OneNote real-time sync (with OneDrive)?

Tsang Fai

New member
Aug 11, 2014
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I want to use OneOnte 2013 as a virtual whiteboard with my students so that any drawings/text added/deleted to the notebook would be seen by other parties within seconds.

Yes, within seconds, that's my expectation. I mean, not more than 5 seconds.

I just did a test on this as follows:

  1. I have a SP3 and a SP1, both with Office 2013 installed, both connected to the same LAN. (SP3 is wired whereas SP1 is Wifi)
  2. In the SP3, I created a OneNote notebook stored on OneDrive
  3. I then shared the notebook to another person "ABC" (by specifying an e-mail address) with permission "Can edit"
  4. In the SP1, I opened the shared notebook by following the OneDrive link sent to "ABC" e-mail
  5. In both devices, I selected "Sync automatically whenever there are changes" in OneNote 2013
  6. Randomly added/erased/moved drawings/text in the note book

I am quite disappointed that the synchronization typically took more than 10 seconds. Sometime, it sync faster. But in general, more than 10 seconds.

I just wonder am I using OneNote 2013 in the best way to achieve my purpose of "real-time virtual whiteboard"? Is there any thing I can do to make the synchronization much faster?

Or should I use other app (desktop/Windows store) specially for doing this? Any good app to recommend?


New member
Aug 5, 2013
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Did you try using the Modern version of OneNote? At least on your end. It also depends on how many other notebooks are open within OneNote as well as how many other files you have in OneDrive that are being checked for updates.

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