OneNote not syncing–Windows Phone 7

It’s finally here, and it seems that it is getting better and better each and every day! While the new Windows Phone 7 does follow an Apple-like model by excessively locking down the device, it does seem that underneath all of that new shininess is the ability to get under the hood and tweak the device just like any other Windows based device ever created.

Overall, I love my LG Optimus Quantum, but I do have to report one small glitch that I have encountered and give our readers some pointers on how to fix this.


One of the first things I noticed on the device was the beautifully integrated Office 2010 components that can be set to automatically sync to the Windows Sky Drive. I have always loved OneNote and to have a fairly complete version of this running on a smart phone is a god send.  Unfortunately, it isn’t as intuitive as it may look.

By default, when you set up a Windows Phone 7, it asks you for a live ID to which it will sync itself up to. With OneNote, it will create a default OneNote notebook called Personal (Web) . Logging in to your Skydrive, you will also see this notebook.

I wasn’t a fan of this as I like to create custom notebooks and I really didn’t want my default location for my saved noted to go to Personal (Web) (whoever chose this name for the default notebook should be tarred and feathered and or sent to Guantanamo). I proceeded to delete that notebook. It is at this point that my brand new phone started generating errors and barking at me saying it couldn’t sync, and that the default location for saving unfiled notes was gone. The phone gave the helpful suggestion of creating a new location for these, however, there seemed to be no apparent way of creating a new notebook that would sync and allow itself to become the default.  The obvious solution would be to log into the Skydrive account and create a new notebook called Personal (web) and everything would be happy again..? Right? Well, no , not exactly.  I struggled for a long time and was almost ready to wipe the phone when I decided to browse to on the phones browser.  What I saw there was actuallysome other notebooks that I thought I was having trouble syncing.  If you open one of these from here, they will automatically be added to your phone and you can then select one of these as your default notebook. This will entirely fix the sync issue.

This is really counter-intuitive and Microsoft doesn’t seem to tell anyone that they have to do this anywhere. Instead on their Windows Phone 7 site, they warn people about deleting the default with no mention of what to do if you have done this.  This is also the method you will need to use to add your own existing OneNote notebooks to the phone.

Again, I love the phone, but Microsoft will hopefully start making things like this a little clearer. It’s not that any of this was difficult, it’s just that it was by complete happenstance that I found the answer to my problem. 

Hope this helps someone out there.


  1. Thanks for posting this solution. I was dashing my head against my desk until by happenstiance I stumbled on the solution that you found by happenstance.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    The windows live services are really good. If only they were not so confusing to use

  3. Another thing to try:

    Settings/Applications/Office then click on reset office.

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