How to Restore Lost Notes in OneNote 2016 on Windows PC

Tracy King updated on Jul 02, 2019 to File Recovery | How-to Articles


This tutorial article offers you free four methods to help you simply restore all lost notes in OneNote 2016. Don’t worry about losing important OneNote files anymore. Just follow this article and you’ll know how to find lost notes in OneNote 2016 then.

"Do you know where can I find the lost OneNote 2016 notes? I think that I might have deleted some notes from my PC in OneNote 2016. Do I still have a chance to restore the deleted note files?"

Usually, when you cannot find OneNote 2016 notes in your PC, it doesn't mean that all these notes are gone. Here some effective methods will help you effortlessly find and restore lost notes in OneNote 2016 on your Windows PC. All you need is to select a specific method and restore lost OneNote notes by following the below tips.

Method 1. Restore lost notes in OneNote 2016 with file recovery software in 3 steps
Method 2. Use Search to search notes
Method 3. Restore lost notes from OneDrive folder
Method 4. Check Notebook Recycle Bin to find lost OneNote 2016 notes

So now you may follow the offered 4 methods to get your important notes files back.

Method 1. Free restore lost notes in OneNote 2016 with file recovery software in 3 steps

If you cannot find lost notes in OneNote 2016 on your PC with no backup, the best way to recover the lost notes is turn to professional file recovery software for help. 

Here we'd like to recommend you try powerful free file recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition which supports to restore all lost files within 3 steps from complex situations. 


  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer.
  • Choose the OneNote file location (Drive X:)
  • Click on the Scan button.
select onenote file location


  • Wait for the scan process.
  • Check the "Deleted files" result if the OneNote files were lost due to deletion.


  • Click "Filter" and choose "Documents".
  • Locate the OneNote files (.one) in the filtered results.
  • Select targeted files and click on the Recover button.
select onenote files and click recover

Method 2. Use Search to search notes

This method is the quickest way to find notes in OneNote. OneNote can find words in text, handwriting, pictures, even audio and video recordings. If you cannot find locate your notes, try the below steps:

  • In the search box, at the upper-right corner, select the arrow to the right of the magnifying glass icon > choose "All notebooks" in the appeared list;
  • Type a keyword or phrase of the note that you want to search in the search box;
  • OneNotes will present the search result that matches your search word or phrase > choose a search result to retrieve;
  • Press Esc to exit when you finish searching.

Method 3. Restore lost notes from OneDrive folder

If you have sync OneNote 2016 notes into OneDrive, you may try to restore lost notes from OneDrive with these next steps:

  • Sign in to OneDrive from the OneDrive hone page or using OneDrive app for Windows 10;
  • Browse through your document folders and open notes, documents, and other files > search for the information you are looking for > Check other documents and file in case your notes are there instead of OneNote;
  • When you find wanted notes, reload to your PC.

Method 4. Check Notebook Recycle Bin to find lost OneNote 2016 notes

  • Open the shared notebook where you expected to find lost notes;
  • Select "History > Notebook Recycle Bin > Notebook Recycle Bin";

If you find lost or deleted notes here, recover them by following the below steps:

  • Right-click the tab of any page that you want to recover > choose "Move or Copy"; 
  • In the Move or Copy page, choose the notebook section where you want to move the page > choose "Move";

If you want to move the page to another notebook, first click + icon next to that notebook in the list and then select a section within it.


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Frequently Asked Qusetions

1. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

2. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

3. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

4. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

5. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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