How-To Geek

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


The best note-taking programs, like Evernote, sync your notes to all your other devices, so you have them wherever you go. If you have some OneNote 2016 notes that are stored locally on your computer, you can sync them to your other devices using OneDrive.

NOTE: There are two different versions of OneNote. The free version of OneNote that comes with Windows 10 automatically creates new notebooks in your OneDrive account, and automatically syncs existing notebooks with your OneDrive account by default. This article discusses syncing notebooks you created in OneNote 2016, the desktop version that comes with Office 365.

To sync a notebook to your OneDrive account, click the notebooks dropdown menu in the upper-left corner of the OneNote window and select the notebook you want to sync.


Click the “File” tab.


On the backstage screen, click “Share” in the list of items on the left.


If you are not currently signed in to your OneDrive account through Office, you will see the screen allowing you to sign in. Click the “Sign in” button.


Enter your email address on the Add a service dialog box and click “Next”.


Then, enter your password on the Sign in screen and click “Sign in”.


Once you’re signed in to your OneDrive account, the following screen displays. You can either keep the current name of the notebook, or change the name in the Notebook Name box. To move the notebook to your OneDrive account, click “Move Notebook”.


When the syncing process is done, the following dialog box displays, indicating your notebook has been moved to your OneDrive account online. Click “OK”.


To return to your notebook, click the back arrow in the upper-left corner of the OneNote window.


Now, when you make changes to this notebook, they will be saved online and you can access the notebook on all your devices, such as your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. OneNote is available for iOS and Android for free.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 07/14/16
  • Byron Jacobs

    I wish you had published this a few days earlier. I just went through the pain of switching over to OneNote from EverNote. It wasn't pretty. But, OneNote has improved greatly since I last tried to use it in 2012 and I was offended that a) EverNote decided to take away functionality and b) the cost of getting it back was going to be $40 per year. I'm already paying MS $120 per year for Office 365 and it includes OneNote so the economics made sense to switch.

    A couple of tips:

    When you move OneNote files to OneDrive it tends to default to Documents. Having CDO (OCD in correct alphabetic sequence) I needed to create a folder on OneDrive called OneNote Notebooks. By the way, this should be done BEFORE running the EverNote/OneNote conversion utility. I ended up moving a lot of files around and found I could only do it in OneDrive Web Access. File Explorer won't let you do it.

    Also, when converting from EverNote to OneNote the utility didn't properly convert notebooks 1:1. Some EverNote notebooks became sections in OneNote and that was painful to fix. There may be a setting in the conversion utility that avoids this. I bit the bullet and just manually moved things around. Whether the results are optimal or not is yet to be determined but now all my notebooks are shown as shared with "Owner". And, I have successfully accessed them on my Android phone running OneNote.

    To Jamison_IO's point - messing with file locations and ownership isn't optimal but I wouldn't call it a nightmare. I have yet to check out the pdf add slowness or the handwriting recognition. I use a SurfacePro 3 and a Galaxy Edge s7 that will both give me the opportunity to try handwriting. I think EverNote saw the huge, unwashed populace of free account users out there and decided to fleece them to augment their primary, enterprise revenue focus. It could have been done more gracefully.

    Also, I've resisted moving to OneNote in the past primarily because it didn't allow me to sort notebooks, sections and pages. It's still a drawback in the basic product. However, I found OneTastic for OneNote (at Created by a MS OneNote engineer, it gives you macro capability within OneNote. There are many macros the engineer created and several of them are sorts for notebooks, sections and pages. The icons for each sort show up in the command ribbon so they're easy to use.

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