Password Protecting a Section in OneNote

OneNote: Password Protected Section

We have a special treat coming up as we have several presenters around the division sharing with us how they use OneNote in their daily work lives.

In preparation for the presentation, I had asked each presenter to share their OneNote file with me so that I could have them all available on my laptop as we presented today. I knew the enormity of what I was asking, as they were sharing their notebooks with me, some parts of which were very much confidential. The fact that my colleagues were willing to trust me with their very private documents was very humbling, and also a little scary, both for them and for me.

I was afraid I would accidentally reveal one of their private pages to the audience and that would not be good at all. Thankfully, OneNote has a way to protect sections of a document from prying eyes, and it’s actually very easy to do.

How to password protect a section in your OneNote

Simply right-click on the name of the section, and choose Password Protect This Section.

OneNote: Password Protect this Section

A panel will appear on the right hand side.

Click the Set Password button to set the password.

OneNote: Set Password

Please be aware that if you forget your password, there is no way for anyone to retrieve the information from this section, so be sure you use a familiar password.

OneNote: Password Protection Screen

Setting the password doesn’t actually lock that section from being seen. You then also need to click the Lock All button for those sections to be locked. They are locked from you as well as any other user.

OneNote: Password Protection Panel

You will need to hit Enter, or click on the text in the locked section in order to display the password screen to show the section.

OneNote: Password Protected Section

You can keep the password on the section for as long as you want, or you can use the Remove Password button to remove it. You will again be asked to enter the password, and then you will have unlocked your section completely.


  • You might not be able to view password protected sections on all devices.
  • Audio and Video recordings aren’t protected in the OneNote 2007 section format.
  • To search password protected sections, you need to unlock them first.

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