Top 7 Ways to Fix OneNote Read-Only Status

Top 7 Ways to Fix OneNote Read-Only Status

Microsoft OneNote is an old and feature-rich note-taking app. However, it still has syncing issues, offline errors, and read-only status problems. The read-only status is confusing because it prevents you from making changes to your notes. Here are seven ways to fix the read-only status on OneNote for Windows. The read-only status might be caused by incorrect sharing permissions or changes to notebook properties. Let’s troubleshoot each scenario.

1. Disable Read Only from Notebook Properties

By default, OneNote saves all notebooks to OneDrive on Windows. You can view those notebooks from the File Manager.

If you’ve enabled Read-only for a notebook, it’s time to disable it. With read-only status, you can only open the notebook and can’t make changes.

To disable Read-only:

1. Open File Manager on Windows PC or use the Windows + E keys shortcut.

2. Navigate to OneDrive > OneNote, and you’ll see all stored OneNote notebooks in the list.

3. Right-click on the notebook causing trouble and open Properties.

4. From General > Attributes, disable Read-only and click OK.

Open OneNote and try accessing a note.

2. Reopen Notebook

This trick has worked wonders for us when we faced OneNote syncing and offline errors on a specific notebook. You can close and reopen a notebook from the same location. Here’s what you need to do.

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Step 1: Open OneNote on Windows 10/11.

Step 2: Click on all notebooks at the top and right-click a notebook that’s showing read-only status.

Step 3: Select Close this Notebook.

Step 4: Go to File > Open and select the notebook location from OneDrive and open it.

Top 7 Ways to Fix OneNote Read-Only Status

Opening notes from the notebook section should not result in a read-only error.

3. Get an Editable Link

OneNote enables you to share notebooks with others. If you are working with shared notebooks and received a view-only link, you cannot edit the note. You need to ask the admin for a notebook link with editing permission. Here’s how:Step 1: Open the OneNote Notebook you want to share.Step 2: Go to File > Share > Get a Sharing Link.

Top 7 Ways to Fix OneNote Read-Only Status

Step 3: Click on “Create an edit link” and share it with others.

Top 7 Ways to Fix OneNote Read-Only Status

From now on, anyone with the link can make changes to the OneNote Notebook. So be careful when sharing it.

4. Close OneNote from Other Devices

It’s possible that the same note is open in another device. For instance, if it is open in a Mac and you’re trying to access it on a Windows PC. In such cases, OneNote will keep showing the read-only status. That means you can open and use a note only on one device at a time.

5. Activate Microsoft 365 Subscription

Using the OneNote app that comes with a Microsoft 365 subscription? Many laptop OEMs provide a 30-day free trial for Microsoft 365 Personal subscription.If you’re on a trial, it will expire after 30 days, and the OneNote app will become read-only.

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Top 7 Ways to Fix OneNote Read-Only Status

To access OneNote on your Windows device, either buy the Microsoft 365 pack or get the free OneNote app from the Microsoft Store.

6. Check OneDrive Storage

Microsoft offers only 5GB of OneDrive storage for free. That might be insufficient for power users of OneNote. You can purchase additional OneDrive storage from Microsoft or opt for the Microsoft 365 subscription that unlocks all the Office apps and 1TB of OneDrive storage.

7. Update OneNote

If you use the Windows OneNote app, check for updates or install the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

An outdated OneNote on Windows 10/11 might show read-only status when accessing a notebook.

Open the Microsoft Store app, go to the Library menu, and click Get Update to see the new OneNote build, if available.

Top 7 Ways to Fix OneNote Read-Only Status

Install the OneNote update and try editing the notes.

Start Editing OneNote Notes

If OneNote pages are still read-only, access the same notebook online. Despite competition from Notion, Apple Notes, and Evernote, OneNote remains our top pick for many reasons. A read-only notebook can be frustrating, but the steps above will fix the issue and allow you to edit your notes once more.

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