Top 7 Ways to Fix OneNote's Working Offline Error

Microsoft OneNote is one of the oldest note-taking apps. Designed primarily for desktops, OneNote has successfully entered the mobile age. Microsoft offers a complete note-taking solution for free on all platforms. While OneNote is rich in features, the software is not without its problems. We’ve seen users report sync issues and occasional offline errors on OneNote software.

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Offline error Onenote

OneNote uses the company’s cloud-based OneDrive platform to sync notes between platforms. Depending on several factors, you may get the offline error on OneNote. The error states that OneNote is not syncing data with OneDrive, and you won’t be able to view added content or changes on other platforms.

OneNote showing an offline error can be confusing and irritating. This impacts the workflow because you can’t sync OneNote data across all devices. In this article, we will talk about the top seven ways to fix OneNote working offline error on the desktop platform. Let’s start.

1. Synchronize laptops manually

Let’s see how OneNote syncs by default. When you add new notes in OneNote or edit existing notes, the notebook syncs the changes with the notebook stored in OneDrive. The whole process takes place in the background.

Sometimes this can generate an error or start working offline if your internet connection is slow or intermittent. In such cases, it is always advisable to manually sync notebooks with the OneDrive platform.

For the OneNote desktop app, right-click any notebook and select the “Sync this notebook now” option. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Shift + F9 to manually sync the selected notebook. I mostly prefer OneNote keyboard shortcuts.

Sync onenote manually

The trick is also the same for the macOS OneNote app. Right-click on the notebook and select sync in that notebook, or use the “command + S” keyboard shortcut.

Manually synchronize this notebook

2. Delete space on OneDrive

OneNote uses Microsoft’s OneDrive storage to store data. By default, OneDrive only offers 5 GB of free storage. If you use the OneNote app with pictures and videos, it can quickly fill up the free 5GB OneDrive space.

You can remove OneDrive storage or opt for the Microsoft 365 subscription with 1TB of OneDrive space.

3. Check the status of OneDrive and OneNote on the web

If there are any issues on Microsoft’s side, you have no choice but to wait for the company to fix them. OneNote and OneDrive are part of the Microsoft Office package. You can go to and see if there are any issues on Microsoft’s side.

4. Check if there is a problem with OneNote Notebook

Users can quickly if there is a problem with the OneNote app installed on the PC. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open the OneNote desktop app and select any notebook.

2nd step: Go to File> Info and copy the notepad path.

Onenote notebook

Step 3: Open a web browser and paste the link.

Onenote notebook web

On a Mac, open a notebook and go to the Notebooks section of the ribbon and select Copy link to this notebook.

If the notebook opens to the web, the problem is with the app installed on the devices. Let’s fix that.

5. Update the OneNote app

Microsoft occasionally releases OneNote updates to platforms. On Windows, it supports two variations of OneNote: OneNote’s Universal Windows app and the Microsoft 365 desktop app. The company has decided to say goodbye to the OneNote desktop app, but due to popular demand, she reversed the decision and released OneNote 2016 with support for the dark theme.

The OneNote offline error might be caused by the latest app update that might have disrupted syncing. Download the latest update for OneNote.

For the OneNote UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app, open the Microsoft Store and go to Downloads & Updates> Get Updates and install the latest version of the app.

Update a note

For OneNote Desktop, open the app and select File> Account> Update Options> Update Now.

Onenote update web

As for macOS, open the Mac App Store, go to updates, and download the latest version of the app. Open the latest app and monitor the latest sync status online.

Onenote update mac

6. Automatically sync laptops

By default, OneNote automatically syncs notebooks every time you open the device on the PC or Mac. If you have disabled it in some way, it may cause OneNote to work offline error.

For the UWP app, open OneNote and go to Settings> Options and turn on the auto-sync notebook option from the menu.

Automatically synchronize the notebook

For the OneNote desktop app, right-click any notebook and select Notebook Sync Status. Activate synchronization automatically whenever there are changes.

Synchronize the notebook desktop

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7. Close and reopen the notebook

If none of the tips work, you should use this solution to fix the OneNote offline error. You can close Notepad and open it again from the same location. Keep in mind that you will lose the data and newly added changes because OneNote will open the last synced notebook from the OneDrive platform.

Close uwp onenote notebook

For the UWP app, right-click any notebook and select the Close Notebook option. Open it again from the same notebook location in OneDrive.

Fix OneNote offline error

OneNote is a great service that can be used creatively beyond just 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’re at it, let us know which trick worked for you in the comments section below.


You must be proficient in OneNote Notebook to use the note-taking app effectively. Read the article below to find the top seven OneNote Notebook tips and tricks.

Last updated on Jul 27, 2020

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