Change the default version of OneNote on your computer

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Important: 

  • Our product names for OneNote on Windows have recently changed. Throughout this article, “OneNote” now refers to the Windows desktop version (previously called “OneNote 2016”), and “OneNote for Windows 10” refers to the Microsoft Store app that’s available only on Windows 10.

  • For more information, see What’s the difference between the OneNote versions?

If you’re using both the Windows desktop version of OneNote and the OneNote for Windows 10 app on your computer, and you prefer for either version to always open OneNote links and files, you can specify your preferred version.

Set the default version of OneNote on your PC

When Windows 10 detects two installed versions of OneNote, it may prompt you to select the version that you want to use as the default app for opening notebooks or notebook files. If you miss this prompt or you change your mind about your previous selection, you can manually change this setting at any time.

Note: The following information applies only to OneNote users on Windows 10. Previous versions of Windows can only run the desktop version of OneNote, so your app defaults will be set automatically for that version.

  1. In Windows 10, click the Start button in the lower left corner of the Windows task bar, and then click Settings.

  2. In the Windows Settings window that appears, click Apps, and then click Default apps.

  3. At the bottom of the Default apps list, click Choose default apps by protocol.

  4. On the left side of the list, under the Name heading, scroll down to the first item beginning with “OneNote.”

  5. Next to the item labeled ONENOTE - URL:OneNote protocol, click + Choose a default, and then select your preferred version of OneNote from the popup menu. For example, choose OneNote if you want to always open your notebooks in the OneNote desktop app.

Tip: To change this setting at any time, repeat the steps in the preceding list and make a different selection.

Pin the OneNote app icon

To quickly get to your preferred Windows version of OneNote, you can pin its app icon to your Start menu or the Windows taskbar.

Pin to Start

  1. In Windows 10, click the Start button in the lower left corner of the Windows task bar, and then scroll down in the list of installed apps until you see OneNote.

  2. Do either (or both) of the following:

    • To pin the OneNote desktop app, right-click the icon labeled OneNote, and then click Pin to Start.

    • To pin the OneNote for Windows 10 app, right-click the icon labeled OneNote for Windows 10, and then click Pin to Start.

Pin to the taskbar

  1. In Windows 10, click the Start button in the lower left corner of the Windows task bar, and then scroll down in the list of installed apps until you see OneNote.

  2. Do either (or both) of the following:

    • To pin the OneNote desktop app, right-click the icon labeled OneNote, click More, and then click Pin to taskbar.

    • To pin the OneNote for Windows 10 app, right-click the icon labeled OneNote for Windows 10, click More, and then click Pin to taskbar.

Tip: You can unpin app icons from the Start menu or the Windows taskbar at any time by following the previous steps and clicking either Unpin from Start or More > Unpin from taskbar.

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