OneNote 2016 vs. OneNote for Windows 10

Why are there two different versions of OneNote?
 
I have been using computers since the mid-1980’s, and now I design websites. So I am pretty good at dealing with software.

And I spent a fair amount of time using both OneNote (when it first came out) and Evernote. Since I don’t like using two different systems to accomplish the same goal, I went with OneNote preferring its features over Evernote.

 

And let me make it clear that I love OneNote!

 

But I find that I can now access three versions of OneNote:

  • OneNote 2016 (which I use extensively)
  • OneNote for Windows 10
  • OneNote on OneDrive (or Live or whatever this month’s name is for the cloud service)

 

And NONE of those versions is the same! AND they don’t sync with each other!!

 

I like the increased functionality of the older version of OneNote and the variety of options available in the ribbon, so I prefer it to the WIN 10 version. But the cloud version of OneNote 2016 doesn’t even look close to what I have on my desktop version.

 

Before you (Microsoft) or anyone else starts to respond with, “Well what you need to do…”, don’t bother; I’ve tried everything. Read lots of forum pages. Watched a ton of Youtube tutorials. And nothing works.

 

So my actual question becomes: WHY? Why would you have two versions of a program that will not sync between platforms?????

 

I don’t give a f**king rat’s ass about how this week’s update has new pen colors, or how we can now imbed cat videos using only two steps instead of the previous three steps.

 

What I want is the ability to do my online work and know for a certainty that I have the same files on my tablet when I’m out of the office as I do when sitting in front of my desktop. Why is that too much to ask?

 

For myself, I think it’s time to take another look at Evernote. Yes there is a subscription cost but at least I would know that my work is more “secure”. And that is far more important than friggin’ useless updates for better colored pens.

 

This is 2017, get your **** together!

 

|

Was this discussion helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this discussion?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this discussion?

Thanks for your feedback.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

Agreed! I'm now used to the fact that OneDrive apps look different from desktop apps, annoying thought that is. But like you I've found difficulty in getting OneNote on my Lumia 950 to sync properly with OneNote 2016 on my desktop windows 10 machine. And there I was getting sucked in to the UWP world when I realised that Microsoft don't even do it themselves! Exasperating. I'm already resigned to going Android on my next phone where I expect there'll be another version of OneNote which won't sync with anything. Well done for raising this point. Will anything change? Well at least I've been able to rant with another sufferer.

36 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Yup, three different versions (programs) -- that we know of.  Microsoft documents differences for the Win 10 and Office 365 (now called OneNote 365) versions at this link.  I decided I needed both.  I have no problem with the two versions syncing but you have to be logged into Windows with same account to have them sync.  I have a Surface Pro 4 tablet and desktop computer, both with Win 10 and both logged into with the same Windows account.  I can run both versions on the same computer at the same time and changes made in one show up in the other.  I can run both versions on different computers and changes made on one computer show up on the other computer.  I don't see syncing the two programs as a problem.  

I teach math and use OneNote with the pen/tablet extensively for writing out solutions in class.  I set up my OneNote pages prior to class, then fill in during class with problem solutions using the pen.  So pen support is critical for me.  Either program works for this.  However I use the OneNote 365 version because it supports the math equation editor and the Win 10 version does not.  That works well for me.  Occasionally, I want to record a student's paper by taking a photo of it with the tablet.  Only the Win 10 version of OneNote works for that and it works well by automatically cropping to the paper from the photograph (nice).

I treat the two versions as two different programs with different capabilities but compatible in file format and display.  They really are two different programs with different capabilities.  Why two different versions?  We can only guess.  The Win 10 version is supposed to look the same on different platforms and that might be the reason for it to exist.  Some features in The OneNote 365 version features might not be available outside Win 10.  Who knows?  The way I see it, pick one that works for you and use both of them if needed.

Then there is the online version of OneNote.  It doesn't work well with inking on a page.  The ink gets offset from the text and images.  The offset gets worse as I move down a page.  I had intended to make my OneNote lecture notes available to students but can't because of this.  OneNote online is displayed in a browser and the amount of offset is different depending on which browser I use (Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox).  So this is not an issue just with OneNote, it is an issue in how the browsers display a page differently.  If you are sharing OneNote pages with others, I suspect it will work fine if there is no inking on the pages.  

Haven't tried in on my Android -- yet.

16 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Tried it on Android, excellent, syncs with Windows OneNote.

5 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Great post, Larry! Real life use of programs, their uses, their pros and cons, and how to look at them - at least as far as OneNote is concerned. You helped me put in perspective the issues I'm having with OneNote, as well.

5 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

It's been a few days and I've spent a couple of days (not 8 hours a day though . . . it seemed like 8-hour days!) trying to figure out how - or if - I could get at least two of the three versions to sync: OneNote Win 10, OneNote 2016, and online OneNote (OneNote 365?). I must report with great sadness and frustration that I have failed. I've given up and am now copying+pasting everything into OneNote for Win 10 so that one of the three versions will have all the material.

I absolutely do not understand why MS would let this happen . . . or worse, made it happen for some nefarious purpose. I, too, have worked on computers and information systems for a long time (Masters in IT) and am no stranger to computer/software matters. Microsoft has been the target for years for software malfeasance because the market share of its operating system was so out of balance with any kind of competition. The inability of OneNote to communicate effectively and efficiently with its own closely related versions is beyond the pale. There is no excuse whatsoever. Imagine how many productivity hours are being wasted due to this mess. At the very least MS could've had a warning up front that the free web version and Windows 10 version are not really compatible with already existing software that most people have (e.g. 2003, 2010, 2013, and inexplicitly 2016). 

Maybe I'll see my way clear to treat the various versions as different apps. I really like OneNote. In addition to worrying about the different OneNote apps that have all been released within a year or so, how do different OneNote apps perform in relation to Google's offering? Or, EverNote? Or, whatever? It wouldn't be too hard for me to give up MS OneNote altogether.  I'm working with others who do not use OneNote at all and seem to have no difficulty with anyone!

If you are reading this and you feel as though you can add positively to this conversation, please do! Many times I've overlooked some simple issue that made a whole problem disappear.

19 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Wow, I feel better now that I see someone FAR more frustrated than I am!

As I said in previous post, "I have no problem with the two versions syncing but you have to be logged into Windows with same account to have them sync." (underlining added for emphasis).  Syncing is not a problem with my two computers and my Android phone.  Life is good!

Check in each OneNote version to insure they are on the same Microsoft account.  For OneNote 365 (OneNote 2016), select "File", then "Account".  Note the email addresses for User Information and OneDrive.  For OneNote Win 10, select the three dots in upper right (Settings and More), then "Settings".  Select "Accounts" and check the email address for the account.  It must be the same as email address (same account) as the one for OneNote 365.  If they are different, they will NOT sync.

You might also check your OneDrive account to insure it is the same email address.  It is in "Settings", "Account".

I have no experience with earlier versions of OneNote.

Good luck!!!

4 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Thanks, Larry . . . I'll spend some time on it tonight or in the morning. I thought I was opening them with the same account . . . but, maybe not.

` George "jorge"

1 person found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

My biggest issue is that OneNote app creates its own database separate from OneNote 2016 when syncing from the cloud.  I'm already running low on disk space so this doesn't work for me.  I'd love to be able to use some of the unique features of OneNote app, but the cost is too high.  I guess I'll stick with OneNote 2016 on my Surfaces and OneNote app on my phones and iDevice.  Also, three things that I can do on my Surface (embedded spreadsheets, recording stuff while taking notes, and my OneTastic add-ins) aren't available in the app.  Ah well.

I guess I should add that my notebooks sync between all of my devices:  Pixel 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 2, iPad Pro, HP Elite X3

2 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Hi all,

I just ran multiple tests. Here's what I have for devices:

  • Windows 10 Desktop with both the OneNote 2016 (called 2016) and the Win OneNote app (called WIN)
  • Android phone with the OneNote app
  • OneDrive account
  • Office 365 Business Premium account

I opened the same notebook from my OneDrive account on my desktop.

On my other monitor, I had WIN and 2016 sharing the screen. Phone app was open too.

I had all devices/locations on the same page. I typed something in every location (web, WIN, 2016 & phone) to see if it would show up.

  • Typed stuff in the 2016 version and it showed up (took a little time) everywhere else.
  • Typed on OneDrive page - appeared fine, slight delay
  • Typed in WIN app - seemed to take a while to sync. Notebook name at top said "syncing" the whole time.
  • From Android - slower but not bad
  • On the phone, I had to sync the notebook to get it to update.

For the WIN app, I found that if I closed the app and reopened it, it usually sync'd better on opening (rather than waiting while open).

I did the same tests (above) in a notebook on my Office 365 site. They all worked there also. For the browser versions, I sometimes had to hit the refresh when I entered something in the desktop or phone version to speed up the process.

I don't know if this helps or not, but I thought I'd let you know that it works on mine. Sometimes I have to tell it to sync (phone), or refresh the browser. Sometimes it takes longer than I think it should (it should be instantaneous, right? )

11 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Great thread, thanks y'all.

I've recently discovered that for the past 18 months I've been using OneNote and it appears that has been only on my local machine.  When I open the application, it shows "working offline".  

I have OneNote 2016 as part of my Office 365 and I think I'd rather be using that.  However, I have 18 months worth of data that I want to somehow get ported over.  I'm not really interested in syncing, I'd rather just move them to the 2016 platform.

I don't see anything in my OneNote that looks like an export function.  I don't even see a "File" menu.  I'm wondering if my OneNote is super-old.  I'm on version:  17.9126.20561.0 but I don't see anyplace that would allow me to update that.  

I'll keep playing around.  I've found a few articles that look close to what I'm trying to do, but I since I don't have a "File" menu in OneNote none of them seem applicable.  

I appreciate your support!

mike

6 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

 
 

Discussion Info


Last updated April 29, 2021 Views 14,213 Applies to: