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The error message “This section was originally created in an older version of OneNote” typically occurs with standalone section files. These are sections that are not stored within a notebook. Because OneNote no longer supports standalone section files, the following steps need to be taken in order to view and edit such sections.  

For Windows PCs and devices

Important: Before proceeding with the steps below, please make sure that you have installed the latest OneNote desktop app on your Windows PC. To download this version for free, visit

Do the following:

  1. In your web browser, sign into with the same account that you use for OneNote.

  2. On the OneDrive home page, click + New, and then click OneNote notebook.

  3. Type a name for the notebook into the Enter your new name box, and then click Create.

  4. Your new notebook will automatically open in OneNote in your browser. On the OneNote menu bar, click Open in Desktop App.

  5. Next, click the Start button on the left of the Windows taskbar, click Windows System, and then click File Explorer.

  6. Navigate to the standalone OneNote section files on your computer's hard drive and then right-click each section file and choose Open with > OneNote.

    Note: If you have two different versions of OneNote installed, be sure to choose the "OneNote" desktop app in this step, and not "OneNote for Windows 10." 

  7. In the OneNote desktop app, your standalone sections will be opened in Opened Sections. From here, right-click each section tab, and then click Move or Copy.

  8. In the Move or Copy Section dialog box that opens, click to select the new notebook you created in steps 2-3, and then click Copy.

  9. Once each of your copied sections has been copied and synced with the rest of your notebook, you can use File Explorer to delete the original standalone section file from your computer.

  10. Repeat steps 6-9 for each additional standalone section file.

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