Knowledge Base

OneNote synchronization problems after restoring a backup


After restoring a backed-up OneNote notebook to a SharePoint library by using CodeTwo Backup, you are experiencing synchronization issues in OneNote or you cannot save changes to a notebook page at all.


Certain settings need to be disabled in a document library in SharePoint Online or on-premises SharePoint Server if you plan to store a notebook there. These settings include:

  • minor version numbering
  • the check-out requirement
  • the requirement that columns need to be filled with data.

You are probably experiencing synchronization issues because you selected to restore your OneNote notebook to a library where one (or more) of these options is enabled. To fix the problem, you can disable these settings manually in your current SharePoint library. To do so, follow the steps below.


If you modify these settings in a SharePoint document library, the changes will apply to all documents in that library, including Word, Excel and Power Point files, not only to OneNote notebooks. That is why you might want to create a separate document library for storing your notebooks (refer to this Microsoft page for steps on how to create a document library in SharePoint).

Configuring a SharePoint library for storing OneNote notebooks

  1. In SharePoint, go to the library whose settings you want to change. Libraries can be accessed via the Site contents page (Fig. 1.) – simply click a library to open it.

Site contents page in SharePoint Online.
Fig. 1. Accessing document libraries for a site in SharePoint Online.

  1. Access the library settings:
  • SharePoint Online: click the settings (Office 365 settings button) button at the top of the screen and select Library settings (Fig. 2.).

Accessing the library settings in SharePoint Online.
Fig. 2. Accessing the library settings in SharePoint Online.

  • SharePoint Server 2016 (and classic SharePoint site view): click Library on the ribbon, and then click Library Settings (Fig. 3.).

Fig. 3. Accessing the library settings in an on-premises SharePoint Server.

Either way, the library settings page will open. Now, follow the links below to:

Disabling minor version numbering

  1. On the library settings page, click Versioning settings.
  2. In the Document Version History section, click Create major versions if you are using SharePoint Online (Fig. 4.) or No versioning in SharePoint 2016.

Document version history settings in SharePoint Online.
Fig. 4. Disabling minor version numbering in SharePoint Online.

  1. Click OK to save your changes.

Disabling the check-out requirement

  1. On the library settings page, click Versioning settings.
  2. In the Require Check Out section, select No (Fig. 5.).

Require Check Out setting in SharePoint Online.
Fig. 5. Disabling the check-out requirement for a SharePoint library.

  1. Click OK to save your changes.

Disabling the requirement to provide data in columns

  1. On the library settings page, scroll down to the Columns table.
  2. Check if any column is marked as Required (Fig. 6.). If so, click the title of that column to edit it.

Columns used in a document library.
Fig. 6. A list of columns used in a SharePoint document library.

  1. Find the Require that this column contains information setting and change it to No (Fig. 7.).

Editing column settings in SharePoint Online.
Fig. 7. Turning off the requirement that columns need to contain data.

  1. Click OK to save your changes.

Once all three settings are disabled, you should no longer experience any problems using OneNote in that document library.

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