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Export Your Notes from Evernote to OneNote for Free Premium Features

Mark O'Neill 29-04-2016

I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but I am starting to get Evernote fatigue. I’m the guy who wrote the MakeUseOf Evernote manual How to Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual Learning how to use Evernote on your own takes a long time. This is why we've put together this guide to show you how to take full advantage of the most important Evernote features. Read More , and my favorite T-shirt is the grey Evernote one with the elephants. But I am tired of paying the annual Premium price (which has gone up), and the desktop app can get a bit too glitchy. So what should I do?



I briefly considered installing a private wiki on my website, but the thought of sifting through almost 6,500 unsorted Evernote files made me flinch. When I saw that Microsoft has brought out a notes importer to transfer Evernote notes to OneNote How to Migrate From Evernote to OneNote With One Easy Tool Want to switch from Evernote to OneNote? This tool from Microsoft makes the move as easy as possible for you. Read More , I figured I would give it a shot.

Why not? OneNote is free OneNote Is Now Truly Free With More Features Than Before Evernote no longer rules the roost of note taking apps. Microsoft recently announced OneNote would be more free than ever before. Let us show you what this means in terms of features and functionality. Read More , and has some features which Evernote charges for Evernote vs. OneNote: Which Note-Taking App Is Right for You? Evernote and OneNote are amazing note-taking apps. It's hard to pick between the two. We compared everything from interface to note organization to help you choose. What works best for you? Read More . Plus it is always good to live life dangerously every once in awhile. Last year, Justin showed you how to migrate, using third-party software How to Migrate from Evernote to OneNote, and Why You Should Do you think that Microsoft OneNote is better than Evernote? Or maybe, it just suits your project management style. Either way, here's how you can migrate all your notes from Evernote to OneNote easily. Read More . But personally speaking, I am more comfortable with official software from the company itself.

I’m going to show you today how to use the import tool in case you are in the same boat as I am.

Update: This article covers the OneNote Importer for Windows. Meanwhile, Microsoft has released a OneNote Importer for Mac. We have covered it in the article How to Migrate Evernote to OneNote on Mac How to Migrate Evernote to OneNote on Mac the Easy Way The OneNote Importer for Evernote is now available to Mac users. If you've been waiting for a comprehensive note-taking app that's free and cross-platform, do try OneNote. Read More .

Moving from Evernote to OneNote

It’s a bit cheeky of Microsoft to swipe Evernote customers away like this, but you have to admit, it’s also a smart marketing move. Someone in my position, with a lot of Evernote files, would be very reluctant to start moving thousands of files over to OneNote. But the Importer tool makes it child’s play.


What is nice is that the OneNote importer tool simply makes copies of your notes. So if you decide you don’t like OneNote, then just delete everything. Your Evernote notes will still be there.

So let’s start transferring.

Transfer Notes to Evernote on the Desktop

First, you need to have the desktop version of Evernote because this won’t work with the online version. If you need to install the desktop version of Evernote, you can get it here.

Copying your online Evernote files to the desktop app is very easy and very fast.


Using the OneNote Importer

Once the Evernote desktop app is open and all of the notes have been fully copied over, it’s time to open the OneNote Importer tool. Start following the steps.


When it asks you to select Evernote content, you need to avoid the mistake I made. I simply assumed that the Importer tool would detect my Evernote file and begin copying stuff over. But what it actually did was only copy the newest note!

To avoid this from happening, and to get all of them moved over, you need to click on the message at the top (the newest message, in my case), then go to Edit > Select All at the top.


If you have done it right, all of the notes will be highlighted, and you will see the total number on the right hand side. Make sure that number tallies with the actual total amount of notes.


Keeping those notes highlighted, go back to the OneNote Importer tool and in section 2, you can either choose which notebooks you want copied, or you can take the huge Evernote file on your computer, which holds all your notes.

If you prefer the latter method, keeping the Evernote notes highlighted, go to File > Export and when the box appears, check to make sure the number of files is the same, and choose the first option (the .enex file). Then it will begin exporting your Evernote notes into an .enex file. The time it will take to make this file will depend on how many notes you have.


When you have the file, in step 2 of the OneNote 5 Ways to Get Productive With Microsoft OneNote Do you feel the need for an offline organization tool that also exists on the web? Surprisingly, Microsoft has come up with the perfect solution - OneNote. Read More importer, click on Import a File Instead. Then navigate to the file’s location on your computer and click Next.


Now you will be required to sign into a Microsoft account The Pros and Cons of Using a Microsoft Account with Windows A single Microsoft Account allows you to log into a wide range of Microsoft services and apps. We show you the pros and cons of using a Microsoft Account with Windows. Read More . If you don’t have one, you can sign up for one. If you use Windows 10, you may already be using a Microsoft account for logging into your system How to Delete Your Microsoft Account & Create a Local Windows 10 Login Have privacy concerns about using a Microsoft Account in the cloud? Here's how to create a local Windows 10 login account instead. Read More , Just use that if you don’t want to be encumbered with yet another account.


Once you have signed in, the next step merely explains how everything will be formatted when it is copied over. You can also choose whether or not to preserve all of the tags from Evernote 20 Evernote Search Features You Should Be Using It's one thing to use Evernote, but it's entirely another thing to master Evernote. If you’re new to Evernote, I don’t want to come across like it’s something complicated – it’s not, in fact, it’s... Read More .


When you are all finished, click Import to start the process.


Again, the time it takes to import, depends on the size of your Evernote file. With 6,475 files to go, I reckon I can go and make a cup of tea and visit the dog. Back in two ticks.

Find Your Imported Notes

OK….and I’m back. The dog says hi.


The files have been fully moved over. Now you will (hopefully) see an All Done! notification, and a list of any notes it was unable to transfer over. It seems that my huge fonts OTF vs. TTF Fonts: Which Is Better? What's the Difference? Most fonts these days are either OTF or TTF, but what does that mean? What are the differences? Should you even care? Read More folder was too big for OneNote. Hmmm….strike one against Microsoft then.


You will then be invited to View Notes In Evernote. When that happens, your Windows operating system will automatically open the OneNote app. When it opens, you will see all of your notes in all their glory and splendour (he says, with his fingers crossed).

And….no, not quite yet. The first thing you will see is a note saying Where are my other notes?. Yes, indeed. Where are they Microsoft?


The note tells you where to look, depending on which version of OneNote you are using. For Windows 10, you have to click the hamburger icon in the top-left hand corner (the three horizontal lines). A black slider will pop out and you should see a notebook there called Evernote (Evernote Import), or words to that effect. If you don’t, click the link for More Notebooks and choose the Evernote file. But in general, they should already be there in the Pages tab.


The posts have been moved over, but the formatting isn’t exactly great. While the links and other formatting is kept in, everything is all crushed together. The paragraphs have been slaughtered, and my business cards section has been totally sucker-punched. Somebody call the War Crimes Tribunal.

Was It Worth It?

Since the OneNote Importer only copies the notes, and it only took 10 minutes to complete, I haven’t lost anything from having a look.

OneNote is quite nice in some regards, especially if you use the Windows operating system a lot. But since it kind of messed up my formatting a bit, and I am more of a Mac guy, I am not tempted enough to cross over to the Dark Side of the Web. I think I will just stick with the green elephant and pay for another year of Evernote.

But that is not to say that you will feel the same way. You could import your notes over, and love it 5 Reasons You Should Take Notes with OneNote Anywhere Few things are as important as the ability to take good notes, especially for students. OneNote is perfect for notes on coursework. We think you will find it's great for organizing other information, too. Read More . Or you may have the time to sit and reformat everything 12 Tips to Take Better Notes with Microsoft OneNote These 12 tips show you how to take better notes in MIcrosoft OneNote. Today, digital note-taking is as much about skill, as it is about the tool. Read More , if you are determined to use OneNote. Everyone’s situation is totally different 10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All the Time Microsoft OneNote is just as good as Evernote. OneNote is the digital equivalent of a binder, giving you more organizational control. We show you effective note-taking tweaks you'll love. Read More , so don’t let my experience deter you. Give it a go yourself and see how yours turns out.

Do share your experience with us! How did the migration from Evernote to OneNote go for you? And what prompted you to move? Did you run into any issues?

I will be standing guard in the comments ready to answer all of your questions. Because that is what I do.

Explore more about: Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Note-Taking Apps.

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  1. Frits Egmond
    October 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you very much. A relief...

  2. nic
    July 26, 2016 at 4:32 am

    When I use the MS importer all my notes get copied to OneDrive but only the first notebook from Evernote appears in OneNote. Do I need to individually export each Notebook (or Notebook stack) to One Note?

    • Mark O'Neill
      July 26, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Well, I actually don't organize by notebook. I organize by tags only, so I didn't encounter your issue. Saying that, I re-read my article here, and part of it says :

      "Keeping those notes highlighted, go back to the OneNote Importer tool and in section 2, you can either choose which notebooks you want copied, or you can take the huge Evernote file on your computer, which holds all your notes".

      So try again by going back to section 2 in the importer and see if selecting notebooks solves your problem.

      • Nic
        July 27, 2016 at 3:51 am

        After encountering the problem I found your advice on this page and tried again making sure all 300+ of my notes were selected but the result was the same. Finally I tried exporting the Evernote file and importing it using the MS OneNote importer with the same result once again. I'm guessing it is something to do with the nested notebook structure I have set up in Evernote. I could try exporting and importing each notebook individually, but since all my notes show up in OneDrive I'm thinking there might be an issue with how OneNote syncs with OneDrive though I can't find any useful info about this online.

  3. Chris
    June 30, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Is anyone aware of a way to move OneNote items back to Evernote? I'm not sure I'll do that, but if I try out OneNote for a while and have new things not in my old Evernote backup, and then decide to return to Evernote, can I import that stuff back?

    • Mark O'Neill
      July 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Well moving stuff back is not a problem. But if you have new stuff in your OneNote account and THAT'S the only stuff you want to import into Evernote, then I think the standard import option would be more trouble than it's worth.

      In that situation, I would personally wipe your Evernote account (after backing it up first of course), and then import ALL of your notes into Evernote. A clean import.

      • Chris
        July 15, 2016 at 5:30 pm

        Good ideas, thanks!

  4. John Turnley
    May 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Once you copy the notes on a Windows box, wouldn't OneNote upload data and make it available on the Mac? It sounds like you need Windows just for the initial switch over.

    Or am I missing something?

  5. Anonymous
    May 1, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Hey, does anyone know how to do, say, a supplemental backup. I did this a few months ago and I want to add my recent evernotes. Is there a way without creating a ton of duplicates, or is the importer smart?

  6. Anonymous
    April 30, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Ah, to be able to go back in time and talk to my younger self (way back in July, 2015) and say, "Wait until April next to move your notes from Evernote to OneNote and save yourself hours of frustrating tediummmmmm...................."

    Oh, well. If and when I ever move from OneNote back to Evernote, I'll be prepared for when I get tired of Evernote's restrictions again.

  7. GV
    April 30, 2016 at 2:09 am

    The link page indicates the importer does't work for MACs yet. Did you import to a PC or MAC?

    • Mark O'Neill
      April 30, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Windows only for the moment. Sorry if that wasn't made clear in the article. I'm sure a Mac version is in the works. Bookmark the Microsoft page and check back often. If you eventually see a link, let us know in the comments here, and we will update the article :-)

  8. Roy
    April 29, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Meh, didn't work for me. Notes are scrambled. I'd rather continue with my Premium subscription. Quite frankly, I haven't experienced that problems you have been having and Evernote has been a gem. I get my notes when I need them.