Syncing custom OneNote notebooks on Windows Phone 7
By on March 20th, 2011


Chances are that if you try to put pretty names for your default notebook in OneNote in the Office hub on your Windows Phone 7 device – Personal (Web) – and the default section – Unfiled Notes – you’d mess up the syncing with your Windows Live ID. At least, I did. More than once.

You’d mess up the syncing of your default notebook with the associated Windows Live ID if you move, rename, or delete it or any section of the same.

Result: Can’t synchronise
Your phone doesn’t have a connection to the server. Check your connection and try synchronising again.
Error Code = 80aa003a

Even if you want to start fresh now, you’d not be able to delete the erred notebook, with OneNote prompting you to set a section in some other notebook as default first (But there is no other notebook!) before you can delete this one.

Can’t delete.
This notebook contains the section where default notes go.

Here’s what you need to do a reset. Create a new notebook, set it up for sync, and remove the older, messed up one.

  • Visit on your PC and create the notebook (within the browser via Office Web App or OneNote installed on the PC) with your preferred name and structure. This is the one that you intend to set up as the default notebook.
  • Once this is done, visit on your phone.  Navigate to the notebook we just created, and open it. It will open in OneNote Mobile. 
  • Within this notebook, set one of the sections as default. 

Once these steps are done, you can delete the old/original notebook.


Hat tip to couple of folks at Microsoft:
Jonathan Wise (Global ISV Partner Team) and Bharath Tumu (Office Mobile)

Author: Abhishek Baxi
Abhishek Baxi is an independent technology columnist for several international publications and a digital consultant. He speaks incessantly on Twitter (@baxiabhishek) and dons the role of Editor-in-Chief here at Techie Buzz.

Abhishek Baxi has written and can be contacted at

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