How To Share A Onenote Notebook Without Onedrive

How To Articles

Sharing a OneNote notebook without using OneDrive may appear challenging, but it can be achieved with ease through a few straightforward actions. As an avid OneNote user, I have encountered this problem and discovered a solution that enables me to share my notebooks with others without depending on OneDrive. In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide and share my own experiences and knowledge throughout the process.

The Challenge of Sharing Without OneDrive

By default, OneNote is closely integrated with OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service. This integration makes it convenient to access your notebooks across devices, collaborate with others, and automatically sync your changes. However, sometimes we encounter situations where using OneDrive is not an option. This could be due to personal preferences, corporate policies, or privacy concerns.

My Experience

As an avid user of OneNote, I found myself in a predicament when I needed to share a notebook with a colleague who did not have access to OneDrive. We were working on a joint project and needed a way to collaborate and share information seamlessly. After some trial and error, I discovered a workaround that allowed us to share the notebook without relying on OneDrive.

Using OneNote’s Export and Import Features

The key to sharing a OneNote notebook without OneDrive is to make use of the export and import features. By exporting your notebook as a file and then importing it into another user’s OneNote app, you can bypass the need for OneDrive. Here’s how:

  1. Open the OneNote notebook you want to share.
  2. Click on the “File” tab in the top-left corner of the app.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select the “Export” option.
  4. Choose a location on your computer to save the exported file.
  5. Once the export is complete, share the exported file with the person you want to collaborate with. You can use any file-sharing method you prefer, such as email or a USB drive.
  6. Ask the recipient to open their OneNote app.
  7. Click on the “File” tab and select the “Import” option.
  8. Navigate to the location where the exported file is saved and select it.
  9. Click “Open” to import the notebook into their OneNote app.

By following these steps, both you and your colleague will have a copy of the same notebook, allowing you to collaborate and make updates without relying on OneDrive.

My Thoughts and Tips

During my experience of sharing a OneNote notebook without OneDrive, I encountered a few challenges that I want to share with you. Firstly, it’s important to ensure that both you and the recipient are using compatible versions of OneNote. Incompatibilities between different versions or platforms can cause issues with the import process.

Secondly, keep in mind that when sharing a notebook this way, automatic syncing will not be available. It’s crucial to communicate with your collaborator and establish clear guidelines for manually sharing and merging changes.

Lastly, always make regular backups of your notebook files to avoid the risk of data loss. Accidental deletions or file corruptions can be devastating, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.


While OneDrive offers seamless integration and convenience for sharing OneNote notebooks, it’s not the only option available. By utilizing the export and import features in OneNote, you can share your notebooks without relying on OneDrive. Although there are some limitations and challenges, it’s a viable workaround that can help you collaborate effectively with others even without OneDrive. Give it a try, and don’t let the absence of OneDrive hinder your productivity!