Fix: ‘Sign In Required’ on OneNote in Windows 7

As a lot of users have reported, there seems to be a long-lasting error going around with the Windows 7 version of OneNote. As it turns out, a lot of users are getting stuck in a sign-in loop right after the installation is complete.

Note: Whenever this error occurs, clicking the Sign In button will just freeze the window altogether.

If you’re currently struggling with this issue, the fixes below will most likely be of help. We have managed to identify a few methods capable of fixing this particular issue. All the methods featured below have been confirmed by at least one user that encountered the same exact issue. Please follow the methods below in order until you encounter a fix that resolves your problem.

Method 1: Installing Internet Explorer 11

A lot of connection problems associated with OneNote come from the fact that the software is highly dependent on Internet Explorer 11. Because Windows 7 doesn’t come pre-installed with Internet Explorer 11, there are a lot of inconsistencies with OneNote.

Some users encountering the same issue have managed to solve the problem by installing Internet Explorer 11 manually. To do this, visit this link (here), select a version appropriate to your operating system architecture and hit the Next button.

Download the installer, open it, then follow the on-screen prompts to install Internet Explorer 11 on your Windows 7 system. Reboot your computer and see if the issue has been resolved and you’re able to sign into the desktop version of OneNote.

Method 2: Opening a note from

Most users have finally managed to overcome the issue by using the web version of Onenote. It involves signing in with your account on the web version, opening a notebook and then hitting the Open in OneNote button. This reportedly enables the user to launch the desktop application and add a new device to Account settings, which is allows OneNote to launch directly from a PC.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to this workaround:

  1. Visit this link (here) to open the web version of OneNote and log-in with your user credentials.
  2. Once you have successfully logged in, click the Open OneNote button in the top-right corner.
  3. Then, also confirm the browser prompt to open the desktop version of OneNote.
  4. In the desktop version of OneNote, click on your name, then go to Account Settings > Connected Devices and click on Add a service. From the list of services, add OneDrive and save your changes.
    Note: If you don’t see your name, click the Sign in button and insert your credential. The log-in process should complete successfully.
  5. After a reboot, you should be able to launch OneNote from your Windows 7 PC directly.

Method 3: Opening OneNote from a Run box

If the first two methods have proved to be ineffective, let’s figure out if the issue is indeed caused by certain security rules that are currently in place. Those rules can usually be bypassed by opening OneNote via a run window.

Some users have found that opening the desktop version of OneNote from a run window on Windows 7 somehow bypasses the sign-in issue and the log-in is successful. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run window. Type “onenote” and hit Enter to open the desktop version of Onenote.
  2. If asked to make the desktop version the default choice for OneNote hyperlinks, hit Yes to confirm.
  3. Hit the Sign-in button and log-in with your user credentials. You should be able to do so without issues.

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.