Restore OneNote File


I have backups?
We’ve all been there. We always think about it and one of the great features about OneNote is that is does this for you! Create a backup. So what about restoring a backup if you actually need a file that has vanished one way or the other? Do you know where to find your backup file? Did you ever take a look at the settings for creating backups? Many users don’t even know they have backups! In this post I will show the settings for creating a backup of your all-important OneNote files and how to restore sections or books for that matter.

Backup Settings
Let us first take a look at where the settings of creating a backup take place. If you use ON 2007 you have to go to the menubar and chooseToolsOptions – Save to change the backup folder and choose Backup to change the backup settings.  In ON 2010 you go to the File (backstage) menu and click OptionsSave – Backup.
In 2010 this is combined into one dialog. You will see the following options in the dialog.


This is the first section and here is where you can see what the location is of the three possible save locations:

  • Unfiled notes section

  • Backup folder

  • Default Notebook location

Below the options you will see themodifybutton. If you would like to change the backup folder to a different location than the default location which is: “users\username\appdata\local\microsoft\onenote”; then you should click the modify button and change that location. If you use OneNote 2010 you will see that there are actually two folders here 12.0 and 14.0 it might seem a little strange that there are two folders but since it is possible to work with 2007 files as well this is where the 2007 backups are kept.


This is the important section because this is the section where the settings for the creation of backups is set. By default this will be set to 1 day. You can change the settings by choosing the appropriate option from the combo box. If you work often with OneNote you might think about setting this interval to something more frequent than 1 day. The following option is how many backups should be created of your file. By default this is set to two which seems reasonable.

Below the options to choose from you see two buttons to perform the back up operations straight away. The first options will back up every file in which changes have been made. The second option makes a backup of the files regardless of changes made or not.


How about restoring a file?
Well the first option would of course be to check the recycle bin to see if the file accidentally has been deleted. The recycle bin was there in the 2003 version. It did not and does not exist in the 2007 version and thank heavens came back in the 2010 version. You can move the file back to its original position in your OneNote file. You can get access to the recycle bin by right clicking on your OneNote book. From the deleted section choose the appropriate section to restore and you are done.

To restore a file from a backup you go to the File (backstage) menu and click open. Then click [Open Notebook] and then open the backup folder through the [OpenNotebook] dialog window. Choose the appropriate file and you are done.

As with all work done on the computer you know you have to make a backup from time to time. This is actually done for you. So for your own comfort check the backup files from time to time to see if the information you so carefully collected is still there in case of an emergency. Hate to say I told you so


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s