About backing up section files

By default, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 creates backup files of the sections in your notebook on a daily basis, so that you always have an archive of your notes. Only sections that have changed since the last backup are backed up again. You can change the frequency with which OneNote creates these automatic backup files. You can also set the number of backup files that are stored on your hard disk. By default, OneNote stores two backup copies of your notes — the most recent copy and the second-to-last copy. You can choose to store additional copies.

 Note   The feature or functionality described in this topic is available only if you have installed Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1. To learn more about the service pack and how to download it, see Service pack features in OneNote 2003.

Backup files are named according to the date on which they are created. For example, a backup file for a section called Meetings that was created on March 4, 2005, would be named "Meetings (On 3-4-2005).one".

In addition to using this automatic backup functionality, you can manually create backup copies of the sections in your notebook at any time. This is useful if you have deleted previous backup files, or if you want to create a backup copy immediately after you take important notes.

You can use these backup files to restore previous versions of your notes. For each section you restore, OneNote creates a new section tab in your notebook with the name (backup) Section Name, where Section Name is the name of the original section. If you restore a version of a section that is currently contained in your notebook, the restored section does not replace the current section. Instead, it is added to your notebook as a new section.

Keeping backups of critical information

The automated backup method that OneNote offers can help to protect your notes from being accidentally changed, corrupted, or deleted. For most users, this method provides adequate protection from accidental data loss.

However, because OneNote backup files are by default stored on the same hard disk drive as the original notebook files on your computer, your notes may not be protected from data loss in the event of a technical malfunction. If the hard disk drive on which your original files are stored becomes defective or is otherwise inaccessible, your backup files may also be unavailable.

If you routinely use OneNote to store and work with important or mission-critical information, you should store your OneNote backup files on a separate hard disk drive or in a private folder on your network.


By default, OneNote backup files are stored in the Backup folder on your computer (C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\OneNote\Backup). To save your backup files to another location, such as a shared folder on another computer or on a network, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then in the Options dialog box, click Open and Save.

Applies to:
OneNote 2003