Unable to Open NSF file Error- Cannot open NSF file Error-Solved

  Admin |   14-Sep-20

Prior initiating to the HCL Notes, formally known as Lotus Notes file error, “unable to open nsf file”, let’s discuss the Notes data file format that helps the user to access their precious database in IBM Notes. The NSF file is a data saving file format used by the Lotus Notes/ Domino Server platform to store the user database at local storage directories with .nsf format. It stands for Notes Storage Facility. A complete NSF database has various files to store user data such as-

unable to open nsf file

Names.nsf to store client address books (contacts) at a specific location.

Mail.nsf to save user’s email data, calendars, and tasks list at the preferred location.

Archive.nsf It is used to create a backup of the current file database at the local storage directory to use it in the future.

Headline.nsf it stores the database subscription information.

Bookmark.nsf If a user creates a short cut for any application item then Lotus Notes create this file.

Internet.nsf If the user subscribed to the latest news or updates then this file comes to the storage location to store that information.

Busy time.nsf The file consists of all the information about the Lotus Notes version and applications.

The structure of the Lotus Notes client is quite complicated to understand and the knowledge of the technical process is mandatory for the user to conduct any task through Lotus Notes/Domino Server. In view of the complexity of the application, the NSF file occurs various errors, in which the “cannot open NSF file” is the most face able error among the users.

Reasons that Makes the User Unable to Open NSF File

Although, sudden power failure, Hardware issues, software error can be the main factor that occurs the unable to open NSF file error. Nevertheless, here we are going to explain all the possible reasons, and their simplest solutions to resolve unable to open NSF file error.

  1. Entry Not Found in Index
  2. Absence of Key-Value.
  3. NSF file doesn’t exist.
  4. File truncated- File may have been damaged.
  5. Unable to Open Names and Address book due to error file does not exist- Location cannot be used until the problem has been solved.
  6. Unable to Open database file when try to view Archived items (Server_name!!EV\EV_ 000000x.nsf)
  7. Attempted encryption operation is not supported by this version of Notes

1. Entry Not Found in Index-

Whenever HCL Notes modify their policies or makes any version update, then the file not found in the index error emits that makes the user unable to open NSF file.

Solution: Fixing this issue is quite simple that can be processed as arranging or editing your data files in an appropriate manner that follows new policies. It may take some time to be completed.

2. Absence of Key-Value-

The implementation of the different fields prior to the key field and keep the key-value empty is the main reason for this error.

Solution: Firstly, make a copy and then simplify the Text and various attachments field and save the work again. If the error is present, then repeat the process to finish the error to open NSF file.

3. NSF file Doesn’t Exist

The unappropriated indication of the file location is the main reason for this error. It is the most common error that opts by the Lotus Notes to make the user unable to open the NSF file.

Solution: Find the Notes.ini file saved at the default file location of the NSF database- C:/program files/IBM/lotus/Notes/Data/. If you are not able to find the file then create a new one database in Lotus Notes.

Read More: Common Lotus Notes Error and its Solution

4. File Truncated- File may have been damaged-

Whenever a user tries to open the archive database document but failed to do so, the reason for failure is file truncation.

Solution: Disabling the archive logging may fix this issue. After completing it, create the archive data one more time. In case of the wrong approach, delete the old archive file. To generate a new archive file, you can follow these simple steps-

  1. Replace the damaged archive file with the new one.
  2. Copy the file to the non-corrupted file
  3. Delete the old corrupted archive file.

5. Unable to open Names and Address book-

As above mentioned that the names.nsf used to store the contacts in HCL Notes. This error occurs when the Notes client becomes unable to recognize the file in the desired format or file is absent from the expected directory.

Solution: Search the Notes.ini file in the Notes database directory. You can create a new file using these simple steps-

  1. Create a new file of the database.
  2. Reconfigure the Notes client to create names.nsf.
  3. To perform the above task go to the notes.ini and open it.
  4. Delete all the rows above the DST line.
  5. Restart the Notes application and configure the notes client again.

6. Unable to open database file when try to archive items-

The main cause of the error is based on the checking of the access control list on the Domino server mailbox or checking the permission of the mailbox archive form the vault administration console. If the value of the mailbox owner name is empty then the error “unable to open NSF file” occurs with an error message- Server_name!!EV\EV_000000x.nsf

Solution: Changing in the Domino Administration can solve this error very easily. For this, you need to follow these steps as written below-

  1. Launch the Domino Administrator program.
  2. Go to the File >> Open Server >> choose the server where the mail file exists.
  3. Open the file and select the mail folder.
  4. Go to Domino Mailbox and right-click to choose Access Control >> Manage.
  5. Add mailbox owner name and access name.
  6. Open Vault Administrator Console >> Domino provisioning task >> right click on it >> Properties >> Synchronization >> Ok
  7. Open the permission list in the archive section and check the owner’s name is present or not.

Making these changes in Domino administrator can solve the error.

7. Attempted encryption operation is not supported by this version of Notes-

The encryption error in Lotus Notes occurs due to the following two reasons-

  1. Accessing the new version database in the old version of IBM Notes.
  2. Accessing a new server in the older version server as an adjacent domain.

Solution: As Far As, the encryption error is the common error caused to unable to open the NSF file problem that can be solved by upgrading the server’s public key. To do this complete process you need to follow these simple steps-

  1. Install the older version of the Lotus Notes and then upgrade to the newest version.
  2. In case, if a newer version creates an adjacent domain of the old version then use Lotus Notes 7.0 version for both servers.
  3. Use that public key bit who supports both the versions of the server.
  4. Upgrading the IBM Notes can solve this cannot open .nsf file error.


As per the above-detailed article, we have come up with all possible scenarios and solutions to solve the error “unable to open NSF file”. Use these methods one by one to solve the error. Still, if you are not able to solve the error “cannot open NSF file” then try a free automated solution to read and export NSF data to Outlook or Office 365. Use MailsDaddy Lotus Notes to Outlook Converter tool to perform these tasks without any hassle.

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