Notice: This website is an unofficial Microsoft Knowledge Base (hereinafter KB) archive and is intended to provide a reliable access to deleted content from Microsoft KB. All KB articles are owned by Microsoft Corporation. Read full disclaimer for more details.

OneNote shows black boxes and other visual defects on certain graphics hardware

View products that this article applies to.

If you are a Small Business customer, you can find additional troubleshooting and learning resources at the Support for Small Business Support for Small Business website.

↑ Back to the top


The OneNote app from the Microsoft Store displays obvious visual problems, such as black boxes that cover parts of the screen.

↑ Back to the top


You can fix rendering problems by disabling hardware graphics rendering in OneNote. Hardware rendering improves the overall performance of OneNote, but it can also cause problems on a small percentage of graphics hardware.

To disable hardware rendering, follow these steps:
  1. Make sure that OneNote is not currently running on your PC. Open the OneNote app from the Windows Start menu. If your PC has a keyboard, press Alt+F4 to close the app. If you're using a touch device, swipe downwards from the top edge of your screen all the way to the bottom edge.
  2. Download the appropriate version of the tool from the Downloads table, depending on whether your PC is 32-bit or 64-bit.

    To determine whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit PC, follow these steps:
    1. Open the Windows Start menu.
    2. If your PC has a keyboard, type the word computer to search for . If you're using a touch device, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, press the Search button, and then type computer in the search box.
    3. Right-click on the Computer icon with your mouse (or flick downwards across the icon, if youre using a touch device), then select the Properties command to open the System Properties window.
    4. Next to the System type heading, you should see text indicating whether you are running a 64-bit or 32-bit operating system.
  3. After the tool is downloaded, run it. The tool should take only a few seconds to run. You may see a black window briefly flash on your screen during this time.
  4. After the tool has finished running, start the OneNote app from the Windows Start menu.

We have also provided a separate tool for re-enabling hardware rendering, should you want to do this. To use this tool, download it from the Downloads table, and then follow the "disable hardware rendering" steps.

Important Before you run the hardware rendering tools, read the End Users Licensing Agreement (EULA). By downloading the tools, you agree to abide by the terms that are specified in the EULA.


  • These tools apply only to the version of OneNote that is downloaded from the Microsoft Store.
  • These tools are intended for PCs that have 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) processors. You do not have to run these tools on Windows RT-based computers.
  • These tools should work for all languages, not only English.
  • If you continue to see visual defects in OneNote after you disable hardware rendering, contact Microsoft Support.
Need More Help?
You can also get help from the Microsoft Community online, search for more information on Microsoft Support or Office Help & Training, or learn more about Assisted Support options.

↑ Back to the top

Keywords: kbcs3, kb

↑ Back to the top

Article Info
Article ID : 2813030
Revision : 11
Created on : 4/23/2018
Published on : 4/23/2018
Exists online : False
Views : 241