Fix: Can’t Log in to OneDrive from OneNote

Some users have been complaining about suddenly losing the ability to log into OneDrive directly from OneNote. Most of the time, the issue is reported happening with users that use OneNote 2016.

Whenever this particular issue occurs, the user is prompted to insert the user credentials in order to log in. However, most users are reporting that their credentials are not accepted even though they are correct. Hitting the Sign-in button will simply make the login window disappear along with OneDrive.

Opening the desktop version of OneNote through the web version is not applicable since it will produce the “Notebook doesn’t exist or you don’t have permission to open it” error.

If you’re struggling with the same issue, the methods below will most likely help. We have managed to identify a couple of fixes that have helped users encountering the same type of issue. Please follow the potential fixes below in order until you come upon a method that resolves your situation.

Method 1: Update Internet Explorer to version 11

OneNote is known to malfunction a lot of systems that don’t have Internet Explorer 11 installed. As it turns out, Internet Explorer is much more than a browsing tool for Windows. A lot of Microsoft-developed applications will rely on it for login purposes and OneNote is no different.

With this information in mind, some users have managed to resolve the issue by installing IE 11 on their systems. Keep in mind that while the latest Windows versions come with Internet Explorer 11 installed by default, On Windows 7 and older this is not applicable.

To resolve this issue, visit this link (here) and download the appropriate Internet Explorer 11 version according to your language and operating system architecture.

Then, open the installer and follow the prompts presented on the screen to complete the installation, then restart your PC. Once your PC boots back up, see if the issue has been resolved by trying to access OneDrive from OneNote again.

If the issue is still not fixed, move to Method 2. 

Method 2: Resetting the OneNote app from Settings (Windows 10 only)

Some users encountering the same problem have managed to resolve this issue by resetting the OneNote app. But from what we gathered, this potential fix is only applicable to Windows 10 powered computers.

Here’s how to reset the OneNote app on Windows 10:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run window. Type “ms-settings:appsfeatures” and hit Enter to open the Apps & features tab of Windows 10’s Settings.
  2. Under Apps & features, scroll through the application list to locate OneNote. Once you do, click on it, then click on Advanced Options.
  3. In the next window, simply hit the Reset button and wait for the data to be cleared.
  4. One OneNote has been reset, open it again and provide your user credentials again. You should be able to sign and access OneDrive without issues.

If this method wasn’t successful, move to Method 3.

Method 3: Adding a UseOnlineContent value via Registry Editor

If the first method wasn’t successful, there’s another popular fix going around, but it will require you to get quite technical. One user encountering the same problem discovered that this particular issue can be resolved by using Registry Editor to add a DWORD 32bit value named UseOnlineContent to the Office folder.

Here’s a quick guide to doing this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run window. Type “regedit” and hit Enter to open Registry Editor.
  2. Using the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Office \ 14.0 ( or 15.0 or 16.0) /  \ Common \ Internet. The office version (14.0 or  15.0 or16.0) depends on your Office version. Version 16.0 corresponds to Office 1016, version 15.0 to Office 2013 and version 14.0 to Office 2010.
    Note: If you have multiple Office suites installed, you will see more than one version listed in the Registry editor. In this case, open the folder associated with the version that is causing you the issue with OneNote.
  3. Next, move to the right pane, right-click on an empty space and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Name the newly created DWORD (32-bit) Value “UseOnlineContent” and hit Enter to save.
  5. Double-click on UseOnlineContent, set the Base to Hexadecimal and the Value to 1. Then, hit Ok to save your changes.
  6. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer to enforce the changes that you’ve just made. At the next startup, your OneNote should revert to the normal behavior, meaning you should be able to sign in and access OneDrive from it.

If this method wasn’t successful, move over to the final method below.

Method 4: Uninstalling OneNote via Powershell

If all the methods above have turned out to be a bust, we have one more technical solution that might just do the trick. Another user encountering a similar problem has managed to overcome the issue by using Powershell to hard-uninstall OneNote, then re-download it using the official channel.

Here’s a step by step guide to uninstalling OneNote using Powershell and then re-downloading it from the Windows Marketplace:

  1. Access the Windows start bar in the bottom-left corner and search for “powershell“. Then, right-click on Windows Powershell and choose Run as administrator to open an elevated PowerShell prompt.
  2. Inside the newly opened Powershell window, paste the following command and hit Enter:
    Get-AppxPackage *OneNote* | Remove-AppxPackage

    Note: This operation effectively uninstalled OneNote and all its sub-contents from your computer. This kind of uninstallation is known to produce better results than a conventional uninstall (via Programs and Features).

  3. Wait until the command is processed and implemented, then close the elevated PowerShell Prompt.
  4. Restart your computer and wait for it to boot back up. Then, visit this link (here) and download the OneNote installer.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to install OneNote on your computer, then perform a final restart.
  6. After your computer boots back up again, the issue should be solved as you should be able to sign in to OneNote.

Method 5: Disabling Two-Factor Authentication

In some cases, you might be using your actual password to sign into the OneNote/OneDrive when you should be using the App password. If you don’t want it to be this way, try disabling two-factor authentication. For now, log in with the app password and follow the steps listed below to login in the future.

  1. Navigate to “Settings” and then click on “SecurityInfo” or the “Security and Privacy” tab.
  2. Select “Create a new app password“.
  3. Now you can configure a password over here and then use it to sign into your account in the future.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.