With the mac version of OneNote, the files that I attach to a page are always read-only. In the windows version of the software, the files can be modified from within OneNote.

Is this a bug of the mac version, or is this something to do to be able to modify?

1 Answer 1


The files you attach are just copies of the originals. In order to edit the attached files, you must go to the original and edit it there. Once you update the Note, the changes will be reflected. According to Microsoft:

OneNote 2016 for Mac can keep all of your information about any subject or project together in one place — including copies of related files and documents that you can attach to your notes.

Do the following:

  • On any page, click where you want to attach a file or document.

  • On the Insert tab, click File Attachment.

  • In the Choose files to insert dialog box that opens, select one or more files, and then click Insert.

  • Inserted files show up as icons on your page. Double-click any icon to open its file.

IMPORTANT: Inserted file attachments are just copies of the original files. OneNote doesn’t automatically update the copies if the original files change at their source.

  • Thanks for your answer, but for your last sentence, I understand the contrary: it doesn't update the file, so there's no way to update the file?
    – FredericP
    May 9, 2016 at 18:41
  • Sorry, the way I said that was confusing. I meant that if the source file is updated, the only way to see that update in OneNote is to refresh the note with the updated file. Sorry for the confusion.
    – fsb
    May 9, 2016 at 18:48

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