Moving OneNote Content from OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive)

on August 9, 2016


If you click on the OneNote Document while in OneDrive, there is no “Download” option.


I’ve been using OneDrive for a LONG time and when I started using OneNote, it defaulted to my OneDrive account and loved how it kept synching. It was always accessible remotely or locally.

As we adopted Office 365 I wanted to move that to our corporate store since there was data that was more relevant to my employer. I wanted to keep the two worlds clean and isolated. So I just wanted to make a copy and put it on OneDrive for Business.

Here’s the problem I encountered.

If you go to OneDrive and click on the “OneNote Notebook” in question, there is NO “DOWNLOAD” option.  (With most other documents you usually get that with OneDrive)

The solution is actually pretty simple:

1 – Create a New Folder in OneDrive (I’ve called mine New OneNotes)

2 – Move the OneNote document to the Folder

3 – Download the newly created Folder

4 – When you click on download your browser will want to store it as a ZIP file.   Store it in a convenient location for later use.

5 – Extract the contents of the zip file to a folder and copy the folder to your target location.  It can be one of:

  • Local folder
  • File Share
  • One Drive for Business folder
  • SharePoint Documents folder

6 – Once you have copied the data to the target location, you’ll need to open it at least once for OneNote to add to the list of Notebooks.   In OneNote 2016 just click on “File” and then “Open”

7 – Navigate to the new file location, select the new folder, then open the “Open Notebook” file just underneath the name of the folder.

8 – OneNote may prompt you with a message like “A notebook cannot be found at this location.  Do you want to open …..” simply click yes.  At this point you are looking at your copy of the OneNote document.  But you need to switch it from “Archive” to live.    You can tell from the warning below:

9 – Click on the pretty yellow line to continue forward and allow the conversion to occur.  It will prompt you to Convert a Single Selection or the Entire Notebook.  In my case I’d like to convert the Entire Notebook

This process will step through all of your individual sections and convert them up to your modern version of OneNote.   At this point you have made a copy of your PERSONAL OneDrive to your Business folder.    From here you can go through and delete sections and content that are yours and leave your business data behind for work.

Also note, this is a COPY.  If something went wrong remember you have a ZIP file that you downloaded before that you can use to recover from any errors.

Share and Enjoy!

By Sean Kearney

Sean Kearney is a Senior Solutions Architect at Cistel Technology Inc. He lives in the world of Automation leveraging technologies such as System Center Orchestrator and will break out into song when the word “PowerShell” is used. He is a Windows PowerShell MVP, Charter Member of the Springboard Technical Experts Program and an Honorary Scripting Guy who regularly contributes content to Microsoft’s own “Scripting Guys” website.

Colin SmithMoving OneNote Content from OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive)