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How to Migrate Evernote to OneNote on Mac the Easy Way

Joel Lee 24-08-2016

If we want to be the best we can be, we have to stop being brand loyalists Why Brand Loyalty is the Enemy of Productivity You can't gain knowledge of something you're not willing to explore. Can you break through your prejudices and try out new things? Try. Productivity could be just outside your comfort zone. Read More . It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially because we’re wired to be that way, but brand loyalty can hinder us whenever something better comes along The Best Alternatives to Evernote You Need Today Has Evernote's recent price increase and two-device restriction for the free plan disturbed your note-taking workflow? Then, it's time to take another look at some of the best Evernote alternatives. Read More .


If you love Evernote because it works well for you, then that’s one thing. But if you’re using Evernote because it’s the most familiar or because all of your notes are already there and you don’t have the energy to move them elsewhere, then we’ve got great news for you.

Microsoft just released a free Evernote-to-OneNote migration tool for Mac users. Windows users already had access to OneNote Importer, but now Mac users can join the party. Here’s what you need to know.

Is OneNote Right for You?

Before you jump in and migrate everything, take a moment to consider whether OneNote will actually be better for you than Evernote. I’m as big a fan of OneNote as they come, but even I will tell you that OneNote is not for everyone!

What are the benefits of OneNote over Evernote?

  • It’s truly 100% free. Evernote can be used for free, but some of the more useful features are only available to paying customers (offline notebooks require Plus, searching text in a PDF requires Premium).
  • Sleeker, smoother interface. This one is subjective, but I firmly believe that OneNote’s interface is more intuitive, easier to navigate, and better organized than Evernote’s interface. It’s also more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Freeform notes. Whereas Evernote is like any other text editor — broken into lines of text — OneNote has “paragraphs” that can be moved around on the page however you want.
  • Math and drawing support. OneNote pages can include advanced mathematical equations and handwritten notes that are made using a mouse or stylus. Evernote only has drawing support in its mobile apps. Speaking of which…
  • Better mobile apps. This one is also subjective, but I’ve found that OneNote’s mobile apps are faster, better designed, and easier to use than Evernote’s mobile apps. Even on a small phone like my Moto E, it never feels cramped or slow, making it one of the best note-taking apps What Is the Best Free Note-Taking App for Android? Want to take notes on your Android phone or tablet? Here are the best free note-taking apps for Android. Read More .

For a more in-depth look at the differences, check out our full side-by-side comparison of OneNote and Evernote 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 . If you’re already familiar, at least check out our most loved features of OneNote 12 Little-Known Microsoft OneNote Features You Will Love Microsoft OneNote is free and packed with features. Here are some little features to boost your note-taking productivity! Read More .


We recommend toying around with a blank OneNote notebook to get a feel for the application before commiting with a full migration. You might find that you fall in love instantly, or you might find that you simply can’t stand it. You won’t know until you try.

Drawbacks of OneNote on Mac

If you’re hyped for OneNote and want to get started right away, there’s one big reality check that needs to take place before you dive in: OneNote on Mac still has a lot of catching up to do behind OneNote 2016 for Windows.

In a lot of ways, OneNote on Mac is more similar to the web or Windows Store versions of OneNote Which Free OneNote App Should You Use on Windows? Desktop vs. Store App OneNote comes in two different flavors: a desktop app and a Windows Store app. Both are free! Let us show you how they differ, so you can choose the one that's best for you. Read More — that is, it’s missing several of the great features that truly set OneNote apart from its competitors:

Personally, I don’t consider any of these to be deal-breakers. The missing features are little more than inconveniences and the OneDrive integration is necessary for syncing across devices anyway. If you need more than 5 GB, you can pay a measly $2 per month for 50 GB.


Using the OneNote Migration Tool

So you’ve gotten this far, you’ve played around with OneNote on Mac, and you haven’t been scared away by the drawbacks of the Mac version. You’re ready to commit, which means it’s time to use the OneNote Importer migration tool.

First, go ahead and download Evernote for Mac, then install it and make sure you’re signed into the Evernote account you want to migrate. (If it’s already installed, just make sure you’re signed in and synced.)

Next, go ahead and download OneNote Importer for Mac, then install it. Note that it will only run on OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or higher!



Next, run the OneNote, accept the Terms and Conditions, and click Get Started.


Next, after the Importer locates and exports your Evernote notebooks, you’ll get to choose which of them you want to import into OneNote. If you manually exported your notebooks, you can import your own .ENEX files instead. Click Continue.



Next, sign into the Microsoft account that’s associated with your OneNote notebooks. If you don’t have one, create one now. (And remember to sign into this newly-created Microsoft account on OneNote!)


The import process will create one-to-one recreations of your notebooks and pages. You can optionally import any tags you used in your Evernote notebooks as well. Click Import when ready.


Depending on how many notes you’ve chosen to import, it make take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Wait until it’s done, then click View Notes in OneNote to make sure all of your notes were imported successfully.

Mastering OneNote on Mac

Now that you’re all set and ready to go, we recommend combing through our essentials guide to OneNote on Mac The Essential OneNote for Mac Guide Microsoft OneNote is a free note-taking app for Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Here's everything you need to become more productive. Read More and making sure you’re up to speed on the various Mac version keyboard shortcuts The Microsoft Office for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet Our list of common keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Office for Mac will help you get your work done faster. Read More .

After that, you can brush up on our other OneNote tips and tricks — such as these general note-taking tips 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 and this quick guide to using OneNote like a wiki How to Create a Personal Wiki Using Microsoft OneNote A wiki is a great way to store and share large amounts of information. Here's how easy it is to create a wiki with OneNote. Read More — but at this point it’ll mostly be about experience and familiarizing yourself through usage.

Good luck!

Why are you migrating to OneNote? Tell us in the comments below how well the migration tool worked for you and whether or not you ran into any issues.

Related topics: Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Note-Taking Apps.

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  1. Gareth
    January 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    AFter Evernot renewed me atr th ehoigher rate, I thought I'd do some research on moviing to OneNote - looked great at first.

    However seeing the restrictions here it's not such a good idea. I've done a trial export from Evernote to OneNote, and it's disappointing. It's far slower, which is the first drawback.
    No tags, (is that why so searching is very slow? ) seems a major omission. I use a lot of freeform tags to allocate notes, and this is just plain missing from OneNote - even though the imported imports tags as hashtags. I use Devonthink a lot, and that supports freeform tags - so why can't MS get this incorporated in OneNote.

    Templates were a major draw for moving - They don't exist on the Mac.

    It's beginning to seem worth the money to stay with Evernote until MS decide to invest in OneNote for the Mac - there preview version has already started to look like Evernote with it's three pane display!

  2. veronica
    August 26, 2016 at 5:22 am

    How about mentioning that MS links to OneDrive cloud and there is a 5Gb limit? Yup, I wasted my time using the importer tool , only to get a notice that i needed to pay for a subscription. It's back to the real Evernote.

    • Joel Lee
      August 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      It's there in the section titled "Drawbacks of OneNote on Mac":

      OneDrive integration. Perhaps the biggest flaw of OneNote is that free users must store their notebooks on OneDrive. The only way to create a local notebook is to be a paid customer, whether by Office 2016 or Office 365. Note that free OneDrive accounts only have 5 GB of storage!

  3. Mark
    August 25, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Link to the importer is the WINDOWS version, not the mac version.

    • Joel Lee
      August 29, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Hey Mark. If you're on a Mac, the download link will know and send you the Mac version.