How to Record Audio and or Video with Microsoft OneNote

I own a Surface Pro and been discovering the power of Microsoft OneNote. Here’s a look at how to record audio or video with it while in class or a meeting.

Since I got my new Surface Pro, I have been discovering the power of Microsoft OneNote. The app has been around for a long time, but my use of it has been experimental over the years. Much of my note keeping has been limited to the physical notepad and the digital notepad app that comes bundled with Windows. I have hundreds of text files stored that I use for references and reminders. It’s not an effective productivity tool, but it has worked up until now I guess. I recently attended the 2015 Microsoft MVP summit and one app I saw many people using on their tablet was OneNote. This gave me the idea to write an article detailing the benefits of using OneNote to capture content whether its handwritten notes, text, videos or audio.

Record Audio or Video with Microsoft OneNote

First, you need to have the OneNote desktop or Universal app installed, you can download it for free from Microsoft here. Once you have OneNote installed, fire it up. Another task I would suggest you complete is set up a Microsoft Account, so you can have access to your OneNote sections on virtually every device platform including OS X, iPhone or iPad, Android, Windows Phone, or OneDrive and keep them synced.

Download OneNote

OneNote can be a handy tool if you regularly attend meetings, classes or lectures. If you don’t see yourself in that group, OneNote can be used to capture information from other sources. You could use it to capture events such as a football game if you are a coach. Or even recitals, trips/vacations, and create a scrapbook if you wish. For this article, we are going to look at two specific features of OneNote, recording audio and capturing video.

Record Audio

Meetings tend to involve a lot of oral communication; capturing information by handwriting or typing can be boring and tiresome. With OneNote, all you need to do is use the Record Audio function. Audio is automatically captured and stored within a OneNote Section. Here is how you do that:

Click the Insert tab and in the Recording group select the Record audio button.

OneNote Recording

OneNote will begin recording audio. You can monitor the length of the audio from within the contextual Audio & Video tab within the Playback group. Click Stop when you are finished.

Audio 2

To play back the audio you recorded, point your mouse next to the clip file in the section and click Play.

Audio 4

Record Video

Recording video is just as easy. Click the Insert tab and click the Record video button.

Audio 1

You can monitor the recording from within the contextual Audio & Video tab. If you want, you can even pause the recording (same for audio), so if something confidential/off the record is being discussed, you can leave that out and resume recording.

recording video

When you are ready to playback your video, just hover the file icon in the section then click the Play button on the context menu.

Video 3

If you would like to export your audio or video recording from OneNote, just right-click the file and click Save As and choose where you would like to save it.

export audio or video

OneNote is certainly a powerful and robust tool if you want to capture information beyond plain text files. Do you use OneNote? Leave a comment below and let us know.



  1. Lillie  

    Thanks Andre,
    This app will be particularly useful in organizing my research and a helpful tool for students.


  2. Gwyneth Walton  

    I have a Surface Pro 3 and do not see anywhere to click on Record. I have in my insert only Table, FIle, Camera, Picture and link. Any suggestions?

  3. calling all toasters  

    None of those features exist on the desktop app. No recording video, no recording audio, etc. Hardly any commands at all.

    • I am using OneNote 2016. Make sure you are not using the Modern version of OneNote.

      • calling all toasters  

        Thanks, Andre, but I have no idea whether I have the Modern version or not, or even what a Modern version is. I am simply using the forced upgrade to Office 365 that Microsoft installed on my Windows 10 PC. One day I opened OneNote and my files were hidden and the functionality was gone.

        • calling all toasters  

          Oh, hey, found it. Apparently you have to go through “all apps” to install OneNote 2016. Unlike the other Office apps. Unlike every other app, ever. I still can’t get rid of the Metro/Modern/Mobile/Moronic app, but whatever. The real program goes on the taskbar.

          Anyway, thanks for your reassurance that it does, in fact, exist.

          • Dianna Solmes  

            Where is “all apps”? I can’t find it.

      • Bryan  

        Hi, none of this features exist on the android version of OneNote. If I use a webcam on my laptop with OneNote2016, will it still record?

  4. bob  

    Why don’t I have the recording button on onenote when I click insert?

  5. rjames9878  

    By using the OneNote 2016 video feature and a USB AV capture device (mine cost only $18.00) connected to a camcorder you can use a Windows 10 Tablet as a live monitor. There is an AV settings option to change from the default native webcam to a external webcam or camcorder. You also can change the AV quality settings.

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