7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

Microsoft OneNote has undergone iterations. However, users complain about frequently losing notebooks, sections, and individual notes. Some users report losing notes or entire notebooks that disappeared on Windows computers. We will show you what to do when OneNote Notebooks vanish on your Windows PC.

It could be a sync error or the notebook in question was closed and is no longer available. Part of the problem is that Microsoft has multiple versions of OneNote, making it difficult to keep track of and troubleshoot problems like these.

1. Open Closed Notebook

You can close a notebook in OneNote to declutter the interface. Closed notebooks disappear from view but not existence, which is why you cannot view them.

Step 1: Click the downward-facing arrow in the left window pane to reveal currently open notebooks.

Step 2: Click More Notebooks to find closed ones.

Step 3: Select the notebook you want to open, then click the Open button at the bottom.

Downloading and syncing data may take a few moments, but you won’t lose any data. This applies to OneNote for Windows version, although the UI is slightly different for OneNote (previously known as OneNote 2016).

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

2. Sync Error

Microsoft uses OneDrive to save and sync OneNote notebooks, sections, and notes across devices. Close and reopen OneNote to initiate the sync.

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7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

You can manually sync by clicking on the cloud icon. The checkmark means the sync is complete.

For OneNote (2016), click the sync icon inside the notebook button to reveal a pop-up. You have more control here and can sync individual notebooks. You can also find it under File > Sync Status.

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

3. OneNote Backup on Computer

There is currently no way to store notes locally in OneNote for Windows. It uses OneDrive for note storage. However, you can store notes both locally and in the cloud, and there is a way to recover deleted notes.

Step 1: Open File > Info and click on Open Backups. This will open a local folder on your computer with a separate folder for each notebook you created.

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

Step 2: Select a Notebook and click Open or drill further to find sections within a notebook.

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

4. Check Recycle Bin for Deleted Notes

Deleted notes in OneNote are moved to the Recycle Bin. After 60 days, they are permanently deleted. These steps apply to both versions of OneNote.

For OneNote for Windows:

Click the View tab, then click the Deleted Notes button to find the deleted notes.

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

Under the History tab, you will find the Notebook Recycle Bin button.

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

All deleted pages and notes will appear there. OneNote will store them for 60 days.

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

5. Check OneDrive

Open the OneDrive homepage and check the Documents or Notebooks folder for OneNote notebooks, sections, and notes. Deleted items may still be in the Recycle bin folder, so be sure to check there too. To restore deleted items, simply right-click on the notebook.

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7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

6. Check OneNote Website

Open the OneNote webapp homepage and check if you can find the missing notebook or notes. The web app works like the OneNote for Windows app, but any notes and notebooks you created in OneNote should be here.

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

7. Open Via OneDrive

Sometimes, due to sync errors, notes may be visible in OneDrive on the web but not in the OneNote app on your Windows computer. If this happens, open your OneDrive account in a web browser, find the missing OneNote notebook, right-click on it, and select Open in OneNote to open it on the desktop app.

7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Notebook Disappearing Error on Windows

Another option, Open in OneNote Online, opens the OneNote app in a new web tab. Once the notebook/note opens in the app, it syncs, and you can open it directly from there later.

Accidental deletion or sync errors are common causes of problems with notes. However, it is also worth checking if the note has been inadvertently moved to a different location by you or someone else with access to your computer. This is unlikely, but it is worth trying.

OneNote is not the only note-taking app available. Notion, for example, offers modular productivity, providing users with more formats and flexibility.

Next, if you’re considering trying Notion, we have a list of productive templates that can help you get started quickly. Click the link below to learn more.

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