File and Data Copy When Migrating your Lotus Notes Installation to a New Computer

Ritu Roy | Email Conversion email migration file conversion How to's Software Technology | 4 minutes read | Modified on: 18-09-2023
File to copy when migrating your Lotus Notes installation to a new computer

Seeking to synchronize Lotus Notes on another machine and need to know you can maintain your user interface customization, contacts, and other information. The simple answer is move some existing files to your new destination. Read on to know what files you must copy when exporting your Notes installation.

Exporting to another PC and workstation is properly common, especially when there are problems with the current device or if you need to enhance the configuration or operating machine. Sometimes, you may even select to use two machines, often with varying configurations and operating machines. In such conditions, exporting your existing apps from one device to another is tricky, especially when using apps like HCL Notes.

One of the main problems is the multiple files that you have to transfer from one device to another, Even if you miss one file, the software will not work on the new PC. Read on to know what files you must copy while exporting your Notes installation to a new computer.

Personal Contacts Book (Address Book)

Notes keep each of your contacts in a file named names.nsf, which is also known as the personal address book. It serves as a single database file that houses all of the contacts in your inbox and is also utilized in the Domino Server directory. One of the most crucial files for Note transfer is this one.


When you install Notes on a local computer, a file called Bookmark.nsf is generated automatically. This file includes your bookmarks, bookmark history, icon pictures from the database, welcome page design, and even your personalized frameworks and views. The primary use of this file is to fix replication problems that occur when multiple users work on the same bookmark at once. Be aware that Notes may not function properly if this file is damaged.


Additionally, this file includes a cached copy of previously accessed or bookmarked database entries. Note that you don’t have to migrate this file; once you install and open Notes on the new device, a new copy of it will be created automatically. However, you will lose any customizations and other desktop-related information you had stored on the other device.


The most crucial Notes file must be moved carefully because it contains numerous settings and parameters necessary for the correct operation of both Notes and the Domino server. Ideally, you shouldn’t ever change this file unless the HCL support specifically requests it to correct an error.  Pay close attention to the safe and error-free transportation of this error when you migrate it.

ID file for the user

Information for user authentication can be found in the user’s ID file, including the client’s username, password, encryption keys, user certificate details, license number, and more. You cannot authenticate your Notes login credentials without this file and the data it contains. Click “My Computer > C:/Lotus > Notes > Data” to access this file. A file with the “ID” extension can be found in this folder.

Because of this, there are a few crucial files that you must copy in order to migrate your Notes installation to a new device. Take a backup of these files if possible so that you can restore them in the event of loss or corruption.

Issues with Free Manual Solution of Migrating Files

Before using the free manual approach option, you must know the potential downsides that come with it. This manual procedure is a lengthy process that needs experience and good technical knowledge. Also, you must know where these files are saved and what they contain, so you can accordingly configure your new Notes installation. Therefore, even one misstep can cause the installation to fail. In some cases, you won’t be able to access your Notes data, leading to a loss of productivity.

The missing files could be another issue. You may see a notification informing you that NSF files are missing while downloading Notes. You’ll need to copy the missing files from your old device to the new one in order to solve this issue. You’ll also need to merge the NSF files, which is another time-consuming process if your new device includes Notes.

Numerous users are choosing to switch to user-friendly programs like Outlook as a result of these possible issues. It is difficult to transfer data from Lotus Notes to Outlook, nevertheless.  Using software like CubexSoft NSF to PST Converter, which can extract all the data from your NSF file and shift it to formats like PST, Microsoft 365, MSG, EML, RTF, PDF, and many more, is the simplest option. You will have convenient access to data whenever you need it. What’s more, you can access your Lotus information in Outlook and other programs.

Bottom Line!

In conclusion, moving Notes between devices might be difficult since you have to physically copy the ID file, make a note of the server data, and then manually enter it all in the new configuration procedure. Such complex procedures are also prone to errors, which can prevent you from accessing your Notes data. Utilising a program like the CubexSoft IBM Notes Export, which converts your Notes data to other formats so you can access it whenever you need it, is a simpler choice.