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How to Open and View NSF Files Without Lotus Notes?

Manisha Rawat
Manisha Rawat Updated On - 04 Sep 2020

NSF is a database file format used by Lotus Notes now known as IBM Notes, is an email client still used by many users. The NSF files cannot be opened in Outlook directly, but there are ways with the help of which you can view the NSF file data in Outlook. There are manual and automated ways which can let you open NSF files without any trouble. Before moving towards the ways to open NSF files, let’s know the reasons why you want to open NSF files on a different platform.

Reasons to Open NSF Files Without IBM Notes

  • Due to higher installation and maintenance cost
  • It requires a lot of RAM to store NSF mailboxes
  • Due to the poor server support
  • Notes server is down or other related issue
  • Application is not installed on the current system
  • Due to the segmented file structure and large database size, the backups are slow

How to Open NSF files in Outlook?

Outlook is the most popular emailing platform, easy to operate and accessible to all. Most importantly when you have it installed on your system and want to open NSF file in Outlook, you can actually do this!

Instant Solution

Download automated tool Kernel NSF Viewer to open and view NSF file without using IBM Lotus Notes.

How to do it Manually?

To open any NSF file in Outlook, you need to first convert it into the Outlook compatible format, which is PST file. So, to convert NSF file to PST file, you need to perform the export and import process. For this process, the Lotus Notes is required to be installed in your system to export the files and then with the help of Import/Export feature in Outlook, you can import this CSV file into it.

The two stages included in this procedure are:

  1. Exporting NSF files to CSV file
  2. Importing CSV file to Outlook application

How to Export NSF files to CSV?

  1. Start IBM Notes on your system and click on Open.
  2. Click on File and in the menu choose Export.
  3. Now, select a destination for your file, after the selection from the drop down select Comma Separated Value or Structure Text.
  4. Give a name to your file and click on Export.
  5. Once the process is completed successfully, you will get either of these two; CSV or a Structured Text Export screen.
  6. Select the option as per your requirement provide the saving path location and click on Ok.

So, this is how you export files from IBM Notes; now you need to import these files to Outlook.

How to Import IBM Notes Files to Outlook

  1. Launch the Outlook application installed on your system.
  2. Start with clicking on the File option.
  3. Click on Open & Export and select Import/Export from the options available.
  4. Now, select the Import from another program or file option from the list of ‘Choose an action to perform’ and click on Next.
  5. On the next window ‘Import a file’, select Comma Separated Values and click on Next.
  6. Next, you need to click on the Browse button and select the exported CSV files. In the options section, you will see three options, selected the preferred one and click on Next.
  7. Now select a destination for your PST file and click on Next.
  8. Once the process is completed, click on the Finish button.

After performing these steps successfully, you will be able to open the exported files in Outlook. This manual solution to open and view NSF files using the Import and Export feature is a long process and definitely requires the installation of IBM Notes on your system.

How to Open and View NSF file with Kernel NSF Viewer?

If you want fewer hassles and quicker processing, then install Kernel NSF Viewer Free to open, view, and convert NSF files for free without IBM Notes installed on the system. Let’s see how easy it is. Download (from download link on software website), install and launch the software on your system.

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  1. Start with clicking on Add Local NSF Files(s).
  2. Add Local NSF Files

  3. Now select the desired NSF files and click on Open.
  4. select the files

  5. Now, select the file and click on Preview.
  6. click on Preview

  7. Select the particular file item for the preview.
  8. Select the particular file
    So, you have seen the direct 3 step process to open and view the NSF files mailbox content via Kernel NSF Viewer application.


NSF is the IBM Notes database file format; there are limited applications which support NSF. If you want to open and view an NSF file in Outlook, then you can perform the above methods. Although, manual method is also a right approach, the automated method is always recommended because of its hassle-free and easy steps. The advanced software mentioned in the blog comes in a trial version also which allows you to open and view NSF files for free, but with the full version you can convert lotus notes NSF to Outlook file and save converted files on your system.

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Watch Video: To know Complete Process of Lotus Notes to Outlook Conversion