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HCL Notes (earlier known as IBM Notes) is the email client that helps you to conduct a secure email communication with your colleagues and professional clients. The mailbox’s data file is saved in NSF format, and you can open it in HCL Notes only. In some conditions, when HCL Notes is facing some downtime, then you cannot open your mailboxes, but if you can convert it into PST format, then you can access it easily in Outlook without creating an account. Before converting the data file, there can be several reasons behind the unavailability of HCL Notes application and you should know about them.

Reasons to Open NSF Files Without HCL 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
  • Orphan NSF files are received from some external resource & Notes application is not installed
  • Market trends; switch to other organizations, mergers/acquisitions, etc.
  • Due to the segmented file structure and large database size, the backups are slow
How to Open NSF files in Outlook?

Microsoft 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 HCL 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 HCL 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 HCL 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 HCL Notes; now you need to import these files to Outlook.

How to Import HCL 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 Import/Export
  4. Now, select the Import from another program or file option from the list of ‘c’ and click on Next.Choose an action to perform
  5. On the next window ‘Import a file’, select Comma Separated Values and click on Next.Comma Separated Values
  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.Select the exported CSV files
  7. Now select a destination from your PST file and click on a destination
  8. Once the process is completed, click on the Finish button.Finish The process

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 HCL 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 HCL 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.

  1. Start with clicking on Add Local NSF Files(s).Add Local NSF Files
  2. Now select the desired NSF files and click on the files
  3. Now, select the file and click on on Preview
  4. Select the particular file item for the preview.Select the particular file
  5. 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 HCL 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.

Benefits of Software
  • The software provides preview of all the presentable items of mailbox.
  • It does not change the hierarchy of folders.
  • It can open unlimited number of NSF files.
  • It also shows the hidden folders in NSF files.
  • The read/unread status of emails is not changed if you view them in the software.
  • It can open NSF files created from any version of IBM Notes.
Video – How to Open and View NSF Files Without HCL Notes?


Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook