OneNote search is not working / indexing

Microsoft OneNote is one of my favorite apps in Microsoft Office 2016 package. Microsoft OneNote is personal assistant where you can store notes, drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. You can also share your notes with other people on your network.

Due to an often Windows fresh installations I keep my OneNote office files on a network drive that is regularly backed up. When Microsoft OneNote is reinstalled, I just have to open the workbook from my Home network drive and all of my notes are back.What I have noticed is that only new notes are now indexed, notes that have been added after I have re-installed the office package. My old notes/date are not indexed and do not appear in OneNote search results. If you have experienced the same issue here’s what you have to do:

Type “Indexing Options” in the Start menu and once opened click on the Advanced button.
Click on the File Types tab, scroll down to OneNote file types and make sure that one, onePkg, oneToc, and oneToc2 are selected.

onenote search

Now click back on the Index Tab and hit the Rebuild button. Wait for 10-15 minutes and OneNote search should now work for all of your files.

That’s it! Please share your comments below.

One of our readers called ED shared his fix regarding the cloud version of OneNote application.

My fix was to delete the OneNote cache.
Close OneNote
Delete everything in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneNote\version#\cache except the “tmp” folder.
Restart OneNote.

It will redownload all content, so may take a while, but it will rebuild the index during the process.

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13 Responses

  1. ed says:

    Tried this. Still not getting search results. My fix was to delete the OneNote cashe.
    Close OneNote
    Delete everything in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneNote\version#\cache except the “tmp” folder.
    Restart OneNote.

    It will redownload all content, so may take a while, but rebuilds the index when it does.

    • Nik says:

      Hey Ed,
      thanks for your solution. I will update my article.
      It probably didn’t work for you because you are using cloud OneNote. My solution was for the local version of OneNote.

    • dwd says:

      Thanks, this worked for me.

      I use a local solution win10 and don’t know why Nik solution didn’t work as imo that’s the correct way.

      Anyway I just deleted everything under the version# folder waited for OneNote to reindex I now get correct search results.

      MS does what MS does I guess.

    • Jay says:

      This worked for me too thanks

  2. kushal says:

    WOW!! it worked! thanks so much mate !

  3. Kevin says:

    Deleting the cache did the trick. Thanks a bunch!

  4. Greg says:

    The need to delete the cache files did the trick perfectly… and yes I am running desktop version but with my notebooks held in the cloud on onedrive so maybe that was the problem… Thank you for this as it is not mentioned anywhere else I found

  5. Ken says:

    Deleting the cache also worked for me. Many thanks.

  6. Frank says:

    I have the opposite problem with a local installation and cloud based notebook files. New notes aren’t getting indexed but old notes are found in the database. I tried closing the notebook and reopening it and the entire notebook was re-downloaded from the cloud and did get indexed properly. But, that didn’t solve my real problem which was why new notes weren’t getting indexed in the first place. [I tried the suggestions in the article to no avail]. My OneNote is from a Microsoft Office Professional 2013 installation, not the one that comes with Windows which is also on my machine.

    • Nik says:

      Hey Frank,
      thanks for your comment. So, if I have understood correctly, you are using and having indexing problem with the local installation of One Note 2013 and One Drive DB?

  7. Jared says:

    The steps in the article didn’t work, unfortunately.

    I closed the notebook with the page which wasn’t showing up in search, and re-opened the notebook. After re-loading all the tabs, Search was able to find that page.

  8. Mgcini says:

    Worked like a charm for me deleting the cache…

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