OneNote update and best practices for IT Admins in education

Get the latest update for OneNote 2016

We’ve made performance improvements to OneNote 2016. The latest build is currently available in Microsoft 365 Apps Current Channel (Version 2003 Build 12624.20382 or newer). Install the latest build (12624.20382 or newer). This build is available to all customers on the Current Channel setting. 

Important: The updates are not available for Office 2016 or 2019.

Install the latest Class Notebook add-in  

Update your organization with the latest add-in update for Class Notebook to ensure the best reliability and performance for educators and students.

Update information for students and educators

If students and staff are using OneNote 2016, prompt them to update in order to get the best experience: Install Office updates

If they're using OneNote for Windows 10 (from Microsoft store), they do not need to update. For educators unable to use Microsoft 365 Apps or the Current Channel of Microsoft 365 Apps, they can use OneNote for Windows 10. 

Best practices for educators and students

We want to ensure educators and students have the best possible OneNote experience so we’re sharing some of our tips and tricks. Please share these with your staff.

Choose the best way to add your content.

Within OneNote there are many effective ways to add content onto a OneNote page:

  • Create content directly on page - Type or copy and paste material directly onto a Class Notebook page.

  • Insert a link to files – If you cannot create the content directly in a page, upload your files to the class site in a class team (or in a location that students can still access) before linking it to a OneNote page.

  • Embed Sway or Stream video - Teachers can embed a Sway or Stream video so students can easily access them.

More tips and tricks

  • Avoid embedding large files – This includes PDFs and large Word documents with lots of images or tables.  If you need to embed an image, reduce the size of the image to approximately 1MB.  Link to large PowerPoint decks rather than using the Send to OneNote “print” option.

  • Avoid distributing pages with large attachments – As mentioned before, try to keep your files in a shared folder, like your class teams, and use links instead.

  • Use the Content Library  – Use the Content Library in your Class Notebook for reference material for students rather than distributing an individual page to each student. Distribution is great for pages that you want students to edit, but the Content Library is perfect for material you want students to read and view.

  • Keep audio and video recordings concise – Keeping audio recordings to 90 seconds or less helps you and your students to communicate succinctly and minimizes large file sizes. Alternatively, you can embed Flipgrid videos in your OneNote Class Notebook to allow students to respond using video.

  • Improve the performance of OneNote for iPad or iPhone  – For iPad, turn off Auto Sync Attachments by navigating to the Sync page in your OneNote settings. All text and ink content will still sync automatically, but OneNote pages with rich content like images and PDFs will wait to sync until you visit the page. After that, the page you visit will begin syncing automatically. Find more info on additional ways to improve performance of OneNote for iPad and iPhone. 

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