Creating a link to a OneNote page on the desktop

One of the blogs I linked to is gone, so I decided I should update the directions for those folks that want to create a shortcut to a OneNote page and drop it on the desktop. It’s not that hard but does require one little trick, so here goes.

First, right click the page tab of the page you want to link. Select Copy link to page.

Now start notepad and paste into it.

When you do this, you will see 2 links got put on the clipboard. (There will only be one if your notebook is stored on your local hard drive). The first link starts with https:// and the second starts with onenote:https://

This is the tricky bit. The first link is just a regular hyperlink that will open in a browser. If we click it (assume we can click it in notepad), the browser will start and open the page in the web client. Nothing special here.

The second link is the one we want, though. That uses the onenote: protocol, and if we (could) click it, OneNote would open and navigate to that page.

For the page I want to link, I see this when I paste to notepad:^5Web^6?cid=MYCID&id=documents?&


So what I want to do is copy that second link. So I just select all that text and copy.

Now I right click on my desktop and select New | Shortcut, like this:


Where it asks for the location of the item, I paste the onenote: uri


Then I give it a name. I’ll name it the same as the page name in OneNote – Tyler Winning. When I finish, I get this shortcut on my desktop:


And when I click it, OneNote will go to that page.

Nifty little trick.

If I don’t care about starting OneNote and just want a link for the browser, I can just paste the link from the page without going through notepad. That will use the first url which in this case is the https:// link, and it will open that page in a browser. Also, the icon will be a browser icon for the shortcut, not the OneNote icon.

This pretty much puts you on the track to being a OneNote power user, too, so I encourage you to jump in and give it a try.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (18)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I like being able to do this. It occurred to me that (perhaps for a future version of OneNote) a drag-and-drop feature (from Notebook title, Tab, or Page) to a shortcut would be a nice idea.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, as usual. 🙂

  2. raufatay says:

    Or use Pin to Desktop feature of Onetastic:

  3. Anonymous says:

    Still having an issue that on my Surface Pro the link will only open the metro app and not the full version. Any ideas for a workaround?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Edit: Figured it out. Was using "PC settings" instead of control panel… I think that might be one of the confusing bits of Win 8- the parallel functions of the normal 0S against the metro 0S. Anyway, lesson learnt.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your tip. But could you provide a little bit more explanation? For what purpose did you use the control panel instead of "PC settings"? I'm having the same poblem with my Surface Pro 2

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! This was very helpful.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This topic is related to linking from one Onenote Notebook page to another.

    I'd like to paste the link to a page in another notebook page as I did before the cloud and have the link go to the desktop notebook rather than a browser.  But it always goes to the browser.   Is anyone else having this problem?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Can you paste to notepad after you copy the link?  If so, you might see two links – one that starts with http:  (for the browser).  The second link is a onenote:// link – that will cause Windows to use OneNote.  

    Where are you pasting the link (other than notepad)?  Word? Email?  OneNote?  Someplace else?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for posting this.

    Doesn't work this way for Windows 7 with Office 365.  

    For the second address it can't find the file.  

    For the first address it takes me to OneNote Online, which  works sometimes.  Other times it tries to sell me OneNote over and over.

  10. JohnGuin says:

    What do the links looks like?  Can you email me the links (use the contact link in the upper right)?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great tip! Just what I needed. Now, in conjunction with an autohotkey hot key, I can access my priority list extremely easily!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a lot, Microsoft should of do it

  13. Anonymous says:

    This worked perfectly for me. Your instructions were spot-on. Thanks so much.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Doesnt worked for me. Win 8.1 and OneNote 2013… it says it cant find the file 🙁

  15. DW says:

    Thanks!  Works for me on Win 10 / OneNote 2013 (Make sure you use the 2nd address like instructed!!)

  16. Melanie Moore says:

    Perfect! Thank you!

    Takes too long on my barebones Asus Streamer type laptop to open up the entire program, but that link popped the notebook I wanted up in five seconds. Very nice.

    Would almost rather have a folder of each individual notebook shortcut than navigate to each one all the time.

    Much appreciated!

  17. Rupert says:

    Great tip, thank you.

    I use lots of links, bookmarks etc throughout my files and since transitioning to OneNote, I've ended up with plenty of notes linking from onenote pages to docs and data stored elsewhere, but not the other way around.

    This has helped join things up nicely!

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