You don’t need to micromanage the recycle bin in OneNote

A few months ago I wrote a tip about emptying the Recycle Bin to save space (

While that is valid, there are a couple of points that have been mentioned by readers since then that I want to share.

First, as pointed out by Chip at the original article, the Recycle Bin icon was under the Share tab for OneNote 2010.  I need point out that you can get the free version of OneNote 2013 over at if you want the new UI.

Also, some of the clients do not show the Recycle Bin at all.  I got an email asking how to delete items in this case, and the answer is you don't really need to worry about it.  After 60 days, the old items will get emptied automatically so you do not need to micromanage this little detail if you do not want to.  If you want to see what is there, you can get the free Windows version of OneNote, though, and just check on things.

I hope this clears some of this up.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

Comments (7)

  1. Stephen T. says:

    I'm currently trying to recover from "Onenote never completes sync" problems that are likely due to Roaming Profile, too many back versions, etc. What we really need to know is how best to manage the cache, back versions, recycle bin, esp. from huge pages of photos (deleted) — gumming up the user space.

    Deleting versions works ok in general except for very active sections with multiple users. Still trying to get a Quick Notes section to complete deletion. The user space on the roaming profiles was over 20 Gbyte.

  2. JohnGuin says:

    I'll let the team that owns Roaming know about this.  Thanks for the report.

  3. Jamie L says:

    John – There is new functionality with the Surface Pro 3 to customize the Pen "click" actions – double-click to screen cap, single-click to open a new note.

    The ability to choose which OneNote to open (Windows 8-style or Desktop) is available in "Click-to-Run" versions of OneNote, and the version available at It is not available on the .iso installer version.

    How do you manage testing across these different versions of Windows, for Quality control items like this?

  4. JohnGuin says:

    Test matrices – that is a subject about which I could write a book.  Essentially, you have to track all supported OS versions, different processors(ARM and Intel nowadays, used to be Intel and DEC), and hardware configurations (screen size, pen types, etc..).  Then you get into testing patched and unpatched systems.  For a  variety of reasons we have to test with "mismatched" dlls and exes which is easier to get into if you have an ISO installation.  Click to Run prevents all this but it is still a supported configuration.  We test for app correctness, UI is correct and (obviously) build verifications in case functionality one component supports is not available with an older, non-upgraded, component.  And as usual, we rely heavily on automation.

    This is a traditionally very detail oriented task but is part of the testing process.  It takes a relatively large amount of effort to maintain these types of installs but it is part of the support we provide.

  5. Jochen K. says:

    Hi John,

    great blog… glad I came accross this. In connection to the statement: "I need point out that you can get the free version of OneNote 2013 over at if you want the new UI."

    Wow… why… are there any catches? Sorry for my suspicion, but free OneNote 2013 on all my devices would be like Xmas in July. Can't find much on though on limitations.

    Thanks for your view on this,


  6. JohnGuin says:

    Think of it like "Christmas in July."  🙂  Seriously, we (Microsoft) are in the mindset of obsessing about the customer so are working on pleasing the customer and this is part of that effort.

    The free versions don't have 100% of the feature set the pay version has (like password protected sections) so if you need that you will probably want to purchase Office.  But for most consumers, the free versions should be good to go.

    Let us know!

    And what are you trying to find on that is not easy to find?  Any details here would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Jochen K. says:

    Awesome… I am thrilled. Thank you very much for the reply.

    What I want (or better wanted) to know e.g. are the "limitations", if I can use this "free" version only for private use, if there is an expiration for this or a comparison between this "free" version and e.g. Office 365. Password protection was a key word to look for… 🙂

    On the site…/onenote at the bottom, I found a section called "Get premium OneNote features and more with Office 365".  This explains the differences. I kind of left the site though, I found it due to your key word, and in IMHO this text is not catchy for the eye. I like a table where it's compared more obvious. I realize that many newer web-sites follow a different approach to convey information.

    I personally are very happy and I am helped. The free OneNote (for the time being) fulfills my needs very well, the feature set is awesome and, I may say, I've uninstalled Evernote from my systems…

    Many thanks for your help,


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