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How to Recover Deleted Notes in OneNote
  • Post type:
  • Knowledge
  • Posted by:
  • Sarah Chao
  • Published on:
  • 11/21/2017
  • Suitable for:
  • Students; Teachers; Staff
  • Level of difficulty:
  • Intermediate
  • Office tool:
  • OneNote; Class Notebook
Last modified: 12/18/2019 3:40 PM by Sarah Chao

Before you start

Please be reminded that in order for you to recover "deleted notes" (this could be pages or sections), from your One​Note notebook, they must meet all of the following 3 requirements:

  1. The OneNote pages or sections​ were deleted within the past 60 days.  
  2. ​OneNote notebook page or section was deleted from the desktop OneNote app or desktop . ​This means that you or shared users were working on the synced copy of this notebook on your desktop or laptop.
    • ​​​NOTE: When pages OR sections of a notebook are deleted from the browser, the delete is indeed permanent and you are notified with a warning message box that ask you to reconfirm your action. When this is a shared notebook, this action is for all users who have access to this same notebook. Be extra cautious!
  3. ​​You can recover both deleted pages and sections from the OneNote notebook through the desktop OneNote app or OneNote 2016. ​While deleted pages via the browser are deleted permanently.​

​​How to recover the deleted notes

With OneNote 2016​​

1. Open up your desktop OneNote ​2016 and follow the step by step note recovery instruction provided by Microsoft. The first thing you will need to do is open the notebook and locate the "History" tab.


2. Right click ​on the deleted page or an entire section, then Move or copy to restore them back to the desired Notebook. Notice that pages that were previously deleted can be recovered from the "Deleted Pages" tab and Deleted Sections will be its' own tabs.


With desktop OneNote app

1. Open up your desktop OneNote ​app and look for the "View" tab.

2. Right click ​on the deleted page or an entire section​, and then select Restore to or other options that are suitable for your needs. Select the correct notebook once the option panel open up.​


Recover an entire deleted notebook

​For recovery of an entire deleted notebook, you can often find them in below scenarios:

  • Your personal notebooks or shared (by you to other) notebooks deleted in your OneDrive in the browser, recover them in your ​​OneDrive "Recycle b​in"

  • Your personal notebooks, which you have not saved to OneDrive and deleted from File Explore on your desktop or laptop, recover them in your desktop or laptop "Recycle Bin"

  • Notebooks in SharePoint Online Site deleted from the browser, recover them in the SharePoint site "Recycle Bin"

  • Notebooks in SharePoint Online Site synced to your desktop, you will notice that they are shown only as a shortcut link in File Explore on your desktop or laptop. They cannot be "deleted" as you will get an error message if you do so.

Good idea to back up your OneNote

It is a good idea to back up your OneNote, especially when it's a shared notebook with other collaborators and you are regularly working on the notebooks from your desktop. Microsoft provides the benefits of backing up your OneNote regularly in easy-to-follow steps.

Closing a notebook from Desktop OneNote

Let your ​collaborators know that if they want to declutter their desktop OneNote and remove shared notebook, they can simply "Close This Notebook" by right-click on the selected notebook.


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