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Cannot Open NSF File? Find the Solution Here


Are you unable to open NSF file in the Lotus Notes email application? Don’t be afraid if you cannot open NSF file because, in this article, we are discussing the solutions to fix the issue. But, before directly going to the solution, let us first know the reasons why this error occurs.

What is NSF File?

NSF file is the repository file of Lotus Notes which is used to store emails, contacts, calendar, notes, tasks, etc. These files are usually hosted by the Domino Server and can be downloaded from Lotus Notes to work in offline mode. However, like every other file format, this file format also consists of some errors in it. It can be encrypted via email, port, field, database and document encryption.

Quick Solution: If you want to open and view .nsf files of IBM Lotus Notes database so, you can use Lotus Notes NSF Viewer tool.

Reasons why Users are Unable to Open NSF File

As we have discussed in the above section that many users have encountered issues while using Lotus Notes. As it is a complicated file structure and complex user interface due to which the chances of errors are increased. Although, there are few factors which are responsible for it such as hardware issues, faulty software, sudden power failure, etc. Due to all these issues, most of the users cannot open NSF file. Let us discuss the errors and its solutions in the following segment.

Common Error Along with Solutions

Error 1 – Missing Key Value

The main cause behind this issue is the implementation of different fields before the key field and make the key value empty.

Solution: Resolve this issue by following the methods described below:

  • First, create a copy and simplify some fields like Text (from rich text into plain text) and some attachments.
  • Now, save the work again.
  • Repeat Step 1 & 2 if the issue still occurs.

Error 2 – Entry Not Found in Index

This error occurs in IBM Notes when it changes its existing policies. Moreover, any modification in the email application can lead to this error.

Solution: This issue can be fixed simply by storing the documents in a proper way with updated policies. This process is a bit longer as compared to others but can help users who are unable to open NSF file.

Error 3 – File Does Not Exist in Lotus Notes

This issue can arise when the location of NSF file is not specified properly. This is a common error which is faced by many users who cannot open NSF file.

Solution: To fix this, you have to access Notes.ini file which contains the location of other files. You can find this file at this location – C:\program files\ibm\lotus\notes\data

If you don’t find the file at this location, then you have to create a new DB in IBM Notes.

Error 4 – Attempted Encryption Operation is not Supported by this Version of Notes

The encryption error in Lotus Notes is caused due to following reasons:

  • Using Servers of the older version as an adjacent domain to New Server.
  • Using the older version to access the database of the newer version.

Solution: This encryption issue generally occurs in the higher versions of IBM Notes as it is related to the strength of the server’s public key.

Implement the following steps if you are unable to access NSF file:

1. Install the lower versions of Notes and then upgrade them to higher versions.
2. If the new version is creating an adjacent domain of older version then you can use Notes 7 for both old and new versions.
3. Try using the Notes public key bit which supports both the versions. For example, use 630 bot Notes for Domino 7 which access Domino 5 server.

Users who cannot access NSF file can try this method also to resolve the issue.

Error 5 – “File Truncated – File may have been damaged”

This error occurs when a user tries to access the document from one of the damaged archived files.

Solution: You have to disable archive logging to solve this issue. If the old archived log file is not archived properly then you can try archiving the data again.

You can create a new archive file by following these steps:

  • Replace the old damaged archive file with new files.
  • Copy the files to a new file which is not damaged.
  • Then, delete the corrupted file.

Quick Solution: If you are still unable to access your mailbox data after trying all these solutions, then you can use this SysTools Mail Migration Wizard to open your IBM Notes file in some other email platform.


IBM Lotus notes stores all its mailbox data such as emails, contact details, archive, etc. in NSF file format. However, most of the time while working, most of the users are unable to open NSF file. Therefore in the above discussion, we have discussed some solutions to overcome this issue.

A Freelancer Tech Geek. Love to seek knowledge in technical arena and share it with folks. Did research on different technologies and like to share solutions to the problems.