How to open .one files on MAC and Windows computers?

Here is a question we received some time ago from a reader struggling to read a Onenote files on macOS:

I have received a bunch of .one files from my colleagues as attachments to an Outlook email. The challenge is that I don’t know how to open these files and I don’t find a compatible program to launch those. What are these files? How do I open it?

Thanks for the question. Let’s see how we go about helping you read OneNote files on macOS and your Windows personal computer.

What are .one files?

First things first: the .one format represents notebook files used in Microsoft OneNote, which is Microsoft’s solution for note taking, sharing and collaboration. Microsoft Office suites for Windows ships OneNote since version 2013. Office for macOS also ships it as part of Office 365.

How to read the .one file extension?

First off, either on MAC or PC look into your computer Apps and programs list to see if OneNote is already installed on your computer. If you are already using Office 365, good chances it is.

If OneNote is not installed, then you can get it for free from the Microsoft site (requires Windows 7/8/10/11 and Yosemite 10.10 or later). Once installed, you can go ahead and open your file.

What if i can’t install software on my PC?

If you work for a corporate, good chances are that you might not have permissions to install software on your computer, and OneNote will be no exception.

That said, you could use several alternative solution to view access your Onenote file on macOS:

#1 – Use the Web version of OneNote

Office 365 online ships also a web version of Onenote. If you don’t have a Microsoft Office account, you should first create one.

Your next step would be to save your .one file into OneDrive and open it with web version of OneNote 365. This should be your preferred course of action in case no software installs are possible.

If you are using Microsoft Teams, you have OneNote available there as well.

#2 – Convert to Word (.doc/.docx) files or PDF files

There is a template in the Apple/Mac version of Office 2010 for Word. So you can convert .one files to .doc or .docx files and use Apple version of Office 2010 to read those files. This can be done by saving your files in OneNote with .doc or .docx extension by choosing the “Save As” format. You can also save it with PDF format so you can use a PDF reader in a MAC to read the files.

#3 – Convert to HTML

You can export OneNote files in a very easy and understandable HTML format by using this OneNote Web Explorer plugin. You can find a small word like icon in the top navigation menu once you have installed this plugin and click on it to convert to HTML.

#4 – Use Evernote

You can also import .one files into Evernote and read .one files using this application. All  you need to do is login to Evernote and import files from OneNote by  hitting File –> Import –> Microsoft OneNote. A wizard will then guide you through the import process.

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