How to enable Copilot on OneNote

If Copilot is missing in OneNote, this is what you need to do.

OneNote enable Copilot AI
OneNote enable Copilot AI
  • To enable Copilot in OneNote, you need a Microsoft 365 and Copilot Pro subscription associated with the Microsoft account, and then the feature will be enabled automatically.
  • If OneNote doesn’t have the “Copilot” feature, open OneNote > File > Account and click the “Update License” button.
  • If you don’t have a pro subscription, you won’t be able to access the chatbot AI on any of the apps.

In OneNote, Copilot should enable automatically after signing up for a Microsoft 365 Personal or Family and after getting the “Copilot Pro” subscription, but if it’s still missing, in this guide, I will show you how. Copilot Pro is the subscription that Microsoft wants you to pay to access the more advanced version of the chatbot AI, which is based on Copilot (free) but has some additional benefits. For example, with the $20 per month (per user) subscription, you get priority access to GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo, enhanced AI image creation, the ability to create customs GPTs (coming soon), and access to chatbot from Microsoft 365 apps. 

The Copilot capabilities always depend on the application. In the case of OneNote, the chatbot AI can help you to create content, including text, pages, and more. In the interface, you can also ask Copilot to do virtually anything, including things like creating a list, summarizing notes, recalling information, generating ideas, and more.

If you have both subscriptions but OneNote is missing the “Copilot” future, then you will have to reconfigure the application. I had this problem happen to me, and the solution was to update the license with the available option in the settings. If the option isn’t available, then you may need to reinstall the Microsoft 365 apps to make it all work.

In this guide, I will outline the two methods you can use to enable Copilot Pro on OneNote on Windows 11. (You may also need to follow the steps to update the license on Excel and Word.)

Enable Copilot Pro in OneNote (with license option)

To enable Copilot Pro in OneNote, use these steps:

  1. Open OneNote on Windows 11.

  2. Click on File and choose the Account option.

  3. Click the Update License button.

    OneNote update license option to enable Copilot

    Quick tip: You may need to click the button twice to get it to work.
  4. Click the Sign in button.

    Microsoft 365 confirm OneNote license

  5. Confirm the Microsoft account associated with the Microsoft 365 and Copilot Pro subscription.

  6. Click the Close button.

  7. Close all the instances of the Microsoft 365 apps.

  8. Reopen OneNote to access Copilot Pro.

Once you complete the steps, the product license will update, and Copilot should now appear in OneNote. The AI assistant should now be available from the “Home” tab.

Enable Copilot Pro in OneNote (missing license option)

If the “Update License” option is missing, you probably don’t have the correct version of the suite of Office apps that allows you to access Copilot in OneNote. In this case, you will need to completely uninstall the Microsoft 365 apps and install a fresh copy by downloading the installer from your Microsoft account.

1. Uninstall Microsoft 365

To completely uninstall the Microsoft 365 apps on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Download Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant tool.

  2. Double-click the executable to launch the setup.

  3. Click the Install button.

    Office recovery assistant tool

  4. Click the Agree button to confirm the terms.

  5. Select the version of the product – for example, Office 2021, 2019, or 365.

    Uninstall Office 2021 or 365

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Confirm the Office uninstall by checking the option that you have saved your work.

  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Click the Restart button.

After you complete the steps, the apps will be uninstalled from the computer, and you can proceed with the installation of the latest version of the Microsoft 365 apps.

2. Reinstall Microsoft 365 apps

To download and install the Microsoft 365 apps on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft account.

  2. Sign in with your Microsoft 365 account.

  3. Click on the Account tab.

  4. Click the Manage option for the “Microsoft 365” subscription.

    Microsoft account manage 365 subscription

  5. Click the Install button in the “Microsoft 365 apps for your devices” setting.

    Microsoft 365 install option

  6. Choose the installation language.

  7. Select the “Microsoft 365 64-bit” option.

    Microsoft 365 installer download

    Quick note: You should be able to choose any option, but this is the option that worked for me.
  8. Click the Install button to download the installer on your computer.

  9. Double-click the OfficeSetup.exe to install the apps.

  10. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the correct version of the apps will be installed on the device. You can now check if Copilot Pro is now available, but if it’s not, you should now be able to update the license with the steps below.

3. Enable Copilot in OneNote

To enable Copilot Pro in OneNote, use these steps:

  1. Open OneNote.

  2. Click on File and choose the Account option.

  3. Click the Update License button.

    OneNote update license option to enable Copilot

    Quick tip: You may need to click the button twice to get it to work.
  4. Click the Sign in button.

    Microsoft 365 confirm OneNote license

  5. Confirm the Microsoft account associated with the Microsoft 365 and Copilot Pro subscription.

  6. Click the Close button.

  7. Close all the instances of the Microsoft 365 apps.

  8. Reopen OneNote to access Copilot Pro.

After you complete the steps, Copilot Pro should be available in OneNote on Windows 11.

Here’s the process of getting Copilot Pro, an overview of the product, and how to cancel the service:

Update January 19, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the process to enable the AI feature on OneNote.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].