Flexible Methods to Convert Lotus Notes NSF files to EML, MSG or PDF Format

Table of contents Why do we need to convert NSF to EML, MSG or PDF files? How can I convert a Lotus Notes email to an EML file? Converting Lotus Notes emails to PDF format All in One Solution to Convert NSF files to EML, MSG & PDF Conclusion: Know how to convert NSF files […]

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Know how to convert NSF files to EML, MSG or PDF format as per convenience. Either use Lotus Notes or opt for a professional tool and export complete NSF data into the required format.

Without a doubt, Lotus Notes once was one of the best email client applications, offering a wide range of collaborative features. Its security is top-notch and it acts as a powerful data management application with support for contacts, emails, calendars, tasks, etc. All Lotus Notes data is saved in the .nsf file format. Well, NSF stands for the Notes storage format, which stores all the Lotus Notes files in the form of a database, hosted by a Lotus Domino server, which helps with offline and online work.

Why do we need to convert NSF to EML, MSG or PDF files?

As we all know, Lotus Notes is a sophisticated and unique e-mail client application that offers highly secure electronic communication capabilities. Lotus Notes uses NSF files to store all data by e-mail, contacts, calendars, and tasks. However, due to this very security, users cannot access the Lotus Notes data in any other email platform.

Some common notions as to why users require NSF data in other file format are:

  • Unable to access NSF files on other platforms such as Thunderbird or Outlook.
  • Switching from Lotus Notes to other more efficient email applications.
  • To keep a backup of all the emails in a form easily readable in multiple applications.

Applications that can access NSF data when exported to other platforms:

  1. EML: To access NSF emails in Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, etc., the best course of action is to convert NSF to EML format.
  2. MSG: MS Outlook (Users usually export Lotus Notes to Outlook by saving NSF data in PST format. But saving it in MSG format can also suffice.)
  3. PDF: Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Other PDF readers (Usually needed for legal purposes, documentation, or keeping hard copies of emails)

How can I convert a Lotus Notes email to an EML file?

Here are two ways to save an NSF email in the EML file format:

Method 1:

  1. Open Lotus Notes and select the e-mail you want to save in EML
  2. Now press File -> Save As
  3. Select the file name -> click on the save option

This is how a user can convert NSF to EML. Although, only one email message can be converted at one time.


  • The manual method is only suitable for converting a single Lotus Note email into an EML file at a time.
  • The conversion process only runs on Lotus Notes 8.5 and later versions.
  • Converting one file at a time does not convert all Lotus files together.
  • If the process is interrupted due to a power failure or for any reason, the data may be damaged or cause data loss problems.

Note: Move onto the “All-in-One Solution” given after the next section to export NSF emails in bulk.

Converting Lotus Notes emails to PDF format

Follow the given guide to move Lotus Notes emails to PDF:

  1. Install the Adobe Acrobat application.
  2. Acrobat has a feature known as PDFMaker. We will use this feature to export the NSF file emails to PDF format.
  3. Once the Acrobat application is installed, it will automatically appear in the IBM Lotus Notes application.
  4. Open the Lotus Notes program if not already opened.
  5. Select the email messages that you wish to save as PDF file.
  6. Now, in the action tab, choose Convert selected message to Adobe PDF option.
  7. Select a preferred destination to save all email messages in PDF format and click on the Save button.

Once the conversion gets completed it will open up the PDF document, you can preview the converted emails in separate pages.

Important Note: There are no manual methods to save Lotus Notes emails in MSG file format.

All in One Solution to Convert NSF files to EML, MSG & PDF

Manual conversion of Lotus Notes emails from NSF to EML is an impractical approach. It is suitable only for one email at a time and hence is not preferred by users. While there are no methods for exporting the Lotus Notes emails to MSG file format manually. Lastly, the conversion of data from NSF files to PDF does seem to be a viable choice. But it does not allow users to customize the process as per preference, thus it also fails in certain scenarios. Although these three conversion scenarios are different and have their own set of limitations, all 3 can be easily achieved using SysTools NSF Converter tool.

Users can not only export bulk emails from NSF to MSG, EML or PDF, but they can also customize the entire process with remarkable features. From date filters to inclusion of headers, formatting, etc, this software covers it all. Users can even choose to migrate contacts, calendars, tasks and journals along with NSF emails. Rest assured, the tool does not compromise with the quality of exported data and hence retains each and every aspect of Lotus Notes emails during conversion.

convert nsf to eml, msg or pdf


In this write-up, we have discussed the different techniques by which a user can know how to convert NSF to EML, MSG or PDF file format. Lack of any manual method to export Lotus Notes emails to MSG leaves users with no choice but to adopt a third-party tool. Also, the manual methods associated with EML and PDF file do not meet users’ need in providing bulk export and customize export respectively. Thus, we have provided a solution, trusted by millions of users globally, i.e., SysTools NSF Converter. Users can download the demo version of this application for free and personally experience its reliable working.

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