The removal of the Office OneNote 2016 desktop version download links is unacceptable.

Steel Contributor

We were promised in all of the news about the demise of Office OneNote 2016 desktop edition that "We could continue using the desktop edition as long as we wished" of One Note 2016.  This is highly necessary as the crippled Windows 10 version does not provide required functionality for most OneNote users.  There are 1500 deep message threads on how useless the Windows 10 store version is, and how many additional features of the desktop version not covered in the windows 10 store version that are business critical.

As of the latest Office365 release, and on the OneNote site - all the download links for the 2016 Desktop version have been removed. This goes directly against the contract offered by the Office and OneNote teams that we can continue to use the 2016 version - since we can't use it if we can't download it. 

While there are undocumented workarounds I as a reseller, and my clients as direct customers of Microsoft demand you return the links to both the Office365 MANAGE SOFTWARE PAGE and to the OneNote site to download the desktop version as quickly as possible. This is ESSENTIAL TO OUR CLIENT'S NEEDS.

14 Replies

For those searching for the undocumented links they are here. You cannot reach these from any other page on the Microsoft sites any more. I don't know how long they'll continue to work. They will not work for non click-to-run clients to the best of my knowledge:

Here is the download link for oneNote 2016. While no longer included in office, it's still a free download - but don't expect any additional development on it:

Ok here are the links: 


These are direct download links - not link clickable.


Sorry for the confusion. Don't know how long these will last but I was able to get to them eventually through the various pages - they make it difficult. If you're not in the US link in the correct language/country at the end.




Thank you so much for this post! I reinstalled Office 365 the other day and found OneNote desktop version missing. After a quick search all news articles mention this, but was related to Office 2019. I did not continue my search but tried to push myself to use the newer version. After getting frustrated I did a deeper search and found your post. Thank you for the direct download links!

If your customers use Intune, you can install all the Office apps, including Onenote 2016, from there and assign it to groups of users or devices.

With removing OneNote from the portal, an online repair is also not possible as it is removing the Application from the desktop.

That was indeed the case.

I did the test today, OneNote2016 isn't being installed anymore.

I think the issue is due to the update channel. I assume that is works for monthly, but not for semi-annual.

@Lee Drake 

"OneNote the Lame" is a piece of dung!  It has been painful to see Microsoft fritter away its lead to DropBox, etc. by missteps, but none as cataclysmic as the failure to provide even a semblance of the promised smooth transition from OneNote 2016 and its full functionality!!!

-Ron White

@Ron White the good news is that Microsoft has seen the light, and is returning Desktop oneNote to full support.

@Lee Drake I found a way to make the new OneNote desktop look like 2016!


Menu: View > Tabs Layout = Horizontal



File > Options > Display > Move page list to the left = off




And voila! 

@NanetteDV  - Thanks yes, that's the way I have mine configured. My msg above is from 2019 and they've somewhat improved it since. It's still a mess compared to the original though, and there is still missing functionality dating back till then.  Now they're doing the same thing to Outlook.  Sad.

I just figured I'd add it in for others who find this post, because it was driving me nuts. about 7 months ago I could still get OneNote 2016 installed, but now (with a new laptop) I could only get the updated OneNote for Desktop app.

I have noticed a bunch of things with the new Outlook and it has crashed on me a few times when adding categories to events, and there are other niggly bits like not being able to open .msg files (surely this is a core function??) and also not being able to copy/paste an event in your calendar. The same goes for the new modern Power Automate interface where you can't add html formatting to emails! Let's hope it improves sooner rather than later - Microsoft loves a "good enough" rollout and fix with iterations after...
Per this thread it's still possible to install the traditional one note desktop. You just have to dive into downloads to get the installer. I will cling to 2016 until they pry it from my cold dead hands. And for those that love outlook - look out. New outlook is another crappy web app that are looking to replace the desktop version with.
More importantly, the new outlook is a web app. It won't function offline - no access to mail. Additionally no way to import/export any mail files, so without the desktop app no way to backup mail to a local machine on retirement, etc.