Handwriting recognition stopped working on iPad Pro - December 2017

Automatic background conversion of ink to text to make handwritten notes searchable stopped working sometime in December. The issue is that on a PC the ink must be selected - right click - treat ink as handwriting. I have tried all the language, keyboard, OneNote repair steps I could find on the internet and none of it works.

I have the same problem using OneNote 2016 and OneNote as part of Office 365 in 2 seperate corporate environments. The common denominator is the iPad. Notes taken prior to December work perfectly, all notes taken since require manual conversion of ink to handwriting for the feature to work, which is a huge bear.

I have tried enabling ‘Experimental Features’ in the iPad app and the results are the same. Update to version 16.9 did not resolve the issue.

Is there a fix for this that I am unaware of? This app is now useless to me without being able to search my handwritten notes, it is the ONLY reason I have an iPad and use OneNote.

Appreciate any offer of support.



Question Info

Last updated June 15, 2019 Views 1,120 Applies to:

Hi All,


We have received a response from product team that this is a by design behavior. Ink is added as “ink” by default on non-Win32 platforms where we perform server side ink analysis. While we understand the delay in server side detection, win32 should be able to search once server side analysis completes. Unfortunately, the turnaround time would be a few minutes.


If you have any concerns about this behavior, please submit your feedback to our User Voice or click the smiley face within the app to provide your feedback on this feature. Your understanding is highly appreciated.




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