Other OneNote file types – OneNote Package & Table of Contents

Again another blog post that was requested by you the blogshere. As you all know the main OneNote file type is .one which is an individual section file and it lives, as all files in, in a directory/folder. You can open up folders as notebooks in OneNote and any subfolders will be Section Groups in OneNote. However there are a few other OneNote files that are important and in most cases you will never see, but if you are reading this blog then you like to learn about stuff so let me share with you all.

OneNote Single File Package - .onepkg

OneNote Packages are like zip files that allow you to share OneNote files across computers including all of the embedded files that were in those sections/files. Additionally you can send entire notebooks which you couldn't do before in OneNote 2003. If you are in OneNote and want to send an entire notebook to someone you can choose File-->Save as and select to save the entire notebook as a .onepkg see here:

Then you can send that file as an attachment and the recipient can open that file directly and it will take them to OneNote and show them the entire notebook. It is a great way to share files with people and you can't use a shared notebook. It is also a great way to archive all of your files. In reality this is just a CAB file so you can open the file yourself. Note: in earlier builds of OneNote 2007, like Beta1, these were called OneNote Archives and were .onea files (just in case anyone ever googles for ".onea" I wanted to have this out in the world somewhere)

OneNote Table of Contents - .onetoc & .onetoc2

Another file type most people have never seen before are the OneNote TOC files. These files are system files by default so unless you have told Windows to show them you probably haven't seen them. These files contain the ordering of sections within a notebook. The .onetoc was for OneNote 2003 and contain information about which files are open/closed and in what order the sections appear. In OneNote 2007 we have .onetoc2 files which has information about ordering of sections. If you delete this file then OneNote will open the notebook in alphabetical order and then you can reorder them yourself.

If you have questions please let me know.

Comments (16)

  1. Thanks. I think that covers it well.

  2. Erik Paul says:

    Sweet!  So, the .onepkg includes the linked audio and video files as well as any imported powerpoints?

  3. Yes it does.  Also in B2TR in most cases the .one will including these files as well.

  4. CGVictor says:

    Is there a programmable way to get an XML content from static section (.one) and hierarchy (.onetoc2) files?

    What is a .one binary?

  5. bill l says:

    I’ve noticed that this file:

    OneNote Table Of Contents.onetoc2

    decides to recreate itself automatically in a variety of folders where it does not apply.

    Even when I delete the file – on an external hard-drive that works with many systems – that same file shows up again and again.

    OneNote is a great program, but I don’t need it creating extra undetectable files with no obvious way to stop it.

    I would like to run Windows, but Ubuntu linux appears to have far less problems, with far more support.

    Please tell me how I can stop OneNote from creating these unnessecary files.


  6. b – You are getting this because you have some folder or parent folder open as a notebook in OneNote.  Close the notebook in OneNote, deleted those .onetoc2 files and then you will never see them again.  However if you open the folder as a notebook then OneNote will create them.

  7. Behzad says:

    dear every one, please help me out if you can.

    I have saved my notebook as onenote single file package and now i have problem unpacking the same file.

    system says that i’m using a different version of onenote while the version is the same as before.

    thanks in advance for your help.

  8. daniel says:

    ok now whats with the daniel fircken copy cat

  9. Pam says:

    I want to pass on a notebook to my students.  Which is a better way, to zip (compress) the notebook folder or to package?  I do not have any files connected to the notebook.  

  10. Daniel says:

    Are the TOC files important for syncing?

    I bounce around a lot from workstation to workstation depending on what public computer lab I’m working in at my University, so I very often open my notebooks from my institution’s server. For some reason, when I do this, one of my section groups takes FOREVER to even appear. It’s frustrating because usually OneNote does a good job while opening a new shared notebook of copying things down, but prioritizing based on where I’m actively exploring. I can’t explore this section group because I can’t see it, so I have to wait for everything else to come down to the cache before it even looks for this folder.

    In an attempt to fix this, I did a wildcard serach and deleted all of my onetoc2 files, confident onenote would recreate them. I cleared my offline cache and reopened the shared notebook, and HUZZAH, I could see the section group of interest from the outset.

    Later, I went to my laptop and syncing is going crazy! Things that have been modified since last sync are being treated as misplaced sections. Fortunately I sync often enough that there are only a handful of sections like this, but the sync is taking super long and onenote locks up every 5 or 10 minutes as it finds more and more "misplaced sections." Is it trying to reconcile its onetoc2 files with the onetoc2 files on the server? Why doesn’t it realize that these sections (which haven’t changed names) are still on the server and are not orphans? Thanks for your help!

    Daniel @ UMich

  11. Fran says:

    I’ve been experiencing an issue with One Note in which I may accidentally delete a subpage and then I am unable to retrieve it.  Is there a way of retrieving deleted files from One Note? Where is the trash stored? Thanks for your help.

  12. Joe says:

    How to prevent creation of these "OneNote Table Of Contents.onetoc2" files?

  13. Mari says:

    I have a problem. I have uninstalled one note on all my laptops (2) but every time I log onto my network I find in every directory the file onenote table of contents onetoc2 file. I delete these files but they immediately reappear every time I access any directory. Some directories have five or six of them. Is this a bug, virus or product failure.

    My system appears to be virus free etc.

    How do I get rid of these files please and stop this from happening as they are clogging my server.


  14. @Mari – These files are created by OneNote when you open a notebook and all of the folders under the notebook will have this flie.  To prevent this make sure there are no OneNote clients (on your computer or elsewhere) that have any part of this folder strucutre open as a notebook.  

  15. Malen says:

    Hi, how do I open a .toc2 notebook in OneNote 2010?

  16. kaashvi says:

    pictures in my hard disk are converted in onetoc2 format,how to get my pictures back?

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