Two Free Methods to Convert NSF Files into PST Files

Megha Sharma
Megha Sharma | Updated On - 25 Feb 2021 |

Read time 12 min

Two major email clients prevalent in organizations are IBM/Lotus Notes and MS Outlook. However, under certain situations, many users need to switch their email client to Outlook from Lotus Notes. But accessing NSF file directly in Outlook is not possible as both have different database file (NSF for Notes and PST for Outlook) formats incompatible with each other.

Let us go through the necessities, and the procedure one has to follow to access their NSF emails in MS Outlook.

What are the Reasons for IBM Notes to MS Outlook Migration?

Migration of email data from Lotus Notes to Outlook is attributed to various reasons.

  • Outlook is cost-effective when compared to Lotus Notes.
  • Outlook has lower maintenance costs than Lotus Notes
  • Outlook is an integrated application within Microsoft Office Suite while Notes is a standalone application (need to purchase)
  • Outlook allows users to configure multiple accounts simultaneously.
  • Outlook provides offline accessibility of mailboxes while Notes does not.
  • Outlook integrates better security features and data management practices than Notes
  • Lotus Notes is less user-friendly than MS Outlook. Outlook is suitable for the novice user as well as technically sound users. Novice users find it difficult to work with Lotus Notes.
  • Job switch is another reason as the new working place may have Outlook as email client.

Why NSF to PST Conversion?

While there are enough reasons for Notes users to switch to Outlook. NSF files cannot be accessed directly in Outlook as they use different file formats to save their mailbox data (Lotus Notes uses NSF file format while Outlook uses PST file format).

To access the whole email data, first NSF files have to be converted into PST files. There are primarily two methods to convert NSF files into PST files – manual method and third-party tool i.e. Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook.

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Manual Method to Convert NSF Files into PST Files

It is a free NSF to PST conversion method. It is recommended to have a backup copy of original IBM Lotus Notes NSF file before performing the manual conversion, as the file can get damaged during the conversion process. The manual method to convert NSF files into PST files is performed in two stages.

  1. Export NSF files from Lotus Notes to an intermediate CSV file
  2. Import the intermediate CSV file into MS Outlook

Step I: Export NSF Files to CSV
To export NSF files from Lotus Notes, perform the steps given below

  1. Launch IBM Lotus Notes program.
  2. Click File > Open > Louts Notes Application.
  3. In the Open Application window, browse for the required NSF file and click Open. The selected NSF file gets opened.
    Browse the required NSF file
  4. Now, on the File menu, click Export.
  5. On Export dialogue box, enter the file name, file location, and saving type.
  6. Select the Comma Separated Value format for the file.
    Select the comma seperated value
  7. A dialogue box CSV Export gets open. Select the required options from How much to export, Export Character Set and Detail to Incorporate sections. Click OK.
    Select required option
  8. The exported data gets saved in CSV file gets saved in the defined location.

Step II: Import CSV File into Outlook
Import the Intermediate CSV file into MS Outlook by following the steps:

  1. Launch MS Outlook program.
  2. On the File menu, click Open & Export, and then click Import/Export.
    Click Open & export
  3. An Import and Export Wizard dialogue box pops up. Select Import from another program or file from the options. Click Next.
    Import and Export Wizard dialogue box
  4. Select Comma Separated Values as file type and click Next.
    Select Comma Separated Values
  5. Click Browse and select the path for CSV file created earlier using the Export command of Lotus Notes. You can select the options according to your need.
    Select path for CSV file
  6. Select the Outlook folder where you want to save your exported data and click Next.
    Select Outlook folder to save exported data
  7. Select the given checkbox in the Import a file dialogue box and click Finish. You can also change your destination or map custom fields by clicking on the same name options.
  8. Change your destination location

  9. The data from the “CSV file” would be imported to “MS Outlook.”

Challenges in Manual NSF to PST Conversion

The free NSF to PST conversion method is helpful in some situations, but it has many limitations too. Some of them are:

  • Complicated and tedious method for a novice user
  • Time-consuming and fails to migrate entire data
  • Manual error possibility is there
  • If not handled correctly, might cause corruption in the NSF file
  • Data loss or incomplete data export can be a case
  • Selective conversion is not possible
  • Converts only one NSF file at a time, making the process lengthy and monotonous

Using a Professional Solution for NSF to PST Conversion

Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook is a powerful NSF to PST conversion tool. This third-party tool saves NSF files (from IBM/Lotus Notes, SmartCloud Notes and Domino Server) in Outlook PST or Exchange Server directly. It has many advantages over free NSF to PST tool. It has the facility for saving NSF file in multiple PST files. The user can also migrate specific data using advanced filters designed in the tool. There is no need to have the Lotus Notes installed on the user’s system to perform the conversion as it only requires NSF files for the conversion purpose. The free version of the same tool can convert and save 10 items per folder for free from each source mailbox.

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Easy Steps for NSF to PST Conversion Using Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook

Launch the downloaded and installed free version of the tool for conversion of NSF files to PST files. To add NSF files for conversion, click Add File(s). You can select multiple files for the conversion. The option for splitting your converted PST files into different sizes is also available. You can have the full preview of the selected email by clicking on the Preview button. After viewing, you can export data to PST file.

The NSF to PST tool provides you two saving options. You can either save your files in PST format or directly on Exchange Server. You can also define the Saving Location and Date Range. And emails can be saved in different formats like TEXT, HTML, or RTF according to your requirements.

The tool uses a CSV file to migrate multiple NSF files simultaneously. You can browse and select the CSV file by clicking the browse (…) button. You can define Saving Location and Date Range too. You can also split your converted PST file into different sizes. After applying the desired filters, you can export data to PST files.

Learn about its interface, features and working through the main working steps of the converter software.

  1. Run the software and click Add Local NSF file(s) to select NSF files.Add Local NSF File
  2. Browse any number of NSF files.Browse multiple NSF file
  3. After you have selected NSF files, click the Preview button to get a glimpse of the selected NSF file data.Add selected NSF file
  4. Then click Back and further click on Migrate option to migrate all added NSF files.

  5. View the preview of selected file item.Preview of selected file
  6. As soon as you click the Migrate button, there will be two saving options –
    • Outlook PST
    • Exchange

    Click on migrate button

  7. If you select Outlook PST as the desired saving option, then in the next step you need to browse the destination folder where you want to save the PST file. Then click OK.Select PST as a saving option
  8. Now you are provided with multiple options for selective saving:
    • You can use Split PST Filter that splits file to the specified size (in MB or GB) to save data into multiple PST files.
    • Define a Date Range and insert the Start Date and End Date to convert NSF of that date range only.
    • You can select the categories that you want to migrate within Select Categories option.
    • Provide Folder Filters details by checking/un-checking Skip folder name “All” and Skip Hidden Views and Folders options.
    • Check, different fields like Exclude Folder(s) and Include Folder(s), and provide folder names, if you want to exclude or include any folder(s).
  9. Finally, click OK.
    Click ok
  10. Select the required saving format in the Saving Mode Selection window and choose from Mark Read/Unread option. Click OK.Select required saving option
  11. Upon successful saving, Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook software will display the following message:Saving successfully
  12. Now the file gets converted into PST format. You can view them now in MS Outlook application.

Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook migration is a comprehensive tool that converts NSF files into PST files or saves them to Exchange Server. This is the best alternative to the free NSF to PST converter. The tool supports all the versions of Exchange, Outlook, and Notes including the latest versions. It can be installed on Windows 10 as well.

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Watch Video for Complete Process of NSF to PST Conversion


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Summing Up
The blog discussed the top reasons to convert Notes NSF files to PST files and brought two free ways to convert NSF files to PST files. One method was the manual way which includes exporting NSF data to CSV file format and then importing the same file to the Outlook application using the Import/Export feature. Here, the manual method has certain drawbacks or limitations, and to overcome these drawbacks, a better way in the form of a professional, automated NSF to PST Converter solution is explained towards the end which can convert about 10 items per folder free with the Trial version and unlimited data with the paid full version of the tool.