Protect notes with a password in OneNote for Windows 10

Applies to: OneNote for Windows 10.

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Password protection safeguards your notes from curious peepers. Whether you use OneNote at school, at work, or at home, passwords give you control over access to certain sections in your notebooks.

Add a password to a section in your notebook

When your protect a notebook section with a password, every page is locked until you provide the correct password.

  1. Right-click the notebook name section that you prefer to protect, and then click Password Protection > Add Password.
  1. In the Password Protection window, enter your desired password into the Enter Password box.
  1. Repeat the password again into the Confirm Password box, and then select Enter.

Note: Choose your password carefully. If you forget your password, your notes cannot be unlocked (not even by Microsoft Technical Support).

Lock all protected sections in your notebook

If you’ve set passwords to several sections in your notebook, you can lock them all simultaneously.

  • Right-click the name of any protected (but currently unlocked) notebook section, and then click Password Protection > Lock Protected Sections. OneNote instantly locks all protected sections in the current notebook.

Note: To unlock a protected section and retrieve access to its pages, select the sought section to unlock, enter its password into the Password box, and then click Enter. Remember that protected sections will be locked again when you close OneNote.

Change the password for a protected section

  1. Right-click the name of any protected (but currently unlocked) notebook section whose password you want to update, and then press Password Protection > Change Password. (If this option isn’t available, it means that the current section has no password.)
  1. In the Change Password window, enter the current section password into the Old Password box.l
  1. In the Enter New Password box, write the new password that will replace the current one.
  1. Enter the new password again into the Confirm Password box, and then tap Enter.

Note: Changing a password only applies to the section that you’re currently in. To alter the passwords for other protected sections in your notebook, follow the preceding steps for each protected section.

Remove the password from a protected section

  1. Right-click the name of any protected (but currently unlocked) notebook section whose password you want to remove, and then click Password Protection > Remove Password. (If this option is unavailable, it means that the current section isn’t password-protected).
  1. In the Remove Password window, write the current password, and then press Enter.

Some important notes about passwords

  • Passwords can be used only for notebook sections, not to entire notebooks.
  • Passwords are case-sensitive. Check that the Caps Lock key is off before you create or type a password.
  • OneNote uses encryption to secure password-protected sections. If you forget any of your section passwords, nobody can unlock those notes for you (not even Microsoft Technical Support). Be careful when adding passwords to your notebook sections and when updating them.
  • Password-protected sections are excluded from notebook searches. To include the notes in a protected section in a search, you must first unlock that section.

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