Microsoft launches OneNote for Mac as free download in Mac App Store

Following reports earlier this month that Microsoft was gearing up to launch a Mac version of its OneNote app for the first time, the app is now officially available as a free download in the Mac App Store. Much like its OneNote apps for other platforms, the Mac app brings much of the same functionality allowing users to keep track of notes, lists, receipts and more and keep them synced with other versions of the app across platforms. The app across all platforms is also going free for the first time starting today. 

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While the functionality is similar to what we know from other OneNote apps, the app has of course been given a visual overhaul for OS X (as pictured above).

In addition to launching the free Mac App, Microsoft is also making other versions of OneNote free starting today that will make the service free across platforms including PC, Mac, Windows Phone, iOS, the web, and Android. However, that does not include some premium features such as SharePoint support, version history, and Outlook integration, according to TheVerge. The Mac App Store page for the app also suspiciously states “available for free for a limited time.”

The company also announced a new cloud API that will allow developers to integrate OneNote for easy saving and sharing through the service, a feature that was previously rumored as a web clipping feature and competitor to Evernote.

Key Features:

•Sync your notebooks seamlessly across computers and devices -then share them to your friends, family, or colleagues
•Your notes look just the same on your Mac – including rendering ink annotation and formatting
•Bold, italicize, underline, highlight, increase indent, decrease indent – format your notes like you want in a free form canvas
•Search your notes and files for anything you’ve captured by just typing a keyword or phrase
•Create, move, copy, re-order, rename, color code and delete pages, sections and notebooks to organize your content as you’d like

The OneNote app for Mac is available as free download from the Mac App Store now. Microsoft’s official blog post announcing the new Mac app is here.

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    • Well, it’s cool that the app is available for MAC and iPads, but is severely crippled by not allowing the Mac version to access SharePoint hosted notebooks. Odd, the iPad version does support.

      Has MS scheduled this support? What about password protected notebooks for both iPad and Mac versions?

  1. mockery17 - 9 years ago

    I HATE the Ribbon. But I’m glad it’s finally here.

    • robkelleher - 9 years ago

      +1. They tell us it has the “first class editing experience you’ve come to expect from Office.” Who are they kidding? The ribbon is fatally flawed and is a poor attempt at an intuitive interface.

  2. Stevo (@SteveNoisy) - 9 years ago

    Comparing the interface of this to the current Office Mac 2011, this is MUCH nicer. Cleaner, less cluttered look. The goofy icons of Office 2011 are gone. And finally, the interface matches that of the Windows version.

  3. You know… I’m a bit torn about this. Before I made the switch back to Mac I was an avid OneNote user. When I made the switch I was disappointed that this one app wasn’t available. That’s when I discovered Evernote and I’ve been happy ever since. Although I missed the “put it where you want to” layout ability of OneNote… I adapted. Now that it’s here… I feel like a jilted lover who is being teased! I can have back the free flowing layouts, but everything won’t be in one app! The Evernote elephant that hangs out at the top of my screen letting me take quick notes and screenshots whispers, “I’m better” while OneNote says, “I can sync too!”

    I don’t like using two apps that have similar purposes yet both apps are different at the same time. **shrug** Guess I’ll wait on the reviews of others before I ponder this any further.


  5. sardonick - 9 years ago

    Evernote just got uninstalled.

    • I wouldn’t do that just yet if I were you. I just tested it and found the following:
      1) When taking a picture you can’t designate it as a document which would make it a searchable PDF in Evernote.
      2) It does not record audio.

      These are two areas that I use Evernote for all the time.
      So… Maybe One Note will be for research and then export to Evernote (pdf?) for permanent archiving.

      • sardonick - 9 years ago

        Yea, I’ve noticed several limitations so far, which hopefully will get ironed out. Emailing from an approved account will input the email body, but no graphics. Embedded files will show up and you can “copy” somewhere else but not open directly from within OneNote. No drag and drop image or file capability. All in all, I’m still glad it’s here and hope they support it. If they don’t, well meh. It’s free, does what I need, and it’s a step in the right direction. Albeit a tiny, little, itsy bits baby step. :)

  6. robertvarga79 - 9 years ago

    Thank you, but good to be MS free

  7. Kieran Navickas - 9 years ago

    Why do I need this?

  8. Gregory Wright - 9 years ago

    That’s a hefty download, 235MB.

    • thejuanald - 9 years ago

      I’ve had printer drivers for my Macbook Air larger than that. If you think 235MB is hefty, you’re out of touch.

  9. Ten9, Inc (@ten9inc) - 9 years ago

    I loved OneNote when I was a Windows user. The layout and editing options are much better than Evernote’s, in my opinion. Needless to say, I was excited to hear OneNote was finally coming to Mac.

    However, until they add a specific feature to the Mac and iOS versions of OneNote, I cannot switch back to OneNote from Evernote. I have lots of password-protected notes and the OneNote app – both iOS and Mac – cannot access them. This is a major issue for me and I will not be able to use OneNote until Microsoft fixes this glaring omission.

  10. Better download now to save for a rainy day, then delete it if u don’t need it so it stays in your downloaded history. Such is the beauty of the Mac App store – one time “purchase” for every mac you have.

  11. Just testing the One Note.
    Images is not showing up. Just as a frame with a red X in upper left corner.
    Think I stick to Evernote for no.

    • Hi,

      I am Anbin from OneNote team.

      First of all, thank you for trying out OneNote for Mac!

      We are currently investigating this issue. It would be great if you could help us by providing some additional information. This will help us narrow down the issue.

      1) What is the image format you are trying to insert?
      2) What is the file size of image?
      3) What is the image resolution?
      4) If possible, could you provide us with a link to the image?

      Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience.

      • Strange….
        Installed One Note on my Office iMac today – and then it’s no problem with images (JPG). Well, then there probably is a local problem on my MacBook Pro.

      • It’s great that OneNote works on your iMac!

        If it is not too much trouble, please try to insert images again in your MacBook Pro and see if the issue still exists. If it does, it would be great if you could give us a link to them image. That would really helpful to debug the issue.

        Thanks again for trying out OneNote for Mac.

      • Andreas Becker - 9 years ago

        I got the same problem on my Mac Book Pro. No images show up only a red x.

      • I am sorry about that. We are investigating this issue but we need more information. It would be great if you could provide a link to that image.

  12. Jonathan Lunt - 9 years ago

    Uh… no printing? Quote from help:

    Can I print in OneNote for Mac
    Article Sorry, You can’t print notebooks with this version of OneNote for Mac.

    That’s a bit of a bombshell then.

  13. hobochangbao - 9 years ago

    Is everyone else missing password protection in the mac version?

  14. Anoop Menon - 9 years ago

    Looks nice.. downloading

  15. Vic (@vbroido) - 9 years ago

    Looks good on the Mac and iOS but am I missing something or there is no way to delete or rename a Notebook?

  16. carpetbomberz - 9 years ago

    I’ve got the Office 2013 OneNote install on Win8 within a Virtual Box VM and now the Mac native version. And there’s definitely some vast differences between the too. Just menu-wise there’s many fewer menu options. And that’s just for starters. Toolbars are missing a lot of the tools ribbon the PC version has. But I can open/edit my collection of notebooks now without having launch my VirtualBox VM. And that’s a plus for me.

  17. retiredflyer - 9 years ago

    Worked fine ont Mac Pro until I installed on the iPhone and iPad. The test Notebook I had entered on the Mac showed up fine on both IOS devices. However, when I went back to the Mac OneNote crashed about eight seconds after launch. I deleted and reinstalled OneNote on the Mac. No change. Deleted and reinstalled OneDrive. No change. Deleted the notebook on the web site. No change. So, for now I have to abandoned the use of of OneNote as the Mac application is key for me.

  18. Tømm Måtthîs - 9 years ago

    Same here… worked fine on Mac Pro 2013, but after installing for iphone/ipad it crashes after start.
    Have deleted the app, deleted the associated /usr/Library/Group Container/ killed the SIG process and reinstalled *twice*. Still crashes.

    Really MS, should have fixed this bug by now.

  19. Nicholas Morss - 9 years ago

    Same post iPad usage crashing here also. This is a fundamental feature i reckon!? was quite liking it up till this point…

  20. Paul Seymour - 9 years ago

    I was contemplating using it as a tool for publishing but it lacks three critical features:
    1) No printing
    2)No ability to save as .RTF (a lot of publishers require this)
    3) No ability to compile notes
    4)not able to export to other programs

  21. Paul Seymour - 9 years ago

    I meant 4 issues

  22. Bill Morey - 9 years ago

    I use MagicalPad which is a similar app for the mac and iPad, It has some unique features that makes it better for me. Mind mapping and task management are more robust. Check out MagicalPad on the mac app store.

  23. Cel Rodriguez - 8 years ago

    the PC version has the option of audio recording and video recording, which I can’t seem to find in OneNote for Mac. Is there anyone who could help me on this?


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.