We’re excited to share that OneNote on Windows will get a series of updates over the next 12 months. These updates include a visual refresh, the latest Microsoft pen and ink advancements, a new navigational UI layout option that can flex for customer preferences, and more!
If you're wondering which OneNote app on Windows will receive the updates, here's the best part: no matter which OneNote app you use today, we have a path for you to get these updates. Today, OneNote supports two apps on Windows: the OneNote app installed with Office and the OneNote for Windows 10 app available in the Microsoft Store. Advances in Windows and Office will allow us to unify the two apps so that you'll have the simplicity of a single OneNote app on Windows while enjoying the interface and features you're already familiar with.
Figure 1: Mock-up of updates coming to the OneNote app on Windows.
Figure 2: Mock-up of updates coming to the OneNote app on Windows.
What you'll start seeing:
What this announcement means for you and your organization:
- The OneNote app will get new features and key existing features currently unique to OneNote for Windows 10.
- OneNote for Windows 10 users will get an in-app invitation to update to the OneNote app. We anticipate invitations to start in the second half of 2022. We will have a future announcement dedicated to IT pros that will detail the available controls over the timing and experience of updating users to the OneNote app.
We're excited about the future of OneNote and look forward to hearing your feedback to make OneNote the best place for your notes. Please continue to tell us what you think through the in-app feedback and in the comments below!
- If you currently use the OneNote app, there is no action to take as you are on the fastest path to new features.
- If you currently use OneNote for Windows 10, there is no action to take today as the OneNote team is working to build features that will help you move over to the OneNote app more easily in the future. Until we have completed that work, you can continue to use OneNote for Windows 10.
- If you plan on newly deploying OneNote to your organization, we recommend deploying the OneNote app.
For more information on the future of OneNote on Windows, see the FAQ below.
Frequently Asked Questions about the OneNote app on Windows
Q: Are you making a third OneNote app separate from the two existing ones?
A: No, the current OneNote app is evolving to include new features and key existing features from OneNote for Windows 10. Once the team has done the necessary work for a smooth update, users on OneNote for Windows 10 will get the invitation to update to the OneNote app.
Q: How do I tell which OneNote I'm using today?
A: What's the difference between the OneNote versions? - Office Support (microsoft.com)
Q: What's new for OneNote in Windows 11?
A: Both OneNote apps will continue to run in Windows 11. Upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 will not affect your OneNote apps. If you're starting Windows 11 from a clean installation or new device, OneNote for Windows 10 will not be installed by default, but will be available to download for free in the Microsoft Store app.
Q: Do I need to buy Office to use the updated OneNote app?
A: No, the OneNote app is also available as a free standalone version: Download OneNote
Q: What if I'm using OneNote 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, or 2016?
A: The latest OneNote app is available as part of Microsoft 365 as well as a free standalone version from: Download OneNote
Q: I'm an IT professional managing OneNote users. What does this announcement mean for my organization?
A: No action is required if all your users are already using the OneNote app. For organizations with OneNote for Windows 10 users, we will follow up with guidance for a smooth transition for your users.
Q: Will the updated OneNote app support my existing notebooks?
A: Yes, all notebooks you use today in OneNote and OneNote for Windows 10 will continue to work in the updated app.
Q: As a OneNote for Windows 10 user, when will I need to update to the OneNote app?
A: After the in-app invitation is available, we recommend updating to the OneNote app by October 2025 when both Windows 10 and OneNote for Windows 10 will reach end-of-support.
Q: If I'm using both apps today, should I uninstall OneNote for Windows 10?
A: We recommend keeping OneNote for Windows 10 for now as we plan to provide extra checks for the integrity of your notebooks before moving to a single app. To keep OneNote for Windows 10 from launching when you click on notebook links, you can change default apps here: Change the default version of OneNote on your computer - OneNote (microsoft.com).
Q: I'm currently using OneNote for Windows 10. Can I get the OneNote app before I receive the in-app invitation?
A: We recommend waiting for the in-app invitation to ensure a smooth experience. For those who want the OneNote app earlier, the fastest way is by installing the OneNote app here: Download OneNote.
Q: Will you be adding all the features unique to OneNote for Windows 10 that are missing in the OneNote app?
A: While we won't be incorporating the entire list of features from OneNote for Windows 10 into the OneNote app, we are working to ensure that all the most loved features will continue to be a part of OneNote. We will follow up with the full list of features in a future announcement.
Q: Am I impacted if I use OneNote for macOS, iOS, Android, or Web?
A: The OneNote team will continue to invest in OneNote for macOS, iOS, Android, and Web. There's no impact from this announcement on OneNote for these platforms.
Source: What’s Coming to OneNote