If you’ve accidentally deleted a note in Microsoft OneNote, don’t panic. There’s a good chance your deleted note is still available in a OneNote backup. Here, we’ll show you how to recover your notes in OneNote for Windows, Mac, and the web.
Restore Deleted Notes in OneNote on Windows
OneNote has two versions for Windows: OneNote (formerly called OneNote 2016) and OneNote for Windows 10.
The steps to recover deleted notes aren’t the same for both versions, so you’ll need to find out what version of OneNote you’re using first.
To do this, open the “Start” menu and search for “OneNote.” Notice the name of the app that you usually click to access your notes. Compare that name with the names listed above to find out your version of OneNote.
Then, depending on the version you use, follow the steps in one of the sections below to recover your deleted notes in OneNote.
Get Back Deleted Notes in OneNote (formerly OneNote 2016)
OneNote automatically creates backups of your notes by default. This means that if you ever delete a note, you can restore it later from these OneNote backups.
To start the process of recovering your lost notes, open the “Start” menu, search for “OneNote,” and click the app in the results.
When the OneNote window opens, click “File” in the top-left corner of the window.
Here, select “Info” from the left sidebar, then click “Open Backups” on the right.
A window will open showing your notebooks (as folders) that were backed up. Double-click the notebook folder that you want to restore notes from, then select the notes section and click “Open.”
The selected note will open on your screen. Here, right-click the note’s section or page name at the top and select “Move or Copy.” This will help restore your note into your existing notebooks.
In the window that opens, select the notebook that you want to restore the deleted notes into and hit “Copy” at the bottom.
Your selected notes are now available in your existing notebook.
If you don’t prefer local backups, you can sync OneNote with your Microsoft account. This keeps a copy of all your notes in the cloud, and you can access them from any of your compatible devices.
Recover Deleted Notes in OneNote for Windows 10
If you use OneNote for Windows 10, you don’t need to open a backup file to restore notes. There’s a built-in option in this app that helps you view and recover your removed notes.
This option retrieves your notes from your Microsoft account’s cloud storage—which is where your notes are originally stored.
To begin the recovery process, access your “Start” menu, search for “OneNote for Windows 10,” and click the app in the results.
In the OneNote window, click “View” in the top menu bar.
Under the View menu, click the “Deleted Notes” option.
You can now see all your deleted notes and sections. Find the note that you want to recover, then right-click it and select “Restore To.”
OneNote will ask where to restore your notes. Select the existing notebook that you want to add these deleted notes into and click “Restore.”
Recover Deleted Notes in OneNote on Mac
OneNote for Mac also doesn’t require you to open a backup file to restore notes. You can use a built-in option in the app to find and recover your deleted notes.
To begin, open Spotlight by pressing Command+Spacebar, type in “OneNote,” and select the app in the search results.
Click “View” in the OneNote window.
Select “Deleted Notes” in the View menu.
OneNote will now display all your deleted notes. To restore a note, right-click it and select “Restore To.”
On the next screen, choose the existing notebook to add these recovered notes into and click “Restore.”
Without further prompts, your selected notes will be recovered.
Recover Deleted Notes in OneNote on the Web
OneNote for web works pretty much the same as OneNote for Windows 10. It syncs your notes to your OneDrive account and lets you recover your notes from within the app.
Head over to OneNote on the web and log in to your account to start notes recovery. Then, click the View > Deleted Notes option to view your lost notes.
Right-click the note that you want to recover and select “Restore.” Choose your existing notebook to add this note into and hit “OK.”
If you’ve deleted an entire notebook, you’ll need to restore it in OneDrive first before using it in OneNote for web. This notebook can be recovered from OneDrive’s recycle bin as long as it hasn’t already been 30 days since you deleted it.
To recover your full notebook, open the OneDrive site in your browser and log in to your account.
When OneDrive loads, click “Recycle bin” in the left-hand sidebar.
Here, click the notebook that you want to recover on the right pane. Then, click “Restore” at the top to put your notebook into its original location.
Go to that original location in OneDrive (which is usually the Documents folder) and click the notebook to open it with OneNote for web.