Microsoft One Note is one of the best apps designed for taking notes, compiling research data, and organizing information that you’ll regularly need. What makes it more convenient is that it works virtually everywhere across different devices.
To ensure that you can effortlessly access your files, OneNote syncs notes, files, and data and then stores them in the cloud using OneDrive.
However, sometimes OneDrive might run into problems preventing it from working as expected. Therefore, if your OneNote is not syncing, there are a few things you can try to restore your connection.
OneNote might stop syncing because of various reasons. It could be because of your internet connection, having several people working on a notebook, file corruption, or when working on the same notebook from different devices. Whatever the reason, here is what you can do to restore your connection when OneNote doesn’t sync.
1. Check the OneNote Service Status
Before diving into trying to fix the OneNote won't sync problem, you should first check whether it is a server-side problem. OneNote could be down, making it unable to work as expected. Therefore, you can start by opening OneNote Online and checking if everything is updated.
If that’s not the case, you can visit the Office Service Status page on your browser. If you find any problems listed next to Office for the web (Consumer), there is nothing you can do other than wait for Microsoft to fix the issue.
In most cases, your app is experiencing server-side problems if you see the error codes 0xE000078B and 0xE4020040 in OneNote.
2. Force-Sync OneNote
If you receive the 0xE000002E error code when OneNote fails to sync, you can try fixing the issue by force syncing your data. This problem also happens when you share OneNote with other people. Therefore, when you realize that a section of OneNote is not syncing, you can manually sync it. All you have to do is:
Step 1: Right-click on the problematic notebook. Select Sync.
Step 2: Then click on Sync This Notebook
3. Reset the sync connection
If you’re having issues with the application, reopening a notebook could fix the sync problem by resetting the sync connection. You can do this by:
Step 1: In OneNote, right-click the notebook and select Close This Notebook
Step 2: Sign in to OneNote Online
Step 3: Select the notebook
Step 4: Choose the Open in Desktop App option on the OneNote Online. This will reopen the notebook in OneNote for Windows or Microsoft 365.
After completing these steps, the sync connection will reset, and your notebook should start syncing again.
4. Check OneNote’s Sync Settings
Sometimes notebooks would not sync because you’ve set OneNote to sync them manually. Therefore, you can set OneNote to sync automatically to ensure you have the latest version of your notebooks. Depending on your OneNote, you can set it up to sync automatically by:
OneNote for Windows 10
Step 1: Open the OneNote desktop app
Step 2: On the OneNote window, click on the three dots at the left corner
Step 3: Select Settings
Step 4: Click on Options
Step 5: Toggle on the switches under Sync notebooks automatically and Download all files and images.
OneNote for Microsoft 365
Step 1: Click on File to open the OneNote’s File menu
Step 2: Select Options
Step 3: Click on Sync on the Options sidebar.
Step 4: Check the boxes next to Sync notebooks automatically and Download all files and images
5. Check your OneDrive storage space
The OneNote sync error can also be caused by a lack of enough storage space. If you have a OneNote not syncing problem with the error code 0xE00015E0, you do not have enough space, or your notebook is too large to sync. You can solve this problem by optimizing your files or deleting unnecessary files. Here are ways you can remove this error:
This involves optimizing the space occupied by the synced files. This helps in fixing sync issues caused by overly large storage files.
To optimize files size:
Step 1: Open OneNote and click on File, then select Options
Step 2: In the pop-up window, click on Save & Backup
Step 3: Under the Optimizing files section, click on Optimize All Files Now
Wait for the optimization process to complete, which could take some time.
Reduce automatic backups
Automatically backing up existing backups will consume a lot of space that can be occupied by new ones. This will prevent your OneNote from syncing. Therefore, you can reduce automatic backups to save more space.
Step 1: In the Save & back up window, look for the Backup section
Step 2: Next to the Number of backup copies to keep, adjust the number of copies depending on the available space
Step 3: Click on Ok to save the changes.
Remove unnecessary backups
Alternatively, you can remove unnecessary backups eating up too much of your space. To do this:
Step 1: Press Windows + R to open the Run command
Step 2: Type in %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneNote\ and click Ok to continue.
Step 3: In the pop-up window, click the folder that corresponds to the version number installed.
Step 4: Choose the Backup folder. You can then delete the backed-up files.
Delete the versions history
You can also delete the versions history to solve OneNote not syncing problem by:
Step 1: Choose the History tab
Step 2: Select Page Versions.
Step 3: Click on Delete All Versions in Notebook.
6. Copy pages to a new section and sync
If you are having problems with a specific notebook section, you can try copying the pages to a new section and then delete the problematic section. This may help solve the issue, especially when you have the 0xE000005E error code. You can do this by:
Step 1: Launch OneNote, and in the main menu, select create a new section
Step 2: Add a descriptive name to the section
Step 3: Move to the section with the sync problem, right-click on each page and select the Move or Copy option
Step 4: Select the new section as the destination and click copy
After copying all the notes to the new section, you can delete the old section with the sync error. Hopefully, OneNote will now sync automatically.
7. Update OneNote to the latest version
If you’re still facing OneNote sync issues, it could be that you are using an outdated version of the app. Updating OneNote to the latest version could solve this problem by fixing existing bugs and making it more secure. When you receive the error code 0xE40105F9, it’s time to update your OneNote.
OneNote for Windows
Since OneNote is a Windows app, you can update it from the Windows store. To update one note:
Step 1: Go to the Start menu and select the Microsoft Store
Step 2: Click on the three dots to open the More menu.
Step 3: Select Downloads and updates
Step 4: Then Select Get Updates
Step 5: This will update all the Microsoft-related apps, including OneNote
OneNote for Microsoft 365
This method also works if you want to update OneNote through the application.
Step 1: Click on the File option
Step 2: Select Account
Step 3: Then select the Update Options
Step 4: Click on Update Now
8. Restore or delete items from the OneNote Recycle bin
Sometimes deleting notes or sections may cause syncing problems. To resolve the issue, you can delete the sections from the recycle bin or restore them until OneNote re-establishes its connections. If you choose to restore them, you can permanently delete them after the issue is resolved.
OneNote for Windows 10
Step 1: Select the View tab
Step 2: Select Deleted Notes
Step 3: Then choose View Deleted Notes
Step 4: Right-click on a section or page and select Restore to
Step 5: You can then pick the original notebook or section and select Restore
Step 6: Repeat the above steps for any other sections or pages
Step 7: You can force-sync OneNote and delete the restored sections and pages.
OneNote for Microsoft 365
Step 1: Select the History tab
Step 2: Click on Notebook Recycle Bin, then select Notebook Recycle Bin again.
Step 3: Right-click on the section or page, then select Move or Copy
Step 4: Select the original notebook or selection and click on Move
Step 5: Repeat for any other sections or pages in the OneNote Recycle Bin and force-sync
Step 6: You can then delete the restored sections and pages again.
Whenever you have a problem with OneNote not syncing, feel free to refer to the above guide to fix the issue. The above fixes will also significantly improve the performance of your problematic OneNote. You should also ensure that you’re always running the latest OneNote version to avoid further complications.