OneNote UWP 0xE00000641 issue (don’t launch) – solved

Error 0xE0000641 – OneNote can’t create a notebook at the following location (empty !)

The symptom :

  • On a brand new machine (or refreshed’ one), OneNote UWP won’t launch, exhibiting the error message above (Error code 0xE0000641) upon opening ;
  • All notebooks were still available through OneNote Online, OneNote desktop or OneNote mobile, on other devices previously used (i.e. that has already connected to my notebooks).

 

This issue arose after I had to factory reset a SP4 (after a new release of Windows – for Insiders – got me into trouble, and forced me to perform a clean install). When everything was set up (login with Microsoft account, setting OneDrive…) I launched OneNote UWP and got the error message pictured above : at this point of time, there was not much to do except closing the window exhibiting the error message.

Removing/re-installing OneNote (Get-AppxPackage *onenote* | Remove-AppxPackage) didn’t solve the issue.

On any other computer, where I logged in for the first time with my Microsoft account (i.e. not previously used by me), I got the same problem.

Then, I knew the issue was not specific to a device, but was instead related to the specifics of OneNote UWP (the way the notebook are stored, their file format, or whatever), and it’s cloud storage (and/or OneDrive).

The solution :

  • After many trials, and Microsoft OneNote product team tracking actively the issue, it appears that this was caused by a folder having the same name that OneNote was attempting to create a new notebook, upon first opening of OneNote UWP ; All it takes is renaming this folder, then ;
  • in my case, despite the fact I was not yet aware of this root cause, I was able to overcome this issue going into OneNote Online, and creating a new notebook called “Ordinateur portable de <first name>” or “Mon bloc-notes” (since my Windows / Microsoft account is in French, that’s the notebook’ name I had to use : it may be different in your country/language : you may need to use the exact name of the original notebook that opened the first time you used OneNote) .

Since this issue is difficult to reproduce, the trouble shooting above may lack some details. If you experience it, take some screen shots of your OneDrive folder’ structure in order to better document your settings, and improve the guidance offered here. Thanks !

Updated 30/01 : updated after OneNote product team further tracked down this issue, and shared this elegant solution with me. Thanks !

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