Try OneNote Instant Search!

I wanted to pass on the following information from Olya Veselova who is another PM on the OneNote team. She owns some of our most favourite features such as: Outlook task sync, hyperlinks and search! She wanted me to share the following information about OneNote search:

Try OneNote Instant Search!

Try regular and phrase (quoted) searches.


What to expect of OneNote 2007 B2TR Search



  • OneNote will find your notes even if they have not been indexed yet, because it always scans directly through any non-indexed items. So your search speed will vary depending on how many of your notes have been indexed.


  • OneNote searches only notebooks that are open


Please report any issues to us!

If your search is not working, please log a bug here:

Then try the "How to fix search" instructions below, but please log a bug even if your issue was fixed.


What information to include with the bug:

Please include as much of this information as possible. The more you provide, the easier it is for us to fix the problem.


  • Do you have Windows Desktop Search 3.0 Beta 2?
  • How long ago did you install WDS?
  • Were you prompted by OneNote or Outlook to install it? (If by Outlook, was OneNote already installed at the time?)
  • Did you have previous versions of WDS on your computer before?
  • If yes, did you do an uninstall of the previous WDS version, or did you just upgrade by running the new installer?
  • Did you restart OneNote after installing WDS?
  • Did you restart your computer ever since installing WDS?
  • Did you see any OneNote error/warning dialogs related to WDS?
  • What is the indexer status?

    Start > Programs > Windows Desktop Search > click the dropdown icon on the right-hand side next to the help icon > Desktop Search Options. Include a screenshot of the Indexing Options dialog that comes up.


  • How many OneNote pages do you have? View > Pages Sorted By Date > Pages Found: count.
  • If you search for tt, how many pages does OneNote find? (these are any pages containing timestamp under the title). Was the search very quick?
  • For any pages that search for tt did not find - can you find other words from these pages? (Before searching for the word, please navigate away from the page, because OneNote will always search the current page regardless)


    More advanced:

    • Is OneNote using the indexer? Here is how to find out:
      • Turn on Indexer Info task pane by doing this: Paste the text below into Notepad, save the file, and then rename the .txt to .reg. Double-click the .reg file. This sets registry keys that enable OneNote search logging. Restart OneNote.


        Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00






        • View > Task Pane > click top of task pane > Indexer Info
        • Include a screenshot of the pane
        • Include the OneNote.log file which is in your %temp%\OneNote.log
    • How many pages have not been indexed yet?

      In Indexer Info pane click Quick Verify Index. This will take some time. When it completes, how many pages are listed in the yellow find control that comes up - this is the number of non-indexed pages.

    • Is OneNote still finding hits in these pages (as it is supposed to)?

      Use the yellow control to jump to one of these pages. Look for some word or phrase on the page. Then navigate away from the page
      - now search for that word and see if that page will be in the list of results. Please report to us if it is not.


How to fix search:



  • Rebuild your index: Start > Programs > Windows Desktop Search > click the dropdown button on the right-hand side near the help button > Desktop Search Options > Advanced > Rebuild

    Then restart OneNote.


We really want you all to test out search and make sure that you don't have problems. Please post your bugs on Connect as Olya suggests. Thank you much!

Comments (13)

  1. Charlie says:

    Is there a way to download and install only the technical fix for OneNote? I’m not messing with the other beta Office07 programs… Thanks!

  2. No, B2TR is an all of nothing update.  All of Office or nothing at all.  You really _should_ upgrade since it is so much better than Beta2.  Trust me : )


    I work on the OneNote team and help design product features. I have posted a couple of times…

  4. Blair says:

    Does anyone know if the Show All Tagged Notes functionality uses the WDS index (like instant search) or just does a non-indexed search of the specified scope? I ask because it’s taking a full 5 minutes to get "Search Completed" in the Tag Summary. I have a  fair number of pages (approx 400) in the Section Group that’s in my search criteria.  Thanks.

  5. Blair – If you have WDS installed in the tags search will use WDS, otherwise it will go through and search through the notes individually (and much slower).

  6. Blair says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the reply. Is there any way that I can confirm that WDS is being used for the tags search? I just tried it again, and it’s still around 5 minutes. Or am I just expecting too much from instant search?

  7. Paul says:

    I’m seeing the same thing on my Show All Tagged Notes page. It takes a long time even though WDS has thoroughly indexed everything in ON. An additional problem I have is that custom notes from ON 2003 are all showing up as "Undefined" in ON 2007.

  8. Was this on OneNote B2 or B2TR?  If it was on B2TR you can submit a bug on Connect and includ the information on how to submit a search bug (see an earlier post on how to do this).

    As for the "Undefined" note flag that was a known bug that has been resolved.

  9. Blair says:

    Olya was kind enough to let me know  ( that this is a known bug in B2TR.

  10. The Dude says:

    What are the privacey implications of InstantSearch? I’d be interested coming from the team themselves.


  11. Leo says:

    For some reason my ONENOTE opens for no apparent reason when I am in  Outlook or on my browser. Why is this and how can I stop it.

  12. henny says:

    my onenote link cannot connect to the address properly. all the link would make a pop up that says "this operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect in this computer. please contact your system administrator"

    how could i fix this kind of problem?

    best regards,

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