The solutions described in this article can be used to recover deleted OneNote files from within the OneNote app, directly from the hard drive on which they were stored, or from a local backup. All you need to do to get your OneNote files back is to follow our detailed step-by-step instructions.
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:
- Launch the OneNote app on your PC.
- Proceed to the toolbar, and select the View tab.
- Click on the Deleted Notes option. This will highlight all the files deleted in the past 60 days.
- Navigate through the list of deleted notes to identify the one you want to restore.
- After you have identified the files you want to keep, right-click on them and select the option to Restore to.
- 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.
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.
- Launch the OneNote 2016 app on your PC.
- In the toolbar, find and open the History Tab.
- Click on the Deleted Pages tab. This will display all the files deleted in the past 60 days.
- Next, right-click on the file that you want to restore and choose the option to Move or Copy.
- Finally, select the desired Notebook to restore the 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 on 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 Data Recovery 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:
- Download and install Disk Drill.
- Launch the Disk Drill app and scan your hard drive.
- Identify & select all files with the .one extension and click the Recover button.
- Finally, choose an ideal recovery destination and confirm.
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:
- Click the Windows button and type restore your files in the search box, and then select Restore your files with File History.
- 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.
- Select the particular OneNote file you want to restore, and click the Restore button to recover the file to its original location.
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.
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.
You can retrieve deleted OneNote files by restoring them from a backup or using data recovery software.
Usually, deleted notes are stored temporarily for 60 days, until which they’re rendered unrecoverable. In that case, you should recover notes using data recovery software.
OneNote files are not automatically backed up by default unless you enable them. You can also use a cloud backup service like OneDrive.
Michael is passionate about Finance and Technology and has worked with several teams, startups and organizations in the Finance & Technology industry, both full-time and part-time. As a Content Writer, Michael brings over 6 years’ experience developing content around topics such as Artificial Intelligence, IOT, RegTech, Futuretech, Cybersecurity, Blockchain & Data Recovery. Michael desires to make an impact and he translates this by using his writing skills to assist individuals and businesses unearth their true potentials.
Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team.