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Moving OneNote 2010 files to new PC RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm so shocked and frustrated that this seems so difficult.  I've looked in the Microsoft help, TechNet, google, Microsoft support, youtube, etc.  I simply want to move my existing Onenote 2010 notebooks (running on Win7) to a new PC also running win7 & Onenote 2010.  Can anyone advise on the specific steps to get the notebooks imported from the backup files?

    1.  On my new PC, I've opened OneNote 2010 and went to "File", "Info", "Open Backups", but when I click on a "Workbook" it won't open it.  I have to select the "Sections" instead which changes all the content.  WHAT A MESS!!!  I hope someone can tell me why I'm an idiot...  ;)

    Standard Microsoft product...  I like OneNote but this is a joke.  Didn't anyone think about easily moving the content to a new PC?

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    U P D A T E

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    I just found this and it has 1,700 views.  Is it possible Microsoft FORGOT to build a "recovery" process for the "backup" files?

    http://msgroups.net/microsoft.public.onenote/how-do-i-export-a-notebook-to-anothe/42406

    Sunday, July 1, 2012 12:32 AM

Answers

  • Well, have you tried simply copy and paste your notebooks from your old computer to your new computer?

    And then, in your new computer, open OneNote, click File, click Open, click Browse, choose your notebooks and click Open. (Or, actually, you can just click on any section of your notebook, and the whole notebook will be opened in your OneNote.)

     

    For the joke about the "backup", altough usually we don't use it to move our notebooks, but you can still hold down CTRL to select more than one items at a time, or press Ctrl+A to selet all items in the folder.

    Learn more about the backup: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote-help/backup-and-restore-your-notes-HA010211723.aspx


    Max Meng

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Max Meng Thursday, July 12, 2012 7:06 AM
    Monday, July 2, 2012 7:31 AM

All replies

  • Well, have you tried simply copy and paste your notebooks from your old computer to your new computer?

    And then, in your new computer, open OneNote, click File, click Open, click Browse, choose your notebooks and click Open. (Or, actually, you can just click on any section of your notebook, and the whole notebook will be opened in your OneNote.)

     

    For the joke about the "backup", altough usually we don't use it to move our notebooks, but you can still hold down CTRL to select more than one items at a time, or press Ctrl+A to selet all items in the folder.

    Learn more about the backup: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote-help/backup-and-restore-your-notes-HA010211723.aspx


    Max Meng

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Max Meng Thursday, July 12, 2012 7:06 AM
    Monday, July 2, 2012 7:31 AM
  • Max, thanks for the link for Onenote 2007.  Why isn't there an updated note for OneNote 2010?  Why isn't this info available in the OneNote 2010 "help"?

    OneNote 2007 & 2010 do not work the same so this doesn't work.  Why isn't this topic covered in the help???

    Monday, July 2, 2012 4:31 PM
  • Have you read my reply?

    As I said the backup feature is not used for moving notebooks between computers.

    And it worked the same way between OneNote 2007 & 2010, for me to say.


    Max Meng

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012 9:49 AM
  • You say:
    "Well, have you tried simply copy and paste your notebooks from your old computer to your new computer? And then, in your new computer, open OneNote, click File, click Open, click Browse, choose your notebooks and click Open. (Or, actually, you can just click on any section of your notebook, and the whole notebook will be opened in your OneNote.)"

    ===================================================================

    How/where do you find the Notebooks to copy on the old PC?


    Tuesday, October 9, 2012 11:53 PM
  • Regarding:  "..."Well, have you tried simply copy and paste your notebooks from your old computer to your new computer?.."

    LOL - You do know OLD PC and NEW PC?  Right?  I don't think you know what you're talking about because this is not possible.

    Sunday, September 29, 2013 11:27 PM
  • I too am a suffer of this dilemma. I have read through the responses here and elsewhere. What people are not listing is the following:

    1) Opening OneNote for the first time (on the new PC) will generate generic notebooks.

    2) OneNote does not offer an option to create package files for a multiple notebooks (e.g. your full library of notebooks), instead you have to do this separately for each notebook.

    Based on this, I recommend going through the following steps to move your old notebook files from OldPC (OPC) to the New PC (NPC).

    TOOLS NEEDED:

    • External hard drive (big enough to hold all of your OneNote files)
    • Old PC
    • New PC
    • Patience

    PROCEDURE

    1) On OPC, go to the main folder (NOT the Backup) where the Notebooks are stored. This may have a filepath like: C:\OneNote Notebooks

    2) Select all the files and folders in this folder. 

    3) Copy all files.

    4) Open location of external hard drive.

    5) Paste files into external hard drive.

    6) On NPC, open up OneNote.

    7) Click on the "File" tab.  By default, it should lead you to the "Info" sub-tab. In this "Info" section you will see two generic notebooks: a) Personal, b) One Note Guides.

     

    (Now, this is where I got frustrated because my thoughts are "Why can't I just sync Old-Personal to the New-Personal?" or "Why do I have to create a new notebook for ones I've already created?". I get it. It should be that simple. Sadly, it is not. OneNote is not that smart.

    While the next steps may seem tedious, know that they are better than downloading another program (to hog up more of your precious storage space and time) or trying to figure out how to sync something new with something old – because it’s just not going to happen.)

    This next series of instructions will tell you how to close the new notebooks and reintroduce the old ones.

    8) Close the new Notebooks

    To the right of the “Personal” and “One Note Guides” notebooks is an icon that says “Settings”. 

    9) Click on this icon. A drop-down menu will appear. Select “Close”.

    10) Repeat steps 8 and 9 for the remaining new notebooks.

    11) Reintroduce the old (the ones you want) notebooks

    First, you have to make sure you moved these old notebooks to the NPC. You can essentially put these files anywhere and OneNote will sync to that location. However, I find it easier (to do and remember) to put these files in the “OneNote” folder created by Microsoft.

    11.1) Connect external hard drive to NPC

    11.2) Copy and paste OneNote files to their new home (e.g. C:\OneNote Notebooks).

    [Note: by this time you should no longer be using the OPC.]

    12) Adding notebooks back to OneNote

    As stated, when you open a Notebook, it will sync all related notebooks and pages related to the parent notebook (where the parent notebook is the one that has the folder named after it). I find this is best guaranteed by opening the lowest level notebook, i.e. the page that lives in the sub-folder of the main folder.

    12.1) Go to C:\OneNote Notebooks

    12.2) Double-click on a folder (e.g. Work Notebook).  For sake of keeping track, we will call this first folder the ‘main folder’ aka MF.

    12.3) If there other folders inside of MF, then double-click (to open) that folder. This

    will take us to the level 1 folder, aka L1.

    12.4) Inside L1, if there is another folder, then then double-click (to open) that folder. This will take us to the level 2 folder, aka L2.

    12.5) Continue this process until all you see if are <name>.one files.

    12.6) Open any of the <name>.one files. This will result in the following:

    a) All files related to the MF will appear.

    b) This MF will be synced.

    You can confirm that this MF is synced by going into “File/Info”. The name of the MF should be listed and the location should NOT include “Backups”.

    13) To sync the remaining MF, repeat step 12.

    DO NOT sync folders to the Backup Folder (located in the AppData folder). This is a bad idea because not everyone backs up all their folders simultaneously. Also, if you open the backups, then you have to open every.single.one., versus with my method, where you just go as low as possible in the folder path to find the root of the notebook.



    • Edited by techica Thursday, October 3, 2013 7:07 PM
    • Proposed as answer by techica Thursday, October 3, 2013 7:07 PM
    Thursday, October 3, 2013 7:06 PM
  • While this is old, here's how I did it.

    To move OneNote files and notebooks, just move the folders, usually in C:\Users\username\Documents\OneNote Notebooks, to the same folder on the new computer.  Then in OneNote, File --> Open --> Browse, and open the folder you copied.  Worked like a charm.  

    Max assumes that people know where the "notebooks" are stored on your computer.

    If you're not certain, you can look in File --> Options --> Save & Backup, the Unified Notes Section is where your notebooks should be stored. 


    Monday, February 17, 2014 10:58 PM
  • I'm sorry to hear this is the only process. I work in a distributed environment where multiple people get into the notebooks. They are in all sorts of locations throughout our network and in a few cases used by more than one person. Eventually I hope all will be used by more people. One thing I won't do is encourage anyone to use the notebooks I'm using, until everyone has been upgraded to Windows 7 and Office 2013 since our IT department has decided to do this by reimaging all computers. Essentially making their old PC and new PC.

    Too bad their isn't a One Note XML file that One Note uses to lookup where all of it's Notebooks are so it simply reads the file and loads them up (unless the file isn't at the specified path).

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014 10:23 PM
  • There is a cache file and folder in the user appdata folder but I didn't have any luck moving them and having One Note be willing to open them. Enough strangeness to my situation that it's possible it's my situation. Going from One Note 2013 to 2010. Who knows moving those cache files from same version to same version or moving older version to newer version might work. They are located in C:\Users\[yourname]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneNote\14.0 last digits are based on the version I now there is a 15.0 folder too. No idea if this exists in older versions.

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014 10:39 PM
  • To make this easier, right click on each Section, choose copy link for Notebook, and paste them into an email, making sure the paths are links. Keep the order the same as it is in One Note. Send yourself the email. Copy the Notebook files to your new computer using the same paths as on your old computer. You can see the path in the hyperlink by right clicking in Outlook and choosing edit hyperlink. Open One Note. Click on each link and it will open in One Note. Initially the order will look funny especially if you have section groups. Be observant it will pull some stuff in without your clicking on the link (at least it did for me). When you get to the bottom it should all look like it does on the old computer.

    Keep in mind what you click on first will be at the top and each new click will go below it. That's why you have to be careful on the order pasting into the email. At least once they are in One Note there is a right click option to move the notebook up or down.


    • Edited by Mark In Keizer Tuesday, December 30, 2014 10:53 PM wrong term used
    Tuesday, December 30, 2014 10:51 PM
  • As of now (May 2016) the solution posted by techica still appears the be the only or easiest solution.

    Short version: copy everything from Documents/OneNote Notebooks/ on your old computer into the same location on your new computer. (Or wherever the notes are stored.) Then open one of your notebook folders, navigate down to the lowest folder level, and double click on a ".one" note file. This should open in OneNote and trigger the app to load all of the other notes in that notebook. You have to do this for each notebook.

    • Edited by platypusman Saturday, May 28, 2016 12:56 AM
    Saturday, May 28, 2016 12:48 AM