OneNote Not Syncing? How to Get It Back Online

What to do when you get a Onenote Sync Error

Woman viewing her notes on a tablet and laptop

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There are many reasons why OneNote notebooks won’t sync. Because OneNote stores notebooks in the cloud using OneDrive, there’s the potential for internet connection problems, delays when working on a notebook online with several people, and delays when working on the same notebook from different devices. Here’s what to do when OneNote won’t sync.

Instructions in this article apply to OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote for Office 365, and OneNote 2019.

Prevent Common OneNote Sync Issues

Before you begin troubleshooting sync errors in OneNote, make sure the app is up-to-date by installing the latest OneNote or Office update. And, if you use multiple Microsoft, work, or school accounts with OneNote, make sure you’re using the account associated with the OneNote notebook. Then, to avoid sync problems in the future, keep OneNote updated and follow the OneNote syncing best practices.

Get the Latest Version of OneNote for Microsoft Accounts

The OneDrive desktop app is installed with the Windows operating system. OneDrive, along with other Windows apps, can be updated from the Windows store.

  1. Close all apps.

  2. Go to the Start menu and select Microsoft Store.

    The Windows Start menu showing how to find the Microsoft Store
  3. Sign in to use the Microsoft Store. 

    If your Microsoft, work, or school account isn’t listed, go to the Profile icon and select Add work or school account.

    Sign in to the Microsoft Store
  4. Select the See more icon (the three dots) and choose Downloads and updates.

    Select Downloads and updates to get the latest version of OneNote
  5. Select Get updates.

    Get updates of Microsoft Windows apps including OneNote
  6. Your copy of OneNote is now up to date.

    The Windows downloads and updates is complete and OneNote is good to go
  7. Close the Microsoft Store.

Get the Latest Version of OneNote for Microsoft Office Accounts

If you have an Office 365 subscription, update OneNote at the same time you update the other Office apps.

  1. Open any Office app such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

    If the Office app is open and displays a document, go to the File tab.

  2. Select Account.

    The opening screen for Microsoft PowerPoint
  3. Select Update Options > Update Now.

    Get Office Updates to update OneNote and the other Office apps
  4. When the Save your work before continuing dialog box appears, save any open documents. Open apps are closed automatically.

  5. Select Continue.

    Save files and documents before continuing the Office Update
  6. Wait while Office updates.

  7. In the Updates were installed dialog box, select Close.

Sign in to the Right OneNote Account

The OneNote desktop app works with multiple accounts. For example, you can sign in to the OneNote desktop app with a free Microsoft account for your personal notebooks and an Office 365 work account for your business-related notes.

Here’s how to determine which account is signed in to OneNote:

  1. Open the OneNote desktop app.

  2. Go to the Settings and More menu (the three dot icon).

  3. Select Settings.

    The Settings for the OneNote desktop app
  4. Select Accounts.

    Finding the Accounts Settings in Microsoft OneNote
  5. The Microsoft account you use to sign in to OneNote appears in the account list.

    To sync notebooks in a different Microsoft, work, or school account, select Add account to set up the account in OneNote, then sign in.

    Microsoft, work, and school accounts that are signed in to OneNote
  6. Select Close.

Set Up OneNote to Automatically Sync Notes

Many times, notebooks don’t sync because OneNote is set up to sync notebooks manually. To ensure that you always have the latest version of a notebook, set up OneNote to sync automatically.

  1. Open the OneNote desktop app.

  2. Go to the Settings and More menu (the three dot icon).

  3. Select Settings.

  4. Select Options.

    Finding Options Settings to automatically sync OneNote notebooks
  5. Turn on the Sync notebooks automatically toggle switch.

  6. Turn on the Sync all files and images toggle switch.

    Enable sync options in the OneNote desktop app
  7. Close the Options pane.

How to Tell if OneNote Has a Sync Error

Sync errors occur when notebooks are used on several devices or when shared by a group of people. When working with notebooks that are stored in the cloud, there may be delays when switching to a different device or when others make changes to a notebook. When this happens, you may not be working in the latest copy of the notebook.

If you’re unsure if you’re using the most recent version of a notebook, select Sync Status to find out when the notebook pages were last saved to OneDrive.

The Sync Status button in the OneNote desktop app

Troubleshoot Sync Problems When A Notebook Won’t Sync

If a notebook will not sync, determine if the sync problem is with the OneNote desktop app or with the Microsoft server.

  1. Open the OneNote desktop app.

  2. Right-click the notebook and select Copy Link to Notebook. The link is copied to the Clipboard.

    Copy a link to a notebook to view the notebook in OneNote Online
  3. Open a web browser.

  4. Go to the Address bar, paste the link to the notebook, and press Enter.

  5. If prompted, sign in to your Microsoft, work, or school account.

If the Notebook Opens Successfully

If the notebook opens successfully in OneNote Online, the problem may be with the OneNote desktop app. Usually closing and reopening the notebook will fix the sync problem.

To close and reopen a OneNote notebook:

  1. In the OneNote desktop app, right-click the notebook and select Close This Notebook.

    Closing a OneNote notebook in the OneNote desktop app
  2. In OneNote Online, select Edit Notebook > Edit in Microsoft OneNote.

    A notebook open in OneNote Online and showing how to open in the desktop app
  3. Wait while the notebook syncs and opens in the OneNote desktop app.

If the Notebook Does Not Open

If the notebook does not open in OneNote Online, the problem may be with the server. Check the Microsoft Service Status page. If OneNote is good to go, check with your ISP to see if your service is working properly.

Fix Sync Issues When a Section of a Notebook Won’t Sync

If you’re working with others on a shared notebook and sections of the notebook are not updating, manually sync the notebook. If that doesn’t work, copy the section that won’t sync to a new section.

Manually Sync a Notebook

To manually sync a notebook:

  1. Right-click the notebook that won’t sync.

  2. Select Sync.

    Manually sync a OneNote notebook when there's sync issues
  3. Select Sync This Notebook.

    Manually sync a notebook in the OneNote desktop app
  4. Select the Page sync status icon.

If the Section Does Not Sync

If the section did not sync, create a new section and copy the pages from the section that does not sync to the new section. Then, press Shift+F9 to manually sync the notebook.

Fix Sync Error Messages

These are some of the common sync error messages that you’ll encounter in OneNote.

  • Quota Exceeded Error: This means that there isn’t enough space in the location where the notebook is stored. Delete unneeded files to make more space or purchase more OneDrive storage space.

The Quota Exceeded error may also appear when the computer runs out of free disk space. To free up space, delete unneeded files.

  • 0xE000002E: If you see the 0xE000002E (Out of Sync with Store) error code in OneNote, manually refresh OneNote. Open OneNote and press Shift+F9.
  • 0xE4010641: The 0xE4010641 (Network Disconnected) error in OneNote means that your computer or device is not connected to a network (such as the internet) or that the location where the notebook is stored is not available.
  • 0xE40105F9: If you see the 0xE40105F9 (Unsupported Client Build) error in OneNote, update your version of OneNote.
  • 0xE000005E: The 0xE000005E (ReferencedRevisionNotFound) error in OneNote means that a section in a notebook can’t sync. Press Shift+F9 to manually sync the notebook.