Microsoft OneNote is one of the oldest note-taking apps out there. Primarily designed for desktop, OneNote successfully made its way into the mobile era. Microsoft offers a complete note-taking solution on all the platforms for free. While OneNote is feature-rich, the software isn’t free of problems. We have seen users reporting syncing problems and occasional offline errors on the OneNote software.
The OneNote uses the company’s OneDrive cloud platform to sync the notes among platforms. Based on multiple factors, you might get the offline error on the OneNote. The error indicates that the OneNote isn’t syncing the data to the OneDrive, and you won’t be able to view the added content or the changes on the other platforms.
OneNote displaying offline error can be confusing and irritating. It impacts the workflow as you aren’t able to sync the OneNote data on all devices. In this post, we will talk about the top seven ways to fix OneNote working offline error on the desktop platform. Let’s get started.
1. Sync Notebooks Manually
Let’s understand how OneNote syncs by default. As you add new notes in OneNote or make changes to the existing ones, the notebook syncs the edits to the notebook stored in OneDrive. The whole process takes place in the background.
Sometimes, it may throw an error or start working offline if your internet connection is slow or intermittent. In such cases, it’s always advisable to sync the notebooks manually to the OneDrive platform.
For the OneNote desktop app, right-click on any Notebook and select ‘Sync this notebook Now’ option. You can also use the Shift + F9 keyboard shortcut to sync the selected notebook manually. I mostly prefer the OneNote keyboard shortcuts.
The trick is identical for the macOS OneNote app too. Right-click on the notebook and select sync in this notebook or use the ‘command + S’ keyboard shortcut.
2. Delete Space On OneDrive
OneNote uses Microsoft’s OneDrive storage to store data. By default, OneDrive only offers 5GB of storage for free. If you are using the OneNote app with images and videos, it might fill up the free 5GB OneDrive space quickly.
You can delete the OneDrive storage or opt for the Microsoft 365 subscription with 1TB of OneDrive space.
3. Check OneDrive and OneNote Status On Web
If there are problems on Microsoft’s side, you have no choice but to wait for the company to resolve them. OneNote and OneDrive are part of the Microsoft Office package. You can go to Downdetector.com and see if there are issues on Microsoft’s side.
4. Check If There Is a Problem With OneNote Notebook
Users can quickly if there is an issue with the installed OneNote app on the PC. Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Open the OneNote desktop app and select any notebook.
Step 2: Move to File > Info and copy the Notebook path.
Step 3: Open a web browser and paste the link.
On a Mac, open a Notebook and head to the Notebook section on the ribbon and select copy link to this notebook.
If the Notebook is opening on the web, then the issue is with the installed app on the devices. Let’s fix that.
5. Update OneNote App
Microsoft occasionally releases OneNote updates across the platforms. On Windows, it maintains two variants of OneNote – Universal Windows app of OneNote and the Microsoft 365 desktop app. The company decided to wave goodbye to the OneNote desktop app, but due to the popular demand, it reversed the decision and released the OneNote 2016 with the dark theme support.
The OneNote offline error could be due to the last app update that might have messed up the syncing. Download the latest update for the OneNote.
For UWP (Universal Windows Platform) OneNote app, open Microsoft Store, and navigate to Downloads and Updates > Get Updates and install the latest version of the app.
For OneNote Desktop, open the app and select File > Account > Update Options > Update Now.
As for macOS, open the Mac App Store and go to updates and download the latest build of the app. Open the latest app and watch for the latest online sync status.
6. Sync Notebooks Automatically
By default, OneNote syncs the Notebooks automatically whenever you open the device on the PC or Mac. If you have somehow disabled it, then it might lead to OneNote working offline error.
For the UWP app, open OneNote and move to Settings > Options and toggle on sync notebook automatically option from the menu.
For the desktop OneNote app, right-click on any Notebook and select Notebook Sync Status. Switch on the sync automatically whenever there are changes option.
7. Close and Reopen Notebook
If none of the tricks work, then you should use this solution to fix the OneNote offline error. You can close the notebook and open it again from the same location. Keep in mind that, you will lose the newly added data and changes as OneNote will open the last synced notebook from the OneDrive platform.
For the UWP app, right-click on any notebook and select the close notebook option. Open it again from the same notebook location in OneDrive.
Fix OneNote Offline Error
OneNote is an excellent service that can be creatively used beyond the basic note-taking. But the OneNote offline error might put you off. Use the tips above and resolve the offline error in OneNote. While you are at it, let us know which trick worked for you in the comments section below.
Next up: You need to master OneNote Notebook to use the note-taking app efficiently. Read the post below to find top seven OneNote Notebook tips and tricks.
Last updated on 07 February, 2022
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