I‘m a longtime fan of Evernote. And while this post is about Outlook and Onenote 2016,
I really have to say that until recently, Evernote was actually my number one choice for note taking app.

However, due to the fact that Evernote doesn’t support right-to-left notes (for the life of me, I just cannot understand how this is possible in 2016), and to the fact that even manually editing the notes HTML code to support RTL doesn’t work anymore, I’ve decided to give OneNote a try as an Evernote alternative.

The fact that in addition to RTL support, OneNote is now free, and has a decent mobile app definitely contributed to my decision.

While the comparison between the two note taking solutions is a subject for another post, in this post I will focus on one major issue that I came across while switching to OneNote – This is the fact that OneNote buttons were missing from my Outlook app, making it impossible to share meeting agenda, or notes, as well as other OneNote tasks from Outlook.

You see, when OneNote installed without issues, OneNote icons is added to Outlook main ribbon and meeting ribbon, as shown in the following images

However, the icons were missing from my ribbons,

Most of the answers I found online were useless, and didn’t have anything to do with the 2016 version.
After investigating for a while I found that OneNote button for Outlook are actually  based on Outlook COM add-in that for some reason was missing.

Comparison images: Working and non working OneNote buttons in outlook.


Option 1

(Most likely will not work, but worth a shot as it is a short process, with some chance of fixing the problem)

The first option is to register the dll manually. The command is a bit different between 32bit and 64bit computers but the process is the same

  1. Make sure all your office applications are closed
  2. Open a command prompt as administrator
  3. Use regsrv32 to registrer the dll
    1. On 32bit computers or 64bit computers with 64bit version of office installed, type
      regsrv32 “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\ONBttnOL.dll”
    2. On 64bit computers running 32bit of Office installed, type
      regsrv32 “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\ONBttnOL.dll”
  4. Hit Enter
  5. Open Outlook and look out for OneNote buttons.
    If you found them – great, case closed! If not, move on to option 2 

Option 2

Well, I’m sorry, you are not going to like it, but the easiest way to restore OneNote buttons in Outlook is to remove Office completely and install it again. And when I say Completely I mean don’t just remove it from the control panel, I also mean use the official Microsoft office removal tool.

  1. Close all your office apps
  2. Open control panel, go to software, then uninstall Office 2016
  3. Visit this page and download the official Office removal tool.
  4. Run the tool and restart your computer once finished.
  5. Re-install Office 2016 from scratch. 

Please note that I had to take one more step at the end.

Once Office setup was complete I still didn’t see OneNote icons, so I checked Outlook trust center to verify the status of all com add-ins.

This time OneNote was listed, but as disabled add-in. I then click on the “Go…” button to get into the com add-ins management window, enabled the add-in and bam! OneNote buttons showed up in the ribbons.

Solution #3 (Added March 24th 2017)

This solution was added by Aaron, by a comment.

I found the problem to actually be Outlook disabling the plugin because its load in time was over a second.
I just had to make sure the add on was “always enabled”.
This was shown when clicking “File” and seeing the Info tab – there was a section beside Manage COM Add-in that had “Slow and Disabled COM Add-ins” highlighted.


Thank you Aaron for sharing!

It remains to be seen which note taking app I like better.

While OneNote is still very annoying when it comes to sharing and collaborating with others, Evernote has recently changed its pricing model, which makes it less affordable than before.

Honestly I’m still trying to figure out which app annoys the most and why, but this is a subject to another post.

 Which note taking app do you prefer? Share by leaving a comment!



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