OneNote 2016 Annoyance. A permanent sorry about cleaning up.

My transfer to Microsoft Office 2016, that has been recently released, has failed. The trouble is OneNote 2016 functionality. It keeps showing the message: “We’re sorry. OneNote is cleaning up from the last time it was open. Please wait.” Although it is actually working OK after, this message is very annoying, and I could not stand it, neither could my wife :(

OneNote 2016 error

I have MS Windows 10 build 10240. Office version was Office_2016_16_0_4266_1003_x86 (I also tried Office_2016_16_0_4266_1003_x64 without success).

I use OneNote extensively. I have around 1GB stored in OneNote Notebooks stored on my OneDrive, which is very useful. Here’s what I tried to fix this error:

  • Deleted cash in C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneNote
  • In OneNote Options -> Save and Backup: optimized files
  • Disabled version history and emptied Recycle bin for Notebooks in OneNote

Nothing has helped. What helped as to return to Office 2013. Alas.

I can see some people made enquiries about that issue, but with no particular success: “Answer” from Microsoft

In some cases it happened to OneNote 2013 users.

By the way, if you are looking for the latest information on MS software releases, check out this twitter links:

And if you are concerned with privacy issues in Windows 10, this is helpful to explore:

/// The top picture is from OneNote Team blog OneNote—a platform for creativity, collaboration and communication.

[UPDATE Oct 03 2015]

A guy with the name Paul Martin suggests the following solution:

  1. From Windows Explorer navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 16\root\Office16
  2. Look for the file: OneNote or OneNote.exe.
    Note:  The OneNote.exe file is in the Office 16 folder, not in the OneNote folder
  3. Right-click on the file and click on Run as Administrator.
  4. You should get a prompt to Save/Delete the cache file.
  5. Chose Delete.
  6. Reload the notebooks

That, unfortunately, did not work for me.

[UPDATE Feb 01 2016]

I reinstalled Windows 10 and did a clean installation of Office 2016. Well, the error is still there with all the latest updates and patches from Microsoft. After few tries with settings I returned back to Office 2013. I actually wanted to keep only OneNote 2013 and the rest is 2016, but it won’t let me do it. What a shame!

I also checked the Microsoft community forum, and the issue is still not answered.

It is difficult to imagine that Microsoft gives no attention to its new releases, but it looks exactly like this. Another reason to say so, is a compatibility of OneNote 2013 and 2016 with Edge — the latest MS web browser. When you make a screenshot from IE11, OneNote keeps the link reference (web address location), there is no link in case of Edge. Seems like they really give no sh*t. Why does Microsoft push me to use old software in this innovative way?

[update May 2018]

OK, this message still appears but it takes just few seconds, and now I think I was not an error. :) It was just an unfriendly function. Anyway, I hope MS Office 2019 (or 2020) will overcome this annoyance for good.

5 replies on “OneNote 2016 Annoyance. A permanent sorry about cleaning up.”

When I attempt to print from my laptop, I get this annoying “We’re sorry One Note” Error message. I’m not even trying to use One Note. I’m simply trying to print an excel spreadsheet. Very aggravating. What do all those people who work for Microsoft do all day?

Look for the file: OneNote or OneNote.exe.
Note: The OneNote.exe file is in the Office 16 folder, not in the OneNote folder
Right-click on the file and click on Properties.
Select run in Maximized.
Click apply button.


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