When Your OneNote Notebook Errors Due To Exceeding The Maximum System Download File Size

Last week I had a ticket from a customer who was getting the following error when trying to sync her OneNote notebook to a SharePoint 2010 library:

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“This section cannot be synced because it exceeds the maximum system download file size. Click here to see help online about the error.”

It sounded like she might have an attachment in one of the sections of her notebook that was over the 50MB upload file size limit for our SharePoint environment. After she searched for a bit, she found the 78MB file, removed it, and tried syncing again. Unfortunately, the same error kept appearing.

After a bit more research, I found the solution to her issue here:  http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2010-onenote/this-section-cannot-be-synced-because-it-exceeds/339a7cd3-db2c-4505-b675-734d5459091d

To quote:

So this problem is probably being caused by a single large file that is over 100 MB. If you have any such files, that removing them might cause the issue. However, you may still need to take a couple more steps before the error will go away. 

NOTE: the following steps will effectively remove the earlier versions & backups, so make sure your don’t need to revert to an earlier version of the notebook before you proceed.

– When you delete a page or section, we move it to the Notebook Recycle Bin, which stores the data for a few more days. You may need to delete the offending file(s) by going to  (Share -> Notebook Recycle Bin -> Empty Recycle Bin). Alternatively , you can go into the recycle bin and delete specific pages or sections if you don’t want to empty everything. 

–  We also store versions of pages so that you can go back to an earlier version. However, this can take up extra space which might be the source of the problem. You can select Share -> Page Versions -> Delete All Versions in this Notebook or Section  to clear out old versions. 

Once I had her follow those instructions for removing the file/sections from the Notebook Recycle Bin, everything was back to normal.

While I like OneNote, it certainly plays by its own rules when it comes to syncing, recycling, and security…

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