Save IBM Notes Emails as EML, MSG or PDF Documents

By August 16, 2019 ,
save lotus notes to eml, msg, pdf

There is no doubt that Lotus Notes was once one of the best email client applications, offering a wide range of collaboration features. Its security is top-notch, it can be used as a powerful data management application that supports contacts, e-mails, calendars, tasks and more. All its mailbox data is saved in NSF format. Here, NSF stands for the Notes storage format, which stores the content of Lotus Notes in a database hosted by the Domino server.

Why save NSF to EML, MSG or PDF files?

As we all know, Lotus Notes is a complex e-mail application that provides secure electronic communications. Lotus Notes stores all its data in NSF files including email, contacts, calendars and tasks. However, this also limits the accessibility of NSF files, as other email applications are not able to read the secure NSF files.

Some common concepts on why users need NSF data in other file formats:

  • Unable to access NSF files on other platforms (like Thunderbird or Outlook).
  • Switch from Lotus Notes to other more efficient email applications.
  • Keep a backup of all your emails in an easy-to-read format in a variety of applications.
  • An application that can access NSF data when exporting to other platforms:
  • EML: the best way to access NSF e-mail in Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, etc. You convert NSF to EML format.
  • MSG: MS Outlook (Users generally export Lotus Notes to Outlook by saving NSF data in PST format. But it is also sufficient to save them in MSG format.)
  • PDF: Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, other PDF readers (generally used for legal purposes, documents or hard copies of confidential e-mails)

How to Export Lotus Notes Emails to EML file Manually

Below is the manual method to save NSF emails in the EML file format:

  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

Here’s how users convert NSF to EML. However, only one e-mail can be converted at a time.


The manual method is only suitable for converting a single Lotus Note email at a time into an EML file at a time.

  • The conversion process is performed only on Lotus Notes 8.5 and later versions.
  • Do not facilitate conversion of IBM Notes emails in bulk. Only converts one email message at a time.
  • If the process is interrupted due to a power failure or for any reason, the data could be damaged or cause data loss problems.

Convert Lotus Notes e-mail to PDF Manually

Move the Lotus Notes email to PDF according to the guidelines provided:

  1. Install the Adobe Acrobat app.
  2. Acrobat has a feature called PDFMaker. We will use this function to export NSF file e-mails to PDF format.
  3. Once installed, the Acrobat application will automatically appear in the IBM Lotus Notes application.
  4. If it is not already open, open the Lotus Notes program.
  5. Select the email you want to save as a PDF file.
  6. Now, in the Actions tab, select the “Convert selected messages to Adobe PDF” option.
  7. Select the preferred destination to save all the e-mails in PDF format and click on the “Save” button.

Once the conversion is complete, it will open the PDF document and it will be possible to preview the converted email on a separate page.

How to Export Lotus Notes to MSG file format Manaully

Unfortunately, unlike the two other file formats, there is no manual method to save IBM Notes e-mails in the MSG file format.

Flexible Method to Convert NSF files to EML, MSG and PDF

Manually converting Lotus Notes emails from NSF to EML is an unrealistic approach. It can only be used for one email at a time, so users don’t like it. Also, no method exists to manually export Lotus Notes emails in the MSG file format. Furthermore, converting NSF to PDF seems with the given manual option does seem to be a viable choice. But, because it don’t allow users to customize the process to their liking, it fails under many circumstances. Although the three conversion schemes are different and have their own limits, all three conversion schemes can be easily implemented using the SysTools NSF Converter tool.

Users can not only export bulk mail from NSF to EML, MSG or PDF, but also customize the entire process with powerful features. From the filter containing title, format, etc., the software covers everything. Users can also choose to migrate contacts, calendars, tasks and journals as well as NSF emails. Please be assured that the tool does not affect the quality of the exported data, therefore all the attributes of Lotus Notes emails remain intact after the conversion process.


In this article, we discussed several techniques for users to learn how to convert NSF to EML, MSG or PDF file formats. There is no manual way to export Lotus Notes emails to MSG and users have no choice but to use third-party tools. Furthermore, manual methods related to EML and PDF files do not meet the needs of users to provide bulk export and custom export separately. Therefore, we offer a solution considered reliable by millions of users around the world, namely the SysTools NSF converter. Users can download a demo version of the app for free and experience a reliable job.