How can we improve OneNote for Windows?

Include OneNote for Desktop in Office 2019

I really like the desktop lay-out with notebooks on the left, sections on top and pages on the right. I tried the UWP version, and while perfectly suited for use on a tablet (with a reduced number of - bigger - buttons), I feel it misses too many features to replace the desktop version.

So please include OneNote in the new Office 2019 suite!

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    RCP shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    265 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Even for a student, OneNote 2016 contains numerous features not evident in Windows 10's freeware version. Please do not kill this immensely useful designed-for-desktop application in favor of the mobile-friendly and feature-poor version available on the Windows Store.

      • Patrick commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks to LeeD for his information and links. I downloaded both files, just in case, if I buy a new computer (and saved them in OneDrive, ahah!)
        I think it's a disgrace to sacrifice such a wonderful program ("app") on the altar of gadgetry. Once more, aren't there any serious users around here, who need a comprehensive program.
        Why doesn't Microsoft keep the two versions, if the new one is really so useful?

      • LeeD commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft has now removed all the download links for the desktop version from OneNote site and from the office site. For those needing them here they are HOWEVER I officially request that Microsoft restore these links until the software is actually EOL on the release of 2019 at a minimum:

        Click To Run versions (note x86 or x64 as needed):
        http://www.onenote.com/download/win32/x86/en-us
        http://www.onenote.com/download/win32/x64/en-us

      • Tino commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Oh, by the way, do all MS empoyees really use the App? Did you do an internal survey? I can't imagine you will get much positive feedback from those who _really_ use the app for their work.

      • Tino commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why do MS think that we rather need fancy line color options, but no possibility to create an Outlook task, like it is possible since ages?
        Come on, don't be stubborn, give yourself more time, integrate OneNote - the Office version with all functionality it always had into Office 2019.

        And do a thorough analysis, function by function, which is not yet integrated into the App. You'll be surprised how much is missing.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I feel cheated that I just splashed out on a new Surface Pro, only to find that I cannot install OneNote 2016 Desktop - which is by far the most useful program for me (educator and research).

        The UWP is missing so much useful functionality. You can't rename Notebooks, you can't change the default location, there are so many options missing that you had in the Ribbon on the Desktop version. It's a mickey mouse version, like I'd expect to find on the iPad. How foolish of me to switch from MacBook to SP as my main laptop before realising that MS has removed my favorite software!

        Please give us a desktop version back in Office 2019!

      • RCP commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dear OneNote team, I can't stress this enough: OneNote for Desktop is what many, many users want and *love* to use on a daily basis. Don't throw one of your best products and a loyal client base out of the window! Please rethink your strategy.

      • Gary Watts commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I use OneNote 2016 as a business tool for my clients - Construction clients typically 100 to 250 employees. We have O 2016 templates as log books for plant, machinery, people, vehicles etc. etc. All projects and People are set up with O365 Group and Planner. ON is key.

        We are just migrating these staff to F1. ON is what they as an organisation have bought into.

        Its loss will be very, very unfortunate and force me and my clients all whom I have pushed into O365 to look to other products. Get real and ensure its included in 2019.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        come on MICROSOFT DONT DO THIS JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A POOR FINANCIAL REPORTS,get mad with your government, not your customer! I have like 40g+ note save in local drive as if I will upload them to your server even if your onedrive is as fast as you declare

      • Braden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Can we save local copies, and not sign into a Microsoft account?

      • Noe Medrano commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Keep the desktop version and I dont care what "improvements" are made to UWP version. These are actions that push people to other products. We use OneNote for the features it currently has and we started using it because of the desktop version. Once that is taken away along with every feature it has, it is no longer OneNote. It becomes another cheap APP that can be replaced by a thing else.

      • Hal Sclater commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So you are apparently 'gathering feedback', but the message is clearly that this is not going to be changed, despite all the feedback that everyone likes OneNote desktop, and no one likes the UWP app. Of course, that is Microsoft's decision to make, but it reduces the value of Office 365 (home or ProPlus) since the full featured version is no longer included, rather an old version. Saying that we can keep using the 2016 version is not a good answer, in 2025 that would be equivalent to saying now that we can keep using the 2007 version of OneNote, so what's the problem'?

        The UWP app causes significant problems for businesses, since not a single Enterprise Windows 10 build I have seen includes access to the Windows Store, this is the first thing that is removed. So OneNote deployment changes from 'download Office 365 ProPlus using ODT' to also setting up Windows Store for business, publishing the app, communicating with users, making sure users migrate their notebooks to OneDrive for Business, etc.

        Clearly, many businesses are not going to do this, for Microsoft to say that we can just use the UWP app shows that you simply don't properly consider the impact to your business customers. By making this change you have effectively killed OneNote use in the Enterprise, where it is widely used. No one wants the Windows Store in their business, please listen to your customers.

        The next thing will be Word, Excel and PowerPoint UWP and the death of Office as we know it…

      • Braden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I recognize that you are going to leave 2016 in place. However, it will eventually become obsolete and a security risk sometime in 2020, which is basically a year and a half correct?

        I use onenote 2016 more than any other office feature because it allows me to collaborate with my team through locally stored files on our network servers. Will we lose that functionality? Should I start looking at open source alternatives to Microsoft for my business because I don't want my data on your servers.

      • Keegan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It would have made sense for the OneNote Team to wait until UWP had reached feature parity before they released it then people like me would not be complaining… The expectations are simple. The UWP app should have been given all the basic features of OneNote 2016 such as tag creation, tag search, template creation, save notebook to hard drive, and the ability to edit embedded files. It is late summer and the UWP still has none of these features. OneNote team stated in an April blog post (https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/The-best-version-of-OneNote-on-Windows/bc-p/239471#M974) that many of these features would be available by this time. It is illogical to state that a program is better than its predecessor when it has not even reached feature parity, and there's no expectation that it will…

        It is reasonable that OneNote online and OneNote on iOS have lesser functionality. However, there is no excuse for the UWP not to have the basic functionality of OneNote 2016. Users should not have to be dependent on OneNote 2016 because the UWP is lacking. There are people using both programs, and that should not be necessary. The UWP was released too early, which is why there is so much negative feedback.

      • Chris C Hogan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Although the techs keep saying it is not going away, OneNote 2016 will not be supported, will lose out on new functionality and will basically be ignored.

        And yet, it includes vital things. Templates, keeping notes locally, being able to create pkg versions (whole notebook templates) and being able to customise the layout.

        And when are Microsoft going to learn that may people are NOT happy about "everything in the cloud" and everything as a slick app. Some people want their own security and high functioning solutions.

        And they are not just techy people - ordinary people like me!

      • Tino commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Question:
        Will OneNote 2016 be a free Download for Office 365 subscriptions, as you keep tell us that "OneNote 2016 is not going away, and you can use it as long as you’d like"?

      • LeeD commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        To be clear we have seen the fate of properties Microsoft has done things like this to in the past. Old versions of Access, Microsoft commerce platforms, and other abandoned products. We can keep using 2016 is a great answer. For the next couple of years. How long though till it no longer runs on Windows 11, or some other thing makes it incompatible. Or the core onenote file format changes and renders everything unreadable in the old version Ala Access. Excuse us if we font take any solace in this statement.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like to see OneNote for the Desktop included in Office 2019. I would also like it to include the ability to save files locally. Why?

        1) Personal Privacy
        2) For government agencies that are prohibited by agency policy from using cloud storage.
        3) Ability to past firewall rules and prohibited by proxy servers in the same government agencies.

      • Susann Richard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OneNote 2016 ist a great tool. It should absolutely be kept as it is!
        So please include OneNote in the new Office 2019 suite!

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