OneNote logo

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.

Launch OneNote

When the OneNote window opens, click “File” in the top-left corner of the window.

The File menu in OneNote

Here, select “Info” from the left sidebar, then click “Open Backups” on the right.

Open OneNote backups

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.”

Restore a OneNote backup

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.

Move or copy OneNote notes

In the window that opens, select the notebook that you want to restore the deleted notes into and hit “Copy” at the bottom.

Restore deleted OneNote notes

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.

RELATED: How to Sync OneNote 2016 Notebooks to Your OneDrive Account and Access them Anywhere

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.

Access OneNote for Windows 10

In the OneNote window, click “View” in the top menu bar.

The View menu in OneNote

Under the View menu, click the “Deleted Notes” option.

Deleted notes in OneNote

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.”

Restore deleted OneNote notes

OneNote will ask where to restore your notes. Select the existing notebook that you want to add these deleted notes into and click “Restore.”

Select a notebook to restore notes into

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.

Launch OneNote on Mac

Click “View” in the OneNote window.

The View menu in OneNote for Mac

Select “Deleted Notes” in the View menu.

Deleted notes in OneNote for Mac

OneNote will now display all your deleted notes. To restore a note, right-click it and select “Restore To.”

Recover notes in OneNote for Mac

On the next screen, choose the existing notebook to add these recovered notes into and click “Restore.”

Choose notebook to add notes into

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.

Deletes Notes option in OneNote for web

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.

The Recycle bin on OneDrive

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.

Recover OneNote notebooks with OneDrive

Go to that original location in OneDrive (which is usually the Documents folder) and click the notebook to open it with OneNote for web.

Profile Photo for Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
Read Full Bio »