Pro 8 it is reported to comprise only 170 odd bytes, so there is no my point in recovering it. Its gone
Roger Stenson
All good. If you said its gone, its gone. You should move your OneNote Notebooks to your OneDrive account or SharePoint. Then you won't have that problem. Also, if they were "rapidly backed up to OneDrive", then the notebook should be in OneDrive. If they were deleted on your machine, they should still be in OneDrive, or at least in the recycle bin in OneDrive.

Also, You should not back them up with OneDrive. You should make a folder in your OneDrive or SharePoint library called "notebooks" and put them in there, but you should go into OneDrive settings and turn the sync off on that folder. That will do nothing but cause problems. That is like backing up your .PST file for your email, and the .PST is in use. Nothing but problems.

OneNote has its own sync, so you don't use OneDrive. Once the files are up in 365, you can then open them from OneNote on your machine, and OneNote will do the syncing. Then you won't have any problems. You can run and buy a brand new machine, install Office, launch OneNote on your brand new machine, and you can still have access to all your notebooks as they are in the cloud.
I can see how 15 busy pages can seem like its big, but its not. I have 11 different Notebooks, with the biggest one having about 30 sections, and each section has at least 100+ pages. All the notebooks are in 365 and all open and synchronizing with the OneNote app on the machine.

So, You should log into the browser and check the location they were backing up to, and if they are not there, make sure you check the recyclebin and even the second stage recyclebin
The original one note file was always retained solely in my OneDrive folder both on my PC and in the cloud. It worked perfectly on Sfce Pro 7.
When I connected my new Sfc Pro 8 to one drive it would not down load it as it would damage my system. The file size was given as 179 bytes which is much less than the original content of the system. There seems to be no way I can access this file in my Surface Pro 8 and in the meantime I have reset my Pro 7 and given it to my grandson.
The loss of this important file has destroyed my faith in One Cloud and I will be exploring other solutions
Roger Stenson

I’m sure the OD sync did that.

You need to first see if you can open the file from the browser. If it opens there, then you can get it to resync to your desktop

But the browser is the first thing to check

I am guessing that nothing helped. Oh well, at least you know next time to keep your Notebooks in your OneDrive for Business or SharePoint. At least you know if you do that, you won't lose any data