How to convert PST information into Lotus Notes databases

Tuesday Apr 2, 2013

Many of us are familiar with email clients like MS Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes. Both are advanced text messaging tools and support multiple tasks such as instant messaging, task scheduling, contact storage, online file storage and many more. However, the basic differences between both tools are in the usage of storage container and networking platform.

MS Outlook store user data in PST format and use MS Exchange Server to connect users whereas Lotus Notes save mailbox items in NSF format and connect user mailboxes on the Lotus Domino Server. Lotus Notes is embedded with many remarkable features as mentioned below:

  • It is integrated with advanced contact management feature that enable Notes user to add multiple contacts in his/her mailbox

  • Support voice and video conferencing functions

  • Make use of both POP3 and SMPTP mail protocols

  • Lotus notes and Lotus Domino Server provide high security feature to prevent unauthorized access of NSF databases

Email migration is not a cakewalk task if large mailboxes are required to be shipped into another email environment. As such, Outlook to Notes migration is also a complex process and entails a set of tasks:

  • Convert single PST file into NSF

  • Convert multiple PST files into Lotus Notes

  • Export Outlook mailboxes from Exchange Server to IBM Domino Server

Lotus Notes offer an built migration tool nupgrade.exe that can import mailbox data from PST file into NSF file. All PST files imported with nupgrade.exe tool will be saved in the local file directory of your computer system:

  • C:\ Program Files\Lotus\Notes\Data\mail\a_Personal Folders.NSF

Here C is the default drive of a Windows system. However, inbuilt migration tool of IBM notes does not support Exchange to Domino Server migration. It takes considerable time if Outlook mailbox size is very large. Therefore, it cannot be used for large scale PST to NSF migration in large organizations. Before using nupgrade.exe tool to import PST information into Notes, following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • You must be logged in as Outlook user

  • You must have installed Lotus Notes program in the local computer that store Outlook PST files

  • You must have access of all Outlook profiles that are linked with MS Exchange Server

To start using inbuilt Notes Upgrade services for email migration, do the following steps:

  1. Click Start>Run

  2. Type cmd.exe in the command box and press ok

  3. In the command prompt, go to default directory that holds IBM Notes program:

C:\Program Files\IBM\Lotus\Notes

  1. Type Nupgrade 3 at the command prompt and press Enter key

  2. In the lotus Notes upgrade services wizard, select the Outlook or Exchange Profile that you wish to convert

  3. Press “Next” after you’ve selected a user profile

  4. Choose “Express-All personal information converted to Notes (Recommended)” option and press “Next

  5. Click “Finish” button after all .PST and .PAB files are successfully imported into Notes

For swift migration of PST files into Lotus Notes or Domino Server, you must choose a third party Outlook to Notes migration software. It can convert large number of Outlook or Exchange profiles in NSF databases. Moreover, Outlook to Notes migration utility also keeps email formatting, structure and properties completely intact in the new email environment. You shall also be able to export Unicode characters from PST file with Outlook to Notes migration software. Almost all Outlook to Notes migration tools are available in free evaluation version. You can try the software before buying the full version.


Outlook to Notes migration is a complex process as it involves several sub-processes. Lotus Notes offer inbuilt facility nupgrade.exe that can convert Outlook or Exchange profiles into NSF files. However, inbuilt tool does not support Exchange to Domino migration and consumes lots of time in mailbox conversion. With third party software, you can swiftly accomplish conversion of Outlook profiles into Lotus notes or Domino Server.

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