Best Techniques to Convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST

Techniques to Convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST

Both the email clients, Lotus Notes and MS Outlook are popular. Lotus Notes uses NSF (Notes Storage Facility) to store its mailbox data.

While Outlook uses PST (Personal Storage Table) format. PST allows users to store their emails on the computer which is accessible without an internet connection. Due to business needs and market trends, users switch Lotus Notes to Outlook.

If you want to convert NSF files to PST format, it may be difficult for you to find the right way. So, we are here with another blog to describe the best method to convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST.

Along with this, you will get to know about the challenges you might face during the conversion process and the solution to avoid them. Let’s move to the information with the need to transfer NSF file data to PST.

Top Reasons to Convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST

The question is mostly asked about why users are moving to Outlook. Well, there are some benefits of using PST files over NSF. Here we will discuss those reasons in detail so that you can choose the right one.

  • Pricing is one of the main reasons to convert NSF to PST. Lotus Notes needs more financial maintenance than other email clients. While Outlook is cost-effective.
  • Users find difficulties while using Lotus Notes because it needs more technical skills. The GUI of Outlook is user-friendly even novice people can easily understand it.
  • Outlook allows users to manage multiple accounts and perform multi-tasking. But the Lotus Notes fail to handle more than one task.
  • Notes need a strong internet connection to access the mailbox, but this is not with Outlook.
  • Outlook supports multiple account types like Microsoft 365, Exchange, IMAP, POP, etc.
  • Outlook provides more security features and data management than Lotus because it is part of the Microsoft 365 subscription.
  • Users can save the Outlook file in two formats OST and PST.
  • As Outlook supports multiple types of accounts, so the user can transfer the data between them.

So these were the reasons why people choose to convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST. It offers many benefits which attract users to adopt it.

Before converting the files manually you should take some precautions. Otherwise, the file can be corrupted.

What Precautions Must be Taken While Converting Lotus Notes to Outlook

Some precautions must be taken before converting the files. If you avoid this, your file can get corrupted. Here are some points you have to follow.

  • There is a high risk of data loss due to various reasons. So, make sure to back up your NSF file.
  • You need to handle the file structure carefully.
  • Be careful while selecting the emails, and make sure not to make a duplicate selection.

However, Outlook uses both files OST and PST, but it uses PST format as a database. That’s why you can’t convert NSF to OST format. Now you may ask how do I transfer emails from Lotus Notes to Outlook?

You can’t directly convert NSF to PST manually. Let me describe the conversion steps in detail so that you can follow them easily.

Manual Method to Migrate NSF to PST

It is the free method to convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST. But first, you need to convert NSF to CSV. Then, you can convert CSV to PST. Here, we will describe the complete process.

Step 1: Export NSF File to CSV File

Follow the given process to convert the NSF file to CSV format.

  • Launch the Lotus Notes application in your system and click on the File tab.
  • Under the file tab, go to the Open option.
  • Select the Lotus Notes Application option and it will open a new window.
  • Browse the required NSF file and hit the Open button.
  • From the File menu, select the Export option.
  • In the export dialog box, enter the name in the File name box.
  • Select the saving location.
  • Choose the File type as Comma Separated Value (CSV).
  • A dialog box CSV Export gets open. Choose the required options under How much to export, all documents, or selected documents.
  • Hit the OK button and it begins the process to save the CSV file in the desired location.

Step 2: Import CSV file to MS Outlook

After performing the first step, the CSV file needs to convert into PST format. Follow this step to convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST.

  • Install and open Outlook in your system.
  • Go to the File tab from the menu bar.
  • Click on the Open & export, then Import/Export.
  • A dialog box Import and Export Wizard appear.
  • Choose Import from another program or file, and select Next.
  • Select the file type as Comma Separated value (CSV) and hit the Next button.
  • From the new dialog box, tap the Browse button and locate the CSV file to import.
  • Choose the correct option to remove or allow duplicate items.
  • Click on the Next button, select the destination folder and again click the Next button.
  • In the Import a file dialog box, mark the checkbox. You can also change the destination or map a custom field from the provided options.
  • Wait until the process gets completed.

It was how to convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST manually. Although, there are many drawbacks to using this method which you should know.

Limitations to Migrate NSF to PST Format

Before doing any task, you should aware of its limitations, so you can prevent any major issues. The users find the above method quite annoying and risky to follow. Here are the reasons why:

  • It is a very lengthy and time-consuming process.
  • There are high chances of process failure due to manual errors.
  • It can convert only one NSF file at a time which makes it monotonous.
  • You need technical know-how to convert the files manually.
  • This method doesn’t import the NSF file directly to the PST format.
  • The NSF file may be corrupt due to any interruption.

From the above discussion, we find many challenges in converting the files manually. So, we come to the end that the manual technique does not guarantee users to convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST safely.

To avoid these issues, you should opt for an automatic method to convert NSF to PST. There is no need to convert the files to CSV and then to PST format. It needs just a few clicks to migrate the entire file. It saves lots of time by converting NSF files in bulk so that you won’t miss your important work.

The automatic method uses advanced technologies to facilitate its users with a user-friendly interface. It needs no technical knowledge. Even a novice user can easily understand the GUI. It allows migrating specific data by using various filters.

All the email items exported to PST, including email messages, contacts, and calendars. In this method, you don’t need to worry about duplicate email conversion because it removes the duplicates on its own.


In brief, this guide summarises all the dimensions to convert Lotus Notes NSF to PST. Here, we have discussed the complete conversion process and the reason why most users switch to Outlook.

After describing the challenges of the manual method, we find the technique is full of risk and out of date. It converts the NSF file to CSV and then to PST. Professionals recommend using the automatic method to migrate NSF to PST.

It successfully converts the file without any damage to the data. From the above write-up, we conclude that the automated method is better than the manual.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Generally, the users have many doubts regarding the NSF to PST conversion. So here, we will lighten up some most frequently asked questions and their answers.

Can Outlook Open the Lotus Notes archive?

Outlook does not support NSF files. So, the Lotus Notes archives are not directly accessible in MS Outlook. Yes, you can open the Lotus Notes archive in Outlook, If the NSF file is converted to PST including archives.

Where are NSF files stored?

NSF files carry the emails, contacts, tasks, journals, and calendar data. When the mailbox storage gets full, we can archive the emails to save them on computer storage. It reduces the storage without deleting the data. Archive emails are stored in the NSF file in the default location C:\Program Files\IBM\Notes\Data\Archive.

Should Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook be installed on the system for converting NSF to PST?

To convert the NSF file, you should have access to it and it is accessible through Lotus Notes. Both Lotus Notes and Outlook must be installed in the system before converting the files.

What to do when the pop-up appears but the NSF file path does not found?

If the Lotus Notes file path does not found, you need to add the NSF file. Copy the file path and add it to your system.

Hope the above article helps you to understand the conversion method of NSF to PST. Thank you for being till the end.