Windows 10: A workaround for the Office Insiders ‘Print to OneNote 2016’ problem

Office Insiders and Windows on Arm users can't use the OneNote 2016 printer driver right now. Here's a workaround I've been using.
Written by Mary Branscombe, Contributor

If you use the desktop version of OneNote, you can print PDFs, presentations and other documents into OneNote as an image by choosing Send to OneNote 2016 in the print dialog. Recently, that option stopped working for some Windows 10 users on the Office Insider ring. The driver still shows up, but it's called Send to OneNote and it prints to the Store OneNote app – which already has its own printer driver in the printer list, named just OneNote. So you have two printers for the Store app and none for the desktop app.

Microsoft will be releasing a fix through Office Update for this soon, but in the mean time I've been using this workaround to print documents to OneNote 2016.

You can manually install the old version of the driver, but that just gives you an error message when you try to print. Instead, you need to go to Printers & scanners in Settings, click on the Send to OneNote driver and choose Manage, then choose Printer properties and go to the Advanced tab.

Advanced printer settings dialog with the OneNote 2016 driver selected

Change the driver settings for the Send to OneNote 2016 printer driver, so it opens the right version of OneNote.

Mary Branscombe

In the Driver dropdown, change the driver to Send to Microsoft OneNote 16 Driver.

Now, when you choose Send to OneNote, Windows will try to print to both the Store version and the desktop version at once. Cancel the print dialog in the Store version of OneNote when it opens, and then tell OneNote 2016 which notebook to put the printout in as normal.

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)    

There isn't a workaround for Windows on Arm users; the Send to OneNote 2016 driver doesn't install at all when you install the desktop version of OneNote as I discovered when I recently started using a Surface Pro X. You can't install the print driver manually because it's never been compiled for ARM64. Microsoft is planning to do that, but we don't know how quickly it will be available.

If you're just getting started with OneNote on a Windows on Arm system like Surface Pro X, make sure to restart after installing the OneNote web clipper; I didn't see all the options appear until after I did that (and make sure you've updated to Windows 10 1909; the Surface Pro X I bought in February still had 1903 pre-installed).

But while I was getting the OneNote web clipper working, I did notice a nice new feature in Bing's image search results. When you select an image, as well as being able to share it on Facebook or Twitter or pin it on Pinterest, you can now send it straight to OneNote. Just scroll a little further down the list of share targets. 

An image in Bing search with a list of icons for services and sites you can share to

The Share list for Bing images now includes OneNote.

Mary Branscombe
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