OneNote gets even better on Mac and iOS

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Today’s post was written by Omeed Chandra, program manager on the OneNote team.

Editor’s note 11/5/2014
After receiving several requests from readers for details on Office 365 requirements for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business access following this update to OneNote for iOS and Mac, we have updated “Open SharePoint Server notebooks on your Mac” below.

Fall is here—at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere—and the days are getting shorter. That means you’ll have to finish your work more quickly if you want to get outside and catch a few rays of sunshine before it gets dark. We want to help, so today we’re releasing an update for OneNote on iPhone, iPad and Mac with new features that make it even easier for you to get organized and be productive!

Add files from your favorite cloud storage service to OneNote on your iPhone or iPad

OneNote is perfect for storing everything you need to remember about a project, class, or upcoming trip—including PDFs and Office files. Now, we’re taking advantage of new iOS 8 functionality to make it easy to insert file attachments and printouts you’ve stored in the cloud without even leaving OneNote.


To use this feature, you’ll need to install iOS 8 and use a cloud storage. In OneNote for iPad, tap Insert and then choose either File or PDF Printout; in OneNote for iPhone, tap anywhere on a page to bring up the keyboard, then tap the paperclip icon on the command bar above the keyboard. From here, choose your favorite cloud storage service—tap on Location if you don’t see it in the list—and you’ll be able to insert files into your notes!

Manage section passwords and unlock with Touch ID

OneNote for Windows has long offered the ability to password protect sections of your notebooks to help keep private information safe from prying eyes. Recently, we added the ability to unlock your existing password protected sections in OneNote for iPhone, iPad, and Mac—but you still needed a Windows PC to create new password protected sections, or change or remove a password. Now, you can do all of those things right from your Apple devices! For example, create your holiday shopping list from your Mac and protect it with a password so nosey friends and family won’t find out what you’re getting them, then open it from your iPhone when you’re at the store.

OneNote on your iPhone or iPad 2 v2


OneNote on your iPhone or iPad 3

If you’re running iOS 8 and have a Touch ID-enabled device, we have another treat for you—you can now unlock password protected sections with your fingerprint. When you’re entering your password to unlock a section, simply enable the Touch ID switch and you’ll be able to unlock the section with your fingerprint in the future. (Be careful not to forget your password—you’ll need it if you want to change or remove the password or unlock the section from another device.)


Move and rearrange pages on your iPhone

Many of you asked for more powerful organization features on the iPhone so you can arrange your notes exactly the way you want them on the go—and we listened. Go to any section, then pull down on the page list until you see the last sync time and the Edit button. Tap on Edit and you’ll be able to reorder pages, move them to another section, or create subpages to organize your notes in the way that’s most meaningful to you. This is particularly handy if you’ve jotted down some thoughts via the Quick Notes feature, or clipped an interesting webpage, and want to file this information in a different section later.

Open SharePoint Server notebooks on your Mac

Earlier this year, we enabled Office 365 business users to open notebooks stored on SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business in OneNote for Mac. However, some companies are still using SharePoint Server on-premises, and we heard from lots of folks who wanted to be able to open notebooks stored on these servers. Today, we’re pleased to announce that with an eligible Office 365 subscription, you can now open SharePoint Server notebooks in OneNote for Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Access to SharePoint Server, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business notebooks is an Office 365 subscription benefit. Customers with an eligible Office 365 subscription can still access their SharePoint Server, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business notebooks.  Customers without an eligible Office 365 subscription can use OneNote Online to view and edit notebooks in the browser.


In addition to all of the new stuff in this update, we invested in improving what’s already there by addressing problems reported by users like you. For example, we fixed a number of bugs with the iOS 8 Share Extension functionality that we released last month, and also improved the way OneNote looks on the bigger screens of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

We hope you love these updates as much as we do. As usual, we want to hear your feedback so we can keep making OneNote better. Let us know what you think!

—Omeed Chandra


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Join the conversation

  1. I’m unable to access my 365 notebooks. I could before this update. I am unable to login with my O365 Corp account.

    • Hey, Avneesh from the OneNote team here. Sorry to hear that you’re running into problems. Have you tried removing your account and re-adding it? You can do this by going to the OneNote menu at the top left of your screen, and selecting “Remove Account”. Go to the same place to sign in again, and try logging in with your O365 credentials. If you still run into problems, let me know and we can try to figure out what’s going on.

        • Thanks. We’re looking into this and are hoping to get this resolved ASAP.

          • Just to confirm. I have the same issue.

            Impossible to login to corp O365 account. I get the corp login page (SSO implemented) but it clears the username and password fields and doesn’t ever activate.

            Tried removing and re-adding.

            Tried adding by using the Sharepoint Online url : I get to see the folders and sub-folders but it errors with the activation message as soon as I try to open a notebook.

            Currently the only possibility I have is either a Windows VM with Office installed or on the web !

            It worked beautifully before. Please fix ASAP as I can see a LOT of 1 star reviews in the App Store soon ….

            Thanks in advance.

          • Same issue here as well. Can’t login to corp O365 account. The ADFS page just keeps refreshing.

          • Same problem here. I have an “Office365 Small Business” Account without an office software subscription. Under OS X 10.9, I lost the ability to access my notebooks stored in the office365 cloud with the latest OneNote Update (15.3.2 141022). Before the update, it worked just fine.

            It seems to be a problem with the activation process: After giving my credentials, I see a progress bar for the activation process, but then the app tells me that the email address I provided wasn’t eligible for activation.

            Are all Office365 (cloud) accounts eligible? Or just the ones that that also subscribe to the Office Software (btw. the naming is getting really confusing!)

            It is really inconvenient to loose the ability to access this data after getting it just few months ago. Things like this still prevent me to fully make use of my office 365 account!

          • @TheNephilim
            “…loose the ability…”. Loose means something is not tight, the word you are looking for is lose, as in lost, and losing. Though lose sounds as though it should contain double letter o, it does not. And for those that yell “grammar and spelling police”, yes choice of loose and lose does make a difference.


      • Hello, Ari from the OneNote team. Check out the two blog posts found here to see if either will solve your two issues: accessing notebooks on Office 365, SharePoint, or OneDrive for Business and logging in with your Office 365 organizational account:

        The support blog post here addresses sign on issues:

        Note that we also heard the feedback from students and teachers not being able to access their OneNote notebooks for school so we shipped an update for OneNote on iPad, iPhone & Mac. You can find on the support blog post here:

        Let us know if you are still experiencing issues and ,if you have other feedback, leave it in the comments or our Feedback & Suggestions site that goes directly to the team:

    • I am having the same issue. Since the update neither OneDrive or OneNote can authenticate me to my corp server via office365. Everything worked so nicely belfore. I hoe this gets fixed quickly since I rely on these apps on a daily basis.
      The only way I can access them now is from the PC.


  2. Still no way to search OneNote contents via spotlight! Unbelievable folks!
    Oh well!…fortunately there are other better alternatives which include this important feature.
    In case you forgot, it is all about searching information quickly and easily.

  3. Hi everyone,

    Exciting news, again!
    From which storage providers have you been successfully inserting files in the OneNote for iOS versions? iCloud, DropBox and Box seem to work fine, but how about OneDrive and Google Drive?


      • Yes, where is OneDrive. I migrated everything over from iCloud to OneDrive. Please don’t make me go back! 🙂

  4. Earlier I used OneNote on my android phone (ICS, 4.0.4).
    But, After performing factory reset , I am not able to install again.
    Why OneNote for Android ICS has been removed?

  5. Hey guys. I am still not able to import files from Microsoft Onedrive but from apps like “Documents” from readdle, iCloud and Dropbox? Come on …. you have forgotten your own cloud drive to be an option? Or is there another way?

  6. FAIL AGAIN. I cannot save to a corporate network drive or CREATE a Notebook in a Sharepoint folder.
    Either fix it or stop trying. This is not a professional product and I would be embarrassed if my team sent out software like this. SAVING TO A LOCAL FILE STRUCTURE IS BASIC FUNCTIONALITY. Come on MS, you did this in your first IT class in college, you know how to do it!

  7. I fail to see how requiring an Office 365 subscription is supposed to help “some companies” (that was a low blow by the way) who are still using SharePoint Server on premise. It makes no sense to require this when my notebooks are not stored in Office 365 and adds yet another hurdle for Mac One Notes users to access these notebooks with rich clients.

    You made a step in the right direction, but you didn’t go far enough. My Mac users are tired of waiting for the same functionality that all my PC users have had for years.

    Please clarify why there is a need to have an Office 365 account to get to notebooks stored in on premise SharePoint libraries.

  8. Can anyone help adding a on-premise SharePoint server? I keep getting:

    Cannot Connect to SharePoint
    This SharePoint site is an unsupported version.

    • Does anyone know where to go to get support on this particular issue?

      Can anyone help adding a on-premise SharePoint server? I keep getting:

      Cannot Connect to SharePoint
      This SharePoint site is an unsupported version.

  9. Let me get this straight…….as an Enterprise Agreement customer that has paid for an on-premise install of SharePoint with SA I can no longer use the iOS OneNote apps for my users unless I pay for an O365 subscription. How does this make any sense to anyone?

    As an IT Manager I pushed for my company to use OneNote over Evernote and now Microsoft makes me look like a complete idiot!!! Without being able to connect to my on-premise SharePoint servers this app is pointless. Looks like I’ll become a customer of Evernote Business and completely uninstall OneNote from all mobile devices and computers. Just when I thought Microsoft was being intelligent by including OneNote in office lately (Love OneNote as an application personally) something like this is pulled.

    A completely frustrated customer.

    • I agree,

      Microsoft keep pulling this office365 bull, without thinking that smaller companies are spending 100s of thousands of pounds with them for on-premise software. Office365 is not the pill to all problems, some data simply cannot be stored in the cloud..

      Microsoft need to listen to their loyal customer base, rather than just chasing the skirt who are chasing the “cloud” cost to the lowest possible price..

      • exactly the same thing. I proposed this solution to a customer and they were very satisfied of their Sharepoint on Premise. We’ve invested a lot of time in this solution. We even gave demos to prospects to use the same solution. You would expect more of a reliable partner like MS. We sold a SQL core license of about 3500 euros. Now i need to tell them they need an additional Office 365 license for each user??? If I sell a solution and its working, I leave it that way! I dont brake it and then asking more money for fixing what I broke!!

        My question:
        What are your plans for the OneNote app (android, windows, ios, … ) ? Currently the Android phones are still working but based on previous ios updates i’m very careful to make any sugestions to customers….

        PLEASE reply. this is the 3rd channel I try to get some useful information.

  10. When will we be able to enter notes with a stylus\pen just like taking notes on a notepad…

    I used to be able to do this 10 years ago with a touchscreen tablet running Windows XP, how is it that we are still waiting for this?

    • We are actively working on an update to OneNote for iPad that will allow you to use handwriting/inking like you would on a notepad. We have to have this to you in early 2015!

  11. Office 365 configured for SSO with AD FS 3.0 on premise. My users all authenticate using x.509 certificates normally, with application passwords configured for the iOS apps.

    Since the upgrade nobody can use OneNote or OneDrive for Business anymore. I have a lot of very pissed off users at the moment, would love some good news.

    • As I said in previous post, I am having the same issue. I am dead in the water when I am in a meeting since I cannot access OneDrive or OneNote from the iPAD.
      It has been almost a week since the is was introduced. With the number of users using these apps, I am surprised that the issue has not been resolved yet.
      Can someone from Microsoft acknowledge the issue and provide info on when this will be fixed.

      • Same here. After the latest update, I lost the ability to access any of the notebooks I stored in my Office365 cloud. According to the activation dialogue, my account is not eligible.
        One week has gone by and I start to think that this has nothing to do with office 365 *cloud* accounts or sharepoint on premise licences, but rather with providing credentials that have an eligible office 365 *software* subscription – similarly as it is the case for the new outlook for mac app that was just released, too.

        I really hope I’m wrong and this is just a bug!

        • I am on the OneNote product team and we are sorry to hear you are experiencing these issues. We have more information about the possible resolution steps in the OneNote support blog posts here that might help:

          Let us know if you are still experiencing issues after taking a look at those posts.

  12. Are you kidding? You require an O365 subscription for me to store a OneNote notebook on my on-premises server? What’s the purpose of that? That’s utterly ridiculous!

    And what’s up with the comment “some companies are still using SharePoint Server on-premises”. Still? Still? SharePoint on Office365 is crippled compared to on-premises. If you want to kill the on-premises product, just do it and refund our license fees. If not, then support it as an ON-PREMISES system.

  13. When will the “Create Tags Summary” feature be added to OneNote for Macs?

Comments are closed.