Fortunately for you, if you did lose your OneNote files, there’s no need to be frightened as there are several ways to get your deleted files back. This article explores some solutions to help you to recover deleted OneNote files. Whether the files were deleted deliberately or accidentally, there’s a good chance of getting them back, once you follow the solutions outlined below.

Solution #1: Recover from Within the OneNote App

Before attempting other methods of recovering your files, the OneNote app in itself is a great place to begin. Deleted files are not trashed out completely but are stored in the app within 60 days.

Using the Latest Version of OneNote

Once the deleted files haven’t gone past the 60-day timeline, there’s a very good chance of restoring them. To do this, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Launch the OneNote app on your PC.

    OneNote App

  2. Proceed to the toolbar, and select the View tab.

    OneNote View Tab

  3. Click on the Deleted Notes option. This will highlight all the files deleted in the past 60 days.

    Select Deleted Notes

  4. Navigate through the list of deleted notes to identify the one you want to restore.

    search deleted notes in onenote for windows 10

  5. After you have identified the files you want to keep, right-click on them and select the option to Restore to.

    Restore to Option in OneNote

  6. Finally, select the location where you intend to restore the files to. You should select an appropriate location where the files can be easily traced after they have been restored.

    restore deleted onenote files in windows 10

Using OneNote 2016

The recovery process may vary depending on the version of Windows you are using. For users running the 2016 version, you should instead take note of the following instructions to recover OneNote files.

  1. Launch the OneNote 2016 app on your PC.

    OneNote App

  2. In the toolbar, find and open the History Tab.

    OneNote History Tab

  3. Click on the Deleted Pages tab. This will display all the files deleted in the past 60 days.

    Deleted Notes Tab

  4. Next, right-click on the file that you want to restore and choose the option to Move or Copy.

    Restore Deleted Notes in OneNote

  5. Finally, select the desired Notebook to restore the deleted notes.

    Select location for restoring deleted notes

Keep in mind that this solution works only for files that have been deleted within 60 days. Additionally, the files must have been deleted from the OneNote application.

Solution #2: Recover Deleted Notes Using Data Recovery Software

Data recovery software can be very useful for recovering notes that have been deleted. Especially if the first method described in this article isn’t helpful, or if your notes have since been deleted beyond the 60-day mark. Whatever the case may be, you need to use a powerful, fast and secure recovery software to recover deleted files in Windows 10, including notes.

Selecting the right software of course doesn’t come as easy as you might imagine. Factors such as usability, features, and performance should be considered a priority, but many data recovery applications often fall short. Based on these factors and others, we recommend Disk Drill for recovering deleted OneNote files.

Disk Drill enables users to scan their storage device for missing files. Users can also preview files after the scan is completed, which provides them with control over the specific notes they intend to recover. Also worth mentioning is the ability to pause the scan and resume later. In addition to recovering OneNote files, Disk Drill users enjoy the following:

  • Recovery from several storage devices and file systems including hard drives, USB drives, etc.
  • Recover up to 500 MB of deleted files. (Windows only)
  • Support for more than 400 file formats.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface.
  • Byte-to-byte disk backups.
  • Extra free tools such as S.M.A.R.T Disk Monitoring, disk cleanup, data protection, and duplicate finder.

To find your notes using Disk Drill, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.

    install disk drill

  2. Launch the Disk Drill app and scan your hard drive.

    Installing Disk Drill

  3. Identify & select all files with the .one extension and click the Recover button.

    disk drill scan page

  4. Finally, choose an ideal recovery destination and confirm.

    Disk Drill Recover Files

Solution #3: Recovering OneNote Files from Windows File History

Windows File History is a useful method for recovering deleted notes. Originally introduced in Windows 8, File History works as a utility that automatically backs up all your files during specific and customizable intervals. Whether you’re attempting to restore a deleted word document or retrieving a missing excel file, Windows File History can be extremely useful.

You can create local notebooks that are saved to your hard drive, but only in the OneNote 2016 Windows desktop app, and not in OneNote for Windows 10 universal app. Therefore, keep in mind that File History isn’t suitable for recovering files from the built-in version of OneNote.

To restore notes using File History, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Windows button and type restore your files in the search box, and then select Restore your files with File History.
  2. Type in the search box, the name of the file you’re looking for, or simply use the left and right arrows to navigate through different files and folders. OneNote files have a .one filename extension.

    search onenote file in windows file history

  3. Select the particular OneNote file you want to restore, and click the Restore button to recover the file to its original location.

    restore deleted onenote file with windows file history

If you intend to restore your files to a different location, right-click the Restore button, select Restore To, and then choose a new location.

Ensure that File History is pre-configured on your PC and then try to restore a previous version of the folder that contained the desired OneNote file. The default location is the Documents folder.

Conclusion

While losing an important file could instantly become a major setback, it shouldn’t exactly be so. The solutions discussed in the article have been tried and tested and will save you a good amount of time. Additionally, no prior knowledge is required as the methods described are easy to follow.

As a matter of precaution, always try to back up your files using the OneNote backup tool, or simply use a reputable third-party backup solution.

FAQ