Where does the Android Version of OneNote store it's data?

What the title says. What's the directory path for the local copy of the OneNote data stored on an Android Tablet?

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[@ArJong]

Has this changed with Office 2016? Does OneNote now allow storage on SD card? 

[@Desiree Yau]

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@ArJong no, this has not changed. and is not possible to change due to SELinux and certificate signing permission structures.

@Desiree Yau I'm a bit perplexed why you would point a user to the bug feedback site when this isn't a bug per se.  Your reply is even more baffling when it's taken into consideration I've written several in depth posts in this thread, and others in this forum, regarding the issues at hand.

  • The only way Microsoft could fix this is:
    • if OneNote is coded to save all data to /sdcard [/sorage/emulated/*]
      • This has always had to do with permissions & sandboxing, and there is simply no way around that unless OneNote is coded to save to the aforementioned mount point(s) with the owner/group being media_rw.
        • Doing so would prevent OneNote from operating correctly, if at all, since the owner/group OneNote is apart of would need to be modified, likely violating the SELinux & certificate signing permission structures

  • What Microsoft does have the power to fix is:
    1. Allowing notebooks to be imported from the /sdcard or /storage/emulated/* partition (for example from OneNote desktop).  This is and of itself would cease all errors resulting from large notebook syncs; and/or
    2. Fixing the bugs in how OneNote downloads notebook fragments & subsequently how it then coalesces them into a sane notebook file
      • This has never worked correctly with large notebooks in excess of a few tens of MBs, resulting in an error code no matter how may hours you allow it to sync or how many days you try to manually sync it.

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October 23, 2017:  My Samsung S8 came with OneNote. There is apparently no way to specifically "save" information in a notebook.  Unfortunately, data has the unsettling habit of disappearing.  Is there a protocol to insure data is actually being saved?  Regarding the other discussions about 2016, has any of the location information changed for 365?  Has the MS bug section swatted any of these issues?   (Yes, I know it isn't a bug, but the concept is satisfying.  :-)  )

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OneNote auto saves information once it's typed in to a note... there is no manual save option, as it's not needed.  

  • In order to ascertain what's going on, please notate the steps you're taking when you notice information is missing.

No, the location of the OneNote databases have not changed, and it's unlikely Microsoft will change the locations at this point.  The location can be accessed as root only since they reside on the system partition of Android/Tizen.

As to a bug, this is a bug as it prevents larger OneNote notebooks from successfully syncing to an Android device, and the only work around [I'm aware of] is the post I link to under my comment on page 1.

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And just to add this to JW0914s very good technical explanations:

The OneNote app has (close to) NOTHING to do with OneNote 2016, Office 2016 or Office 365. That link is made by Microsoft mainly out of marketing reasons.

OneNote is a standalone app which can be downloaded for free from Googles play store, no matter whether you own an Office license or not. All you need is a (also free) Microsoft account to get storage space on OneDrive. The connection to other OneNote versions is just that they can share access to the same notebook data (on OneDrive). Some Office 365 licenses also offer an alternative, bigger cloud storage space (OneDrive for Business) which then can (but does not have to) also be used as storage location for OneNtoe notebooks.

So IF anything will change or improve on the Android app (I gave up hope, at least as long Microsoft keeps its development outsourced to an external and "abroad" team), it won't happen because of any changes or updates of Windows or MS Office but on its own schedule. 

The only OneNote version that is *somewhat* related to MS Office, is OneNote 2016 for Windows PCs which, as Microsoft has stated on several occasions, will not get updated any more.

www.onenote-blog.de (German)
www.onenote-blog.com (English, but fewer articles)

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Where are you getting the information that "The OneNote app has (close to) NOTHING to do with OneNote 2016, Office 2016 or Office 365. That link is made by Microsoft mainly out of marketing reasons".

  • All versions of OneNote across all platforms are the same application, however the free versions, just like the free versions of all other office programs, have less features available for use compared to the Office 20xx/Office 365 version.
    • Microsoft used to charge $5 for the OneNote app on Android, however it stopped doing so once it released the slimmed down free online versions of all Office programs.

The issue with OneNote for Android is a bug in how it handles downloaded pieces of a large notebook, prior to combining these into the final notebook file, of which results in OneNote for Android either corrupting these data blocks, or believing they are corrupt through miscomputations of the hashes for the individual data blocks.

  • OneNote for Android downloads it's notebooks from the user's OneDrive account
    • This is where the Desktop version of OneNote defaults to as a storage location, as well as where the slimmed down online version of OneNote stores it's notebooks.
      • It downloads notebooks in the same way as a download manager downloads a file, simultaneously downloading separate blocks of the notebook file through multiple connections, then coalesces these data blocks into the final notebook file, finally importing the file into OneNote for Android.
        • This is where the problem lies, and instead of just re-downloading the corrupted block of data, it scraps all blocks, does not delete them, then attempts to re-download the entire notebook again... and the cycle repeats.
        • Since I can successfully sync every notebook from OneDrive to the Office 2016 OneNote desktop program, this implies there's faulty code in the OneNote for Android app, most likely of which is due to faulty hash computation coding.
          • It's established the OneNote notebook(s) stored on OneDrive are not corrupted, so the only thing that makes sense is the OneNote for Android code is miscomputing hashes of the data blocks of the final OneNote notebook.

For anyone encountering issues with downloading large notebooks, once one has successfully downloaded all notebooks, and verified every page in every section loads, use a backup app to create a backup, then test that backup to ensure it will restore the notebook data.  

  • Please note, I have always had root access when backing up OneNote's app data, so I cannot verify this will work on non-rooted devices.
    • If a backup app does not successfully backup  & restore OneNote for Android app data without root access, the only other plausible way of doing so without rooting the device is to utilize a 3rd party recovery image (such as TWRP), booting into recovery once flashed, then creating a nandroid backup of the entire data partition.
  • My Backup/My Backup Pro is verified to completely back up the notebook data and successfully restore it
  • ROM Toolbox Lite/ROM Toolbox Pro's Application Manager backup is verified to not successfully restore OneNote for Android app data.

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Noticed the same thing as far as access, AND when I first installed OneNote on my Android phone it took about 180MB until I synched it and then it took 1.7GB  making my phone almost unusable!  I had to uninstall OneNote even though I use it all the time.  I have a 128GB chip in my phone and apparently MS doesn't realize keeping everything on main memory is an issue?

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Last updated January 22, 2021 Views 20,590 Applies to: