How to get OneNote Web Sync set up properly with Win Phone 7 – serious error 80040154

I was trying out the new OneNote on my phone, looking at how I could get to a point where all of my computers and the phone were able to see the same OneNote notebooks.

The phone auto-creates a new notebook called “Personal (Web)” and a section called Unfiled Notes (or some rubbish) when you first open OneNote on the mobile and indicate you want to sync to SkyDrive. Once I had hooked the same new notebook to the computer, I started creating some new sections and deleting existing pages – this is when things got unstuck. At this time it seems WP7 does not really like changes to Notebook or section names and cracks it big-time when you do it using the thick client. You start seeing messages when you try to sync like “serious error 80040154” and stuff. Hmmm… has the shine already disappeared from my new phone? No way!

OneNote support is driven through Facebook (yep) and they’re pretty quick to respond – They pointed me to an article saying “Don’t do itSmile

  • To ensure that this notebook synchronises properly to Windows Live SkyDrive, do not change the default notebook name from Personal (Web) and don’t change the name of the Unfiled Notes section in the notebook.

Nice! It’s pretty easy to fix though, so here goes…

  1. Open your phone’s browser and go to
  2. Navigate to and click on another notebook you are syncing through your skydrive (If you do not have one, create one. Give it a funky name like “Alien Invaders” or “Disco Duckies” or something)
  3. Pick a notebook section to be the Default by going to the Home Menu and clicking the Office Tile –> OneNote –> all –> Notebooks, then hold down the section you want for the context menu to come up and choose “Set As Default”
  4. Click the trashcan and choose the “Personal (Web)” notebook to trash.

You can now successfully sync and update pages on both environments.

It also looks like the team have made some recent changes to either the service or the Thick Client app – I’ve tried changing the Section names since then for the notebooks published to the web and I can no longer do so. Temporary fix? Hopefully – I like renaming my sections…


About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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2 Responses to How to get OneNote Web Sync set up properly with Win Phone 7 – serious error 80040154

  1. PHenry says:

    This is awesome! Thank you very much. I tried this tonight for the first time. Awesome!

    But I have one question. How do I get OneNote notes I created on the phone onto the Live site to partake in the syncing?

    • Brad Saide says:

      Hey Henry.
      The only way to do this is to connect to the phone’s notebook with the OneNote Thick Client app on your PC, then move the sections around as you need – then hook up the phone to the notebook you want to sync with, and finally delete your phone notebook if you’re no longer using it.

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