How To Backup Microsoft OneNote Notebooks

If you use Microsoft OneNote and have squirreled away a ton of data you may want to have a backup plan in place. Built into the “web version” of OneNote there is an option to import and export your notebooks. No matter what version of OneNote you use, you can download a copy of any of your OneNote notebooks to your PC or Mac — either as a backup or to upload its contents to another account. In summary, you select a notebook you want to backup and you can export the notebook in a zip file format to your hard drive. To restore a notebook from the backup, you have to unzip the backed up zip file and the notebook is revealed. At that point, you use the online import tool (see source link below) to import it back into your online notebook storage area.

In detail, here is how to export and import OneNote Notebooks:

Note: Exporting and importing notebooks through OneNote for the web is only available for notebooks stored on personal OneDrive accounts, not for notebooks stored on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint.

To Export a OneNote Notebook: 

    • Log into your OneNote account on the web.
    • Under My Notebooks, right-click (PC) or Control-click (Mac) the name of the notebook that you want to export, and then click Export notebook.
    • On the screen that opens, click Export.
    • Follow your browser’s prompts to save the file in the location you choose.

Tip: If the notebook you’re exporting is very large or contains a large number of images or file attachments, it could take a long time to download your content. Make sure you have enough space on your hard drive to complete the download.

Each downloaded notebook is saved to your hard drive in Zip file format. If you want to later import a downloaded notebook, you’ll need to first unzip its notebook folder from the Zip file, and then import the folder to OneNote for the web.

To Import a OneNote notebook:

    • To import a notebook to OneNote that you’ve previously downloaded, do the following:
      Unzip the folder found in the file you previously downloaded  This unzipped folder is your notebook folder.
    • In any modern Web browser, go to the OneNote Notebook Importer.
    • On the screen that opens, click Import.On your computer, navigate to the location of your notebook folder (see Step 1), click to select it, and then click Open to import it.

Tip: If the import process begins but then appears not to finish, your OneDrive account might be low on available space. Manually delete any unnecessary files from your OneDrive storage (including any failed notebook uploads) and then try importing the notebook folder again.


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