6 Methods to Velocity Up Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is one of the most versatile programs in Microsoft 365. Many people like to use it as a planner, organizer, or creative tool. The problem is it can be a little slow, especially if you're running it on a laptop or other low-power computer.

Fortunately, there are ways to speed this up. Try these six tips to make OneNote faster.

1. Disable graphics acceleration

The easiest way to fix the OneNote lag is to turn off hardware graphics acceleration. This feature allows OneNote to use your computer's hardware and software to operate its functions. Unfortunately, this extra load can slow down your computer on computers with poor or medium graphics hardware.

Unfortunately, this option is not available on the Mac. To turn off hardware graphics acceleration in Windows, first open OneNote. Then go to file > Options > Progressive and look under the advertisement Heading. Disable hardware graphics acceleration should be there. Finally, check the box to speed up the program.

You can make things even faster by turning off animations in Windows. Press Win + u the open Ease of access Menu. Choose there advertisement and turn off Show animations in Windows.

2. Reduce background activity

OneNote also does a lot of background activities to keep its wide range of features ready. Even if you don't click anything, OneNote is still working on optimizing and processing information. For example, OneNote prepares to convert handwritten words to text just in case you want to use that feature.

If you have the Windows version of OneNote, you can do this background activity under the Battery options in file > Options > Progressive. For best results, choose Maximum battery life. You can also disable it automatic handwriting recognition under the Pen Header if you are not using handwriting.

The last speed boost option in the Progressive Menu is automatic text recognition. This option is a Windows exclusive feature that translates images of words into actual text. OneNote does this in the background instead of waiting for you to enable this feature. Turn it off under file > Options > Progressive > Text recognition in images.

If you're not worried about storage space, you can also reduce or disable optimization. OneNote scans inactive files to reduce their file size, but a file is considered inactive when you're not using it, even if it's technically still open.

To reduce this extra load on your computer, go to file > Options > Save and secure. You can reduce the frequency of this optimization or deactivate it entirely.

3. Turn off automatic synchronization

As useful as automatic sync is, it can really slow you down when you have a weak internet connection. You can do without them if you remember well to save yourself. You can also reduce the number of times OneNote tries to sync. This would make the slowdown less likely.

On Windows this option is under file > Options > Synchronize. Mac users cannot turn off auto sync. Here you can have OneNote update all notebooks less frequently (the default is one week). You can also turn off downloading of files and pictures embedded in your notebook. This will make the synchronization faster.

4. Avoid large embedded files

When you embed a large picture in OneNote, the program has to load and process the entire picture, even if you shrink or crop it. This works not only when the page loads, but whenever you or a background process interact with it.

You can make OneNote faster by adjusting the file size before inserting it. As the video above shows, you can do this in Microsoft Paint without losing too much image quality. Remember, the less OneNote loads, the faster your pages will render.

5. Repair corrupted cache files

If OneNote is still lagging, there might be some corrupt files in the cache. A cache is a collection of temporary files that a program can use to work more efficiently. It's like filling out a template every time instead of writing from scratch every time. However, if any of these temporary files contain an error, it could cause problems for the program.

The good news is this is easy to solve. You just clear the cache and OneNote will generate a new set of clean files the next time you start it. Although the cache is different from your saved notebooks, you should still sync your notebooks to the cloud first to make sure nothing is lost.

You can clear the cache by finding the OneNote folder. In Windows 10 it is located under C: Users username AppData Local Microsoft OneNote 16.0. Don't forget to switch Username on your own username!

If you're using a Mac, open finder. Go to ~ / Library / Container / Microsoft OneNote / Data and delete cache files that end with .Container. If you have OneNote Gem's Gem menu for OneNote, the easier way to access the cache is by using the Gem menu and select Cache folder.

If you're still having problems and OneNote is running on Windows, you can try repairing the software. You can find this option in the Settings menu. Go to settings > Apps and find OneNote in the list. Click it once to expand the menu, then select Expanded options.

This will open a new menu. Scroll down until you find the option to repair and select it. If that doesn't fix the delay then you can try Reset to default, but make sure to back up your notebooks to local storage first.

Enjoy a faster OneNote again

By reducing unnecessary graphics enhancements and background activity, you can enjoy OneNote without lags or freezes. If these don't solve your speed problems, it is very easy to repair the program or delete damaged files.

When running at normal speed, OneNote is a very versatile program. You can use it for all kinds of projects, so experiment with it! You can use it as a multimedia organizer, journal, or even a planner.

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About the author

Natalie Stewart
(53 articles published)

Natalie Stewart is a writer for MakeUseOf. She first became interested in technology in college and developed a passion for media writing in college. Natalie's focus is on accessible and easy-to-use technology and she loves apps and devices that make everyday life easier.

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By Natalie Stewart

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