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How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Here’s how you can password protect OneNote 2016 notebook sections

  1. Open the notebook with the section that you want to protect
  2. Right-click the tab on the top with the section name
  3. Click the option which says Password Protect this Section.
  4. Click the Set Password option on the top in the sidebar
  5. You’ll be prompted to enter a password, so type it in and then confirm

Applies to All Windows 10 Versions

If you’re looking for a little more privacy with OneNote, then you might want to password protect your notebook sections. While we’ve already talked about how you can do this in the Microsoft Store, Android, MacOS, and Android versions of OneNote, we’ll now turn our attention to OneNote 2016.

While the Microsoft Store version of OneNote is more often updated, some users might still prefer OneNote 2016, too. After all, Microsoft said that the desktop app is here to stay. So, we’ve got you covered, and here’s how you can password protect OneNote 2016 notebook sections.

To get started, you’ll want to open the notebook with the section that you want to protect. Once there, right-click the tab on the top with the section name. You’ll then see an option which says Password Protect this Section. This is what you’ll want to click. OneNote will then open a sidebar, and you’ll want to click the Set Password option on the top.

You’ll be prompted to enter a password, so type it in and then confirm. Be sure you remember this password, and keep in mind that if you lose it, OneNote won’t be able to recover it. Also, be aware that passwords are case sensitive.

Once a password is set, OneNote will also automatically lock your sections after a period of inactivity. You can always, however, manually lock by pressing Ctrl, Alt, and L on your keyboard. You’ll also need to keep in mind that you’ll need to unlock sections first if you want to search them.

And, that’s it! Password protecting sections in OneNote 2016 just takes a few simple steps. There’s much more to OneNote 2016 than just password protection, though. Our previous guide shows you how you can integrated it with Outlook, and how you can move local notebooks over to the Microsoft Store version of the app. Keep it tuned to OnMSFT for all your OneNote news and information, and let us know how OneNote works for you by dropping us a comment below.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

There are a lot of great features in Microsoft’s OneNote app. One of those is the ability to secure your data by adding passwords to notebook sections. Enabling and using the feature is relatively simple and takes just a few seconds once you’re up and running. Here’s a look at how encryption works on OneNote.

In nearly all cases, I recommend password-protection entire notebooks in OneNote vs only encrypting sections. However, those who do a lot of sharing through the app might not agree with this assessment. Regardless, adding security to each is pain-free.

Password Protect a Notebook

When you add a password to a notebook section in OneNote, all of its pages get locked until you enter the correct password.

  1. In OneNote, right-click on the name of the notebook section that you want to protect.
  2. Select Password Protection.
  3. Choose Add Password.
  4. Add the password you’d like to use in the Enter Password box.
  5. Type the same password again in the Confirm Password box.
  6. Click Enter.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

For protected notebooks, you’ll now see a lock icon next to the name:

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Open Protected Section

To open a password-protected section in OneNote:

  1. In OneNote, highlight the protected section on the left.
  2. Enter the password to unlock under the This section is password protected location.
  3. Click Enter to unlock the section.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Lock Protected Sections

Sections in OneNote with password protection become locked after a few minutes of inactivity (see below). You can also manually lock the sections.

  1. In OneNote, right-click the protected section.
  2. Choose Password Protect This Section.
  3. Select Lock All.

You can lock all password-protected sections in OneNote:

  1. In OneNote, right-click the protected section.
  2. Choose Password Protect This Section.
  3. Select Lock All Protected Sections.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Change a Password

If you have to change the password for a OneNote section, you can do so at any time:

  1. Right-click on the section that has the password you wish to change.
  2. Choose Password Protect this Section.
  3. Select Change Password.
  4. Add the newpassword you’d like to use in the Enter Password box.
  5. Type the same password again in the Confirm Password box.
  6. Click Enter.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Remove a Password

If you wish, you can remove a password for a OneNote section:

  1. Right-click on the section that has the password you wish to change.
  2. Choose Password Protect this Section.
  3. Select Remove Password.
  4. Enter your current password in the Enter Password box.
  5. Click OK.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

As you can see, the lock symbol is now removed:

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Odds and Ends

There are some important things to understand about OneNote. As Microsoft explains:

  • Passwords can be applied only to notebook sections, not to entire notebooks.
  • Passwords are case-sensitive. Make sure that the Caps Lock key is off before you add or enter a password.
  • OneNote uses encryption to secure password-protected sections. If you forget any of your section passwords, no one will be able to unlock those notes for you (not even Microsoft Technical Support). Take care when adding passwords to your notebook sections and when changing them.
  • Password-protected sections aren’t included in notebook searches. To include the notes in a protected section in a search, you’ll have to unlock that section first.

You can find Microsoft OneNote in Windows 10, macOS, Android, iOS, among other platforms.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

There are a lot of great features in Microsoft’s OneNote app. One of those is the ability to secure your data by adding passwords to notebook sections. Enabling and using the feature is relatively simple and takes just a few seconds once you’re up and running. Here’s a look at how encryption works on OneNote.

In nearly all cases, I recommend password-protection entire notebooks in OneNote vs only encrypting sections. However, those who do a lot of sharing through the app might not agree with this assessment. Regardless, adding security to each is pain-free.

Password Protect a Notebook

When you add a password to a notebook section in OneNote, all of its pages get locked until you enter the correct password.

  1. In OneNote, right-click on the name of the notebook section that you want to protect.
  2. Select Password Protection.
  3. Choose Add Password.
  4. Add the password you’d like to use in the Enter Password box.
  5. Type the same password again in the Confirm Password box.
  6. Click Enter.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

For protected notebooks, you’ll now see a lock icon next to the name:

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Open Protected Section

To open a password-protected section in OneNote:

  1. In OneNote, highlight the protected section on the left.
  2. Enter the password to unlock under the This section is password protected location.
  3. Click Enter to unlock the section.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Lock Protected Sections

Sections in OneNote with password protection become locked after a few minutes of inactivity (see below). You can also manually lock the sections.

  1. In OneNote, right-click the protected section.
  2. Choose Password Protect This Section.
  3. Select Lock All.

You can lock all password-protected sections in OneNote:

  1. In OneNote, right-click the protected section.
  2. Choose Password Protect This Section.
  3. Select Lock All Protected Sections.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Change a Password

If you have to change the password for a OneNote section, you can do so at any time:

  1. Right-click on the section that has the password you wish to change.
  2. Choose Password Protect this Section.
  3. Select Change Password.
  4. Add the newpassword you’d like to use in the Enter Password box.
  5. Type the same password again in the Confirm Password box.
  6. Click Enter.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Remove a Password

If you wish, you can remove a password for a OneNote section:

  1. Right-click on the section that has the password you wish to change.
  2. Choose Password Protect this Section.
  3. Select Remove Password.
  4. Enter your current password in the Enter Password box.
  5. Click OK.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

As you can see, the lock symbol is now removed:

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Odds and Ends

There are some important things to understand about OneNote. As Microsoft explains:

  • Passwords can be applied only to notebook sections, not to entire notebooks.
  • Passwords are case-sensitive. Make sure that the Caps Lock key is off before you add or enter a password.
  • OneNote uses encryption to secure password-protected sections. If you forget any of your section passwords, no one will be able to unlock those notes for you (not even Microsoft Technical Support). Take care when adding passwords to your notebook sections and when changing them.
  • Password-protected sections aren’t included in notebook searches. To include the notes in a protected section in a search, you’ll have to unlock that section first.

You can find Microsoft OneNote in Windows 10, macOS, Android, iOS, among other platforms.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

OneNote 2016 is a great program for taking, storing, and syncing notes, but how do you protect private information you store in those notebooks? No worries–you can keep them safe with a password.

Password protecting notebook sections is one of those useful features OneNote has that Evernote does not. You cannot password protect entire notebooks in OneNote, only sections in notebooks. However, if you protect every section in a notebook, the entire notebook is essentially protected.

NOTE: The free version of OneNote that comes with Windows 10 allows you to view protected notebook sections, but you can’t apply passwords to unprotected sections using that app. You must use the full desktop program, OneNote 2016. You can get it by clicking the “Windows Desktop” link on this page.

To password protect a section of a notebook, open the notebook containing the section you want to protect. Then, right-click on the section tab you want to protect and select “Password Protect This Section” from the popup menu. When you right-click on a section tab, that section automatically becomes the active section if it was not previously so, which is what we want.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

The Password Protection pane displays on the right side of the OneNote window. Make sure the active section is the one you want to protect, and then click “Set Password”.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

On the Password Protection dialog box, enter the password you want to use twice and then click “OK”.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

When you apply a password to a section, that section is not automatically locked right away. To lock all sections you’ve protected with a password, click “Lock All”. By default, password protected sections are locked after you haven’t worked in them for five minutes. This amount of time can be changed, and we’ll show you how later in this article.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

When a section is locked, you’ll see a message telling you the section is password protected when you click on that section tab. Either click on the section page or press Enter to unlock it.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

On the Protected Section dialog box, enter your password and click “OK”.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

If you ever want to change the password on a notebook, click the tab for the section for which you want to change the password, and click “Change Password” on the Password Protection pane.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Enter your old password in the first box and then enter a new password in the second and third boxes and click “OK”.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

If you decide you don’t want a certain section password protected anymore, you can also remove the password. To do so, make sure that section tab is active and then click “Remove Password” on the Password Protection pane.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Enter the password for that section on the Remove Password dialog box and click “OK”.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

There are some tips you should be aware of at the bottom of the Password Protection pane. To access additional options for passwords, click the “Password Options” link at the bottom of the pane.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

The Advanced screen on the OneNote Options dialog box displays. Scroll down to the Passwords section. We mentioned earlier that password protected sections automatically lock when you haven’t worked in them for five minutes. To change that amount of time, select a different option from the drop-down list to the right of the “Lock password protected sections after I have not worked in them for the following amount of time” check box.

You can also have password protected sections lock immediately when you click on a different section tab by checking the “Lock password protected sections as soon as I navigate away from them” box.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Once you’ve made your changes, click “OK” to accept them and close the OneNote Options dialog box.

If you’re done working with the Password Protection pane, you can close it by clicking the “X” in the upper-right corner of the pane. You can always open it again by right-clicking on any section tab and selecting “Password Protect This Section” from the popup menu.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

One of the benefits of using OneNote to store information is that your information is available on other devices, such as iOS and Android devices, as well as on Windows. You can access your locked notebook sections on OneNote for iOS and Android simply by tapping the screen on a section tab.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Then, enter your password and tap “Unlock” in the upper-right corner of the screen.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

Note that you cannot apply passwords to sections using the mobile OneNote apps. You must use the desktop version of OneNote 2016 for Windows or Mac.

In some cases, you might want to password protect a specific section of your OneNote notebook to keep it out of the hands of those who you don’t want to access it. Here’s how.

  • On Windows 10: Double click on the name of the notebook in the sidebar to open it. Then, right-click the section, and choose the option that says Password Protection.
  • On MacOS: Open the section of the notebook you want to add a password to. Once done, right-click the name of the section, and choose Password Protection.
  • On Android: Hold down the name of the section till you see a bullet point. After that, head to the top right corner and click the … menu. Choose to Protect Section and enter your password.
  • On iOS: Select the section you’d like to protect. You’ll then want to click the lock icon in the bottom right corner of your screen. Choose Protect This Section and enter your password.

Applies to

OneNote is an excellent tool to take notes, but it also can be a great journaling app too. In this case, and in other instances, you might want to password protect a specific section of your notebook to keep it out of the hands of those who you don’t want to access it. In our latest guide, we’ll show you how you can protect those notebooks with a password.

Be aware, though, we’ll be talking about the OneNote app downloaded through the Microsoft Store, or your respected app store. We won’t be touching on OneNote 2016, which is still here to stay. You can easily password protect sections there too if you want by right-clicking the section tab and choosing Password Protect this Section. But, here’s a deeper look at how you can do this in the modern OneNote app.

The workflow of a password-protected section in OneNote

Before diving into how to password protect sections, we’ll touch on it changes your workflow. Once a section is password-protected, you’ll need to enter the password each time to unlock it. Although supported on iOS and Android, OneNote on Windows and MacOS don’t support fingerprint authentication. This means you’ll need to take a few extra sections to input the password in OneNote. Also, be aware that the password doesn’t encrypt your notebook like Bitlocker in Windows 10. It’s just there to make it harder for others to access as the notebook can’t be opened without the password. Lose the password, lose the notebook. With that explained, it’s time to move on!

On Windows 10

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

To password protect a notebook section in OneNote on Windows 10, you’ll first need to double click on the name of the notebook in the sidebar to open it. This will then open up a list of sections, and you can right-click on the one that needs protection. Once you do that, look for the option that says Password Protection. You’ll want to click that and choose Add Password. Enter in the password, and click OK. Your notebook section is now protected!

On MacOS

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

The process of password protecting a section of a notebook in OneNote on MacOS is a bit similar. Make sure you’ve double-clicked the section name in the sidebar and opened up the section of the notebook you want to add a password to. Once done, right-click the name of the section, and choose Password Protection. You’ll then want to choose to Protect this Section and enter your password and verify it.

On Android

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

As Android is a mobile platform, password protecting a section of a notebook in OneNote will be different. To do this, open up the section of the notebook you want to protect. You’ll then want to hold down the name of the section, till you see a bullet point. After that, head to the top right corner, and click the … menu. Choose to Protect Section and enter your password and click OK. When done, you can lock the section again from the … menu. When unlocking next time, you’ll be prompted to enter the password. You can also check the toggle to unlock with fingerprint next time to speed up the process.

On iOS

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

The process of password protecting a section in OneNote on iOS is a bit similar to Android, but there are more icons to help you understand the process. To begin, you’ll want to select the section you’d like to protect. You’ll then want to click the lock icon in the bottom right corner of your screen. Choose Protect This Section and enter your password. The section will automatically lock after a period of inactivity. You can unlock by tapping it and entering the password. Just like on Android, you can unlock by fingerprint by choosing the option the first time you unlock after putting in a password.

How do you use OneNote?

As we said before, OneNote is a fairly powerful tool. It has dark mode support, image features, and even integration in Microsoft Teams. OneNote is a topic we’ve covered extensively, so check out our news hub here for more. And, feel free to let us know how OneNote is working for you by dropping us a comment in the section below.

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OneNote page locking

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For teachers using OneNote Class Notebooks the ability to lock a page at a certain time so it becomes read-only to the student will be a great feature.

Teachers can continue to mark and add feedback on a page without students making changes after a given time.

  • Teachers can now lock all the pages of a distributed page as read-only after giving feedback to the student.
  • Teachers can unlock or lock individual pages by simply right clicking on the page on a student.
  • Teachers using Microsoft Teams to create OneNote assignments can have the page of the OneNote assignment automatically lock as read only when the due date/time passes

The last feature is absolute gold and will save time and provide a better workflow for teachers using OneNote for assignments and assessment.

**Important note: Page Locking works best when a page is distributed or made into an assignment. For example, if students copy the pages manually from the Content Library into their own notebooks and change the page title, the teacher will have to manually right click on the student page to lock it, instead of being able to use the single checkbox to lock all pages.

To get the add-in for OneNote 2016 go here https://www.onenote.com/classnotebook

Lock Class Notebook pages in OneNote 2016

First, make sure you are connected to the internet so your changes will sync with your students’ notebooks.
1. Open OneNote and navigate to the Class Notebook you need to edit.
2. Select Class Notebook > Review Student Work.
3. Choose the notebook section you’re reviewing.
4. Expand the list of student names underneath the assignment you need to lock.
5. Select the Lock Pages checkbox to lock this page for all students.

Right-click a student’s name to lock a page individually.

Tip: Another way to lock pages is to right-click on a page and select Lock Page.

Check the lock status of student pages by hovering over student names:

To undo page locking, return to the Review pane or right-click a page and select Unlock Page.

Lock Class Notebook pages in OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, OneNote for iPad

1. Open OneNote and navigate to the Class Notebook you need to edit.
2. Select Class Notebook > Review Student Work.
3. Choose the notebook section and page you’re reviewing from the dropdowns.
4. Select the Lock pages checkbox to lock this page for all students.

Right-click or long press a student’s name to lock a page individually.

To undo page locking, return to the Review pane and uncheck the Lock pages checkbox or unlock by individual student.

Replies (8) 

Welcome to Microsoft Community.

The password is not stored at any place on the computer or within the application. So, there is no way in which it can be recovered. This feature is especially designed so that even if you lose your computer the data can be secure.

You can only try to remember the password and keep trying to login.

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I agree that users has to remember passwords. But in this case the answer which u gave not helpful.

If app has password protected option there should be a way to get it back if user forgot the password.

I feel there is a room for improvement of this in OneNote.

I am a fan of OneNote and I like you have this option also, it will help so many users rather they feel negative.

Looking forward to see this feature in future OneNote version.

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If app has password protected option there should be a way to get it back if user forgot the password.

How would you implement this in a way only you can regain access ?

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since notebooks are usually tied to an email account you send a request to reset the password for that section. My personal note book is under my hotmail account, and work is under my office 365 account. If I was to forget it would send an email reset request to the email address in which the notebook account is under. Simple as that. If there is no email account associated with the notebook then the option would not be possible, and one note should NOT let you put a password on a section without having an email address to reset the passwords you set up.

Consider that anyone can right click on a notebook section and set a password and walk away get hit by a bus and now everything in that section is lost to everyone. That seems like a big flaw in the design of having passwords at all. Expecting the user to never forget or never need to reset a password is very short sighted. The only upside I see is that the system will never lock you out after your 150th attempt.

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We’d like to know the status of your concern. Are you still unable to use the Password Protection feature in OneNote? In case you’ll need additional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We’ll keep an eye out for your response.

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I am still unable to password protect one section of one notebook (and, of course, it’s my journal that I would like to privatize!). I tried moving the section to a new tab, but I still get the same message. All of the other sections of the other notebooks sync just fine and I am able to password protect sections in those notebooks, but not this one. What can I do to correct this to allow password protection?

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Password protecting notebook sections provide a private viewing of your notes. We’d like to ask a few questions for us to better assist you:

  • To clarify, are you using OneNote online?
  • Which browser are you using? Have you tried using another browser to check if the same error message will appear?
  • Can you send us a screenshot of your concern?

We look forward to an update on your concern.

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So I have two issues:

1. I also have no option to password protect any section or page on OneNote online. I’m assuming I should be able to right-click to open this feature? If that’s the case, it doesn’t appear on my right-click menu options.

2. It would be great to be able to open two accounts at once on my OneNote desktop because I have OneNote Gem and I love it’s improved search features, among other perks. Is this possible? I have one personal account I’ve been using for years now, but I’d like to create an account tied to a company email.

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We’ve noticed a delay on your post, and we apologize. Please allow us to address both your questions:

1. I also have no option to password protect any section or page on OneNote online. I’m assuming I should be able to right-click to open this feature? If that’s the case, it doesn’t appear on my right-click menu options.

For what we all know, the feature should be available with the OneNote versions: 2016 , 2013, 2010 , 2007. You can check this link as your full reference: Password-protect your notes. Double check if you are using one of those, and not the Universal OneNote for Windows 10 which can be found built-in and in Windows Store. The universal OneNote app is yet to have this feature.

2. It would be great to be able to open two accounts at once on my OneNote desktop because I have OneNote Gem and I love it’s improved search features, among other perks. Is this possible? I have one personal account I’ve been using for years now, but I’d like to create an account tied to a company email.

It is a good idea to have multiple accounts signed in at the same time for OneNote to enjoy premium different features from each. However, it is yet to be applied. What we can do is to add multiple accounts. Please refer here for more information . Please post the same idea in the OneNote Suggestion Portal .

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sectionsDo you use OneNote to collaborate on a large team and want to make sure one group doesn’t see the budget? Or do you want to share a notebook with photographs from your last trip and want your friends to see all of them but not your family? Or what if your laptop is stolen, do you want your information to be safe? Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to know how to password protect sections of your OneNote notebook. It’s pretty simple. Just follow the steps below.

NOTE: Passwords can be applied only to individual sections, and not to entire notebooks.

To password protect a notebook section:

  1. Open the OneNote notebook section that you want to password protect, right-click the section tab, and choose Password Protect this Section.
  2. In the Password Protection taskpane that opens on the right, choose Set Password, and enter your password in the Password Protection dialog box.

How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

One more tip: Password-protected sections aren’t included in the results when you search a notebook. To include them, unlock the password-protected sections.

For information on modifying password settings, removing or changing passwords, and more, see Password-protect notes in OneNote 2010.

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How to password protect onenote notebooks and sections

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