Home > Uncategorized > Re-syncing to OneNote 2010 after a PC restore

Re-syncing to OneNote 2010 after a PC restore


You may remember I wrote an post lamenting how OneNote 2010 refused to restore notebooks from Skydrive / The Cloud?

While the Preview of OneNote 2013 allows you to File -> Open a document from Skydrive, OneNote 2010 doesn’t. Sure, it allows you to sync or backup to Skydrive, but not to open from it. That meant that when I restored my PC and tried to re-sync my changes, I entered a world of pain.

Well, it seems that Microsoft may have now fixed this.


The Old method

The MS solution to opening your Skydrive notebook in ON 2010, was to click a link in the document on Skydrive. This would then send a link from your browser to ON, and it would download the file. The problems with this were:

  • The link didn’t work in Chrome
  • If used in IE, then the link complained that you weren’t using Desktop ON 2013
  • If you followed the suggestion of downloading the zipfile of your ON notebook, then tried opening it in 2010, you would find many ‘corrupt’ notebooks

This, despite the file formats between OneNote 2010 and 2013 supposedly being the same!


The New Method

Microsoft seemed to have patched up the “Open in OneNote” link in Skydrive, so that it does work with Chrome, and OneNote 2010 will happily open it. I discovered this whilst continuing to recover my notebooks this morning, when I tried clicking this link in the Skydrive Notebook:

I clicked it, and Chrome warned I was opening an app with the link. Then OneNote warned the same. I continued, and…. The notebook magically appeared in my desktop app!

At first, it shows as empty. Then, as the changes sync, the notes populate, and then go from grey to colour as they’re downloaded.

If you look at Right-click -> Properties, to figure out where the file is being stored… it doesn’t tell you. It tells you the Skydrive location, but not the local store. It’s not in My Documents -> OneNote workbooks. At the moment, I’m just happy to get it back.


I did try Change Location, but that didn’t help… although it lets you specify a location on your hard disc, it actually moves it from Skydrive to your local drive. True – it still keeps the copy in Skydrive – but your local copy is a new instance, and no longer synced. Nor can you get it to sync.


So – this now seems to be working – no hassles, no re-hashes… just works! Note downloading the zipfile of the notebook, instead of this ‘link-to-sync’ method, will still not work – OneNote says some of the notes in the zipfile are corrupt. However – I discovered this link method while I was attempting another roundabout method of downloading my workbook, so I’ll share that method next.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Jacqui
    September 19, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Thank you for sharing this! Apparently my files are corrupted, but it still helped me figure out how to access everything remotely until I can try to get my laptop fixed.

  1. October 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm

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