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OneNote - Notebook Migration Between Accounts (macOS)

If you had already set up a Microsoft account in the self-service area at UZH and created OneNote notebooks there before the global introduction of Microsoft 365 at UZH, you can no longer easily access this data.

The following documentation is intended to show you a way to migrate these notebooks in macOS to your new UZH Microsoft account.

Check the synchronization status (old account)

Important: This section is about your old Microsoft account. This was renamed in the course of the global introduction of Microsoft 365 at the UZH. You received an e-mail around 12 March 2020 informing you of the new name of the old account. It has the form "*@*" (example:

Check that the notebook is synchronized correctly. If not, a note will appear in the top right corner of the window. If you see such an error message, log in to your old account (, see note above).

Stellen Sie sicher, dass Sie rechts oben im OneNote-Fenster keine Synchronisationsfehler erhalten.

If synchronization does not work as expected proceed as follows:

  1. To avoid data loss, back up all data on your computer. Most notably, make sure you have a current backup of the folder ~/Library/Containers/ (whereas ~ refers to your home folder, usually /Users/<username>). If you intend to use Time Machine (which is part of macOS) to back up your data, you may find instructions on how to do so here.
  2. After you have made sure that you have access to a complete backup of your data, log out of your account within OneNote.
    Von OneNote abmelden
  3. All sections which could not be synchronized are moved into the notebook or the section "Misplaced Sections", respectively.
    Misplaced Sections


  4. Close OneNote to complete the logout. Please close all other Microsoft applications and OneDrive as well.
    Close OneNote
  5. To avoid logon issues, remove cached logon credentials from the Keychain Access Application. To do so, open /Applications/Utilities/Keychain Access and remove all entries referencing Microsoft / Office / OneDrive / OneNote etc.

Attention: To avoid data loss, please observe the following important notes at this point:

  • Before logging off, please make sure that a current backup (e.g. with Time Machine) is available. In particular, make sure that the directory ~/Library/Containers/ has been backed up. (~ refers to your home directory, usually /Users/<username>)
  • When logging off, all non-synchronized sections are moved to "Misplaced Sections". After registration, these data will be irrevocably deleted when you log out again! To prevent this, be sure to move the data in "Misplaced Sections" to a new or temporary notebook before logging off again!

Login to new account

In this section you log in to OneNote with your new account and also link your old OneDrive.

  1. Open OneNote again and log in with your new account.
    Klicken Sie auf das Benutzersymbol unten links und melden Sie sich mit Ihrem neuen Konto (UZH-Mailadresse) an.
  2. The UZH login page must appear for the password entry. If not, you're trying to log in with the wrong account.
    In der UZH-Maske geben Sie Ihr Passwort ein.
  3. If the popup is empty after you have logged in when you click on your user icon, close OneNote and reopen it.
    Falls Ihre Benutzerdetails nicht angezeigt werden, schliessen Sie OneNote und öffnen es erneut.

Add OneDrive of your old account

In this section you add your old OneDrive as an additional data source to OneNote.

  1. Click on your user icon and then on [+] in the line "Connected services" to add a new data source.
    Auf das Symbol + klicken
  2. Add a OneDrive for Business type service.
    "OneDrive for Business" auswählen
  3. Log in with your old Microsoft account (
    Anmeldung mit dem alten Microsoft-Konto
  4. You have now connected both the new and old OneDrive.
     Important: Please note closely the different names of the OneDrives for the rest of the process:
    • OLD: "OneDrive -"
    • NEW: "OneDrive - Universität Zürich UZH"
    Neues und altes OneDrive sind jetzt verbunden
  5. Open (menu "File", "Open notebook...") the notebook you want to migrate from the old OneDrive ("OneDrive -").
    Important: Do not use the menu item "Open Recent…" or the "Recent" item in the open dialog box as they may contain dangling or incorrect links.
    Open notebook

Caution: If logging on does not work and there are unsynchronized Notebooks in the section "Misplaced Sections", you must not log off and log on again by all means, as unsynchronized sections will be lost irrevocably! Before logging off and logging on again you have to move "Misplaced Sections" to a temporary notebook. Create a new notebook in the context of your working account and move the sections there. For further procedures for fixing logon issues, please refer to OneNote - Notebook Migration - Troubleshooting (macOS)

Create new notebook

In this section, create a new notebook on your new OneDrive as the migration destination.

  1. From the "File" menu, select "New notebook..."
  2. Name the notebook and – important – set your new OneDrive ("OneDrive - University of Zurich UZH") as your destination.
    Name und Ort des neuen Notizbuchs festlegen

If you are unable to create a new notebook, you may have to reset your cached logon credentials. Please refer to OneNote - Notebook Migration - Troubleshooting (macOS)

Caution: If you are unable to create a new notebook and there are "Misplaced Sections", you must not log off and log on again by all means, as unsynchronized sections will be lost irrevocably! Before logging off and logging on again you have to move "Misplaced Sections" to a temporary notebook. Create a new notebook in the context of your working account and move the sections there.

Transfer contents

Finally, copy the contents of the old notebook section by section into the new notebook.

  1. Display the old notebook in OneNote.
  2. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) section by section and select "Copy section to...".
    Wählen Sie "Abschnitt kopieren nach..."
  3. Select your newly created notebook in the new OneDrive as destination.
    Wählen Sie das neue Notizbuch als Ziel
  4. If there are "Misplaced Sections", now is the time to move them to the new notebook. As this data may be newer than existing equally named sections in your old notebook, they possibly replace these existing sections.
    Copy sections
  5. Log on to (using your target account). Under "My Notebooks" (don't use any "Recent" links, their content could be outdated and therefore does possibly not work) you can check your synchronized content. Be aware, though, that synchronization can take its time depending on their size.