Synchronizing big OneNote notebooks on Windows Phone

I have one big OneNote notebook that I need also on my Windows Phone. While this notebook was not very big synchronization worked well on both WP8 and WP10. But after growing over 120MB both phones had suddenly synchronization issues. Notebook was usually synchronized partially with many pages missing from WP and some changes to existing pages were never synchronized to phone. This blog post provides one not so nice solution for these problems.

Opening big notebook first time

It seems that problem is hidden in timing. For big notebook there is not enough time for OneNote to synchronize it properly. To give it enough time for synchronization follow the steps below:

  1. From phone settings disallow automatic screen locking
  2. Get used with idea that you have to turn off screen manually
  3. Connect your phone to charger
  4. Run OneNote and open your big notebook
  5. Leave phone as it is as synchronization may take even hours

I usually leave phone to synchronize over night and usually for morning synchronization is completed.

Synchronizing problematic pages

Still one problem may occur. Synchronizing changes to existing pages. Sometimes some pages can be missing from OneNote or it just doesn’t synch changes of existing pages. I’m not sure what this problem is about but solution that usually works for me is this:

  1. Open your big notebook in desktop OneNote
  2. Add some spaces to problematic page
  3. Run OneNote in your phone and open big notebook
  4. Let synchronization run to end
  5. Check if changes you expected are there

I hope these tricks help also other OneNote maniacs like me.

Gunnar Peipman

Gunnar Peipman is ASP.NET, Azure and SharePoint fan, Estonian Microsoft user group leader, blogger, conference speaker, teacher, and tech maniac. Since 2008 he is Microsoft MVP specialized on ASP.NET.

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