7 Top Ways to Fix OneNote Note­book Dis­ap­pear­ing Error on Windows

Gaurav Bidasaria

Microsoft OneNote has gone through a number of iterations. However, users complain about losing notebooks, sections, and individual notes often. Several users report losing notes or entire notebooks that disappeared on the Windows computer. We will show you what to do when OneNote Notebooks are disappearing on your Windows PC.

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows

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

Let's begin.

1. Open Closed Notebook

You can close a notebook in OneNote to declutter the interface. Closed notebooks disappear from view, not existence, and maybe that's why you cannot view them.

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

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 1

Step 2: Click on More Notebooks to find the ones that are closed.

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 2

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

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It may take a few moments to download and sync data, but you don't lose any data if you can view the notebook. This is for OneNote for Windows version, but the UI is slightly different for OneNote (previously known as OneNote 2016).

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2. Sync Error

Microsoft relies on OneDrive to save and sync OneNote notebooks, sections, and notes, across devices. Close the app and reopen it. OneNote initiates the sync every time you open the app.

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

For OneNote (2016), click the sync icon that is integrated 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.

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 13

3. OneNote Backup on Computer

There is no way to store notes locally in OneNote for Windows as of yet. It uses OneDrive to store notes. However, OneNote still allows you to store notes both locally and in the cloud, and when you delete them, there is a way to recover the same.

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

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 7

Step 2: Select a Notebook and click on Open or you can drill further to find sections inside a notebook.

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 8

4. Check Recycle Bin for Deleted Notes

Any note that you delete is moved to the OneNote Recycle, where it will stay for 60 days. Post that, the app will delete it completely. Steps are a little different for both versions of OneNote.

For OneNote for Windows

You will find the deleted notes under View tab upon clicking the Deleted Notes button.

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 9

For OneNote

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

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 10

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

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 11

5. Check OneDrive

Open OneDrive homepage and in the Documents or Notebooks folder, you shall find OneNote notebooks, sections, and notes. Deleted notes and notebooks may still be in the Recycle bin folder. Do check there as well. Right-click on the notebook to restore deleted items.

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 12

6. Check OneNote Website

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

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 13

7. Open Via OneDrive

Sometimes, due to sync errors, you will notice that the notes are visible in OneDrive on the web but not inside OneNote app on your Windows computer. In such cases, open OneDrive account in your favorite browser, locate the missing OneNote notebook, right-click on it, and select Open in OneNote to open it on OneNote desktop app on your computer.

Fix One Note Notebook Disappeared Error on Windows 14

There is another option called Open in OneNote Online that will open the OneNote app in a new tab on the web. Once the notebook/note opens in the installed app, it will sync, and you can then open it later directly from there.

Note in a Book

Often, accident deletion or sync error is the problem, but there could be other issues. You should also try and search for it to check if, by mistake, you or someone else with access to your computer moved the note to a different location. Chances are low but worth a shot.

OneNote is not the only note-taking app out there. Apps like Notion are changing the game with modular productivity where users have a lot more formats and flexibility.

Next up: Thinking of exploring Notion? We have compiled a list of some cool and productive templates that will get you started in no time. Click on the link below to learn more.


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A C.A. by profession and a tech enthusiast by passion, Gaurav loves tinkering with new tech and gadgets. He used to build WordPress websites but gave it all up to develop little iOS games instead. Finally, he dropped out of college in the final year. He has over 5 years of experience as a writer covering Android, iOS, and Windows platforms and writes how-to guides, comparisons, listicles, and explainers for B2B and B2C apps and services. He currently divides his time between Guiding Tech and Tech Wiser.