Home > Uncategorized > Syncing OneNote in Skydrive back to OneNote 2010 Desktop

Syncing OneNote in Skydrive back to OneNote 2010 Desktop

You may have seen my recent blog posts on the hell in trying to get my notebooks back from Skydrive onto my laptop following a rebuild, and then finally finding a simple solution to the problem.

OK – so the problem is solved, and if you have the same issues, you should just re-sync it. However, I did try an alternate workaround to trying to download the workbooks in the process. Since I’ve already written it up, I thought I’d share.


The problem was:

  • You can’t directly open a Skydrive notebook from OneNote 2010 Desktop
  • You could open the Skydrive notebook in OneNote Desktop, but you had to do it via a Skydrive link, that didn’t work

So – my workaround solution was:

  • Download the OneNote 2013 Desktop preview
  • Open the Skydrive notebook in ON 2013 (that does support Opening Skydrive from within the App)
  • Export from ON 2013, and then import into ON 2010, using files

It worked great.

The problem

If you try to download your Skydrive Notebook as a file:

You’ll likely get this:

The solution

So, the first step is to install the preview of OneNote 2013 somewhere. I have VMWare on my laptop, so I fired up a Win7 VM in order to install it away from my main OS. Right now, MS are running it as a free preview.

Once installed, go to OneNote 2013 -> Open, and you’ll see you can open Skydrive documents:

Open it. Once the notebook is open, right-click a tab and export the entire notebook. Remember to:

  • Export the Current Notebook
  • Select the filetype OneNote Single File Package

Take the single file it creates, and copy that from your VM onto your normal main OS/Desktop (ie. Where you’re using OneNote 2010). I put it in a temporary folder on my desktop, not the main OneNote structure (remember this is an import, still):

Delete the old, failed, imported workbook from your OneNote Notebooks directory, if it’s still there.

Then, double-click your new package, and OneNote will ask where you want to import it to

Bingo! A fully imported, supported workbook in OneNote 2010.

You can now either leave it where it is, sync it as a new workbook (not quite sure how to sync it with the one currently on the Skydrive), or merge it into another workbook.

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