Backup & Restore Lotus notes Client Important Files

Why there is need to take the backup?

Backup is necessary for some important Notes client files to keep protected in case any error occurs while upgrading. If a situation comes and user faces problems they can restore the files from backed-up. You need to keep the backup of Notes data directory on your server. The data directory includes ID files, names.nsf,, log.nsf and also the other public address books or Domino directory located on the server.

What are the important files should be backed up?

There are following file which needs to backed-up and can be needed at the time of restoring notes database:

  • <username>.nsf - It contains users mail, calendar, and to do list. It is only shown in Notes data directory if the local replica of your mail file is created.
  • <username>.ID - This is the id file of user, it is needed to access notes.
  • ∗.nsf - This is the applications created in your computer which gets stored in Data directory.
  • names.nsf - It contains all contact entries, mailing groups, connections, and locations.
  • bookmark.nsf - It contains the information of home page and the saved bookmarks.
  • busytime.nsf - It contains the local free time information.
  • internet.nsf - contains information from newsgroup subscription(NNTP)
  • desktop8.ndk - workspace that points to your bookmark.
  • headline.nsf - contains your application subscription information.
  • install.log - configuration information based on the options available while installing notes. This file is used for comparison when upgrading to new versions of notes.
  • notes.ini - It contains the information which you provide while setting up Notes including the option selected in User preferences. Also contained in the information added by your administrator. On uninstalling the Notes it gets deleted.
  • user.dic - It contains all of the words which you add to the personal dictionary by an option of Add to Dictionary in spell checker.
  • perweb.nsf - This is called personal web navigator application containing the web browser information.

When should notes user files and password should be backed up?

It is suggested to avoid accidental data loss to take backup of Notes user′s personalized data and settings periodically prior to upgrading Notes client.

What are the Platform and versions requirement?

The backing up and restore process requires the platform consistency. That means if a user has backed up notes files and applications from a Windows OS, then these backed up files can only be restored to that same platform.

This operation of backup and restore is much easier if it occurs between the same version of Notes, same platform and same directory path and type of Notes installation.

One thing should be taken care of that backed up files can only be restored to the same Notes version or greater version but not to earlier versions of Notes.

If there is a need to be backed up for roaming user files and applications?

There is one advantage of configuring Notes as a roaming user is that most of the user's personal settings and data get stored centrally on a server. This data gets available to the user on which Notes client they log into. If an end user logs into another system then the personalized roaming data of server-persisted get automatically fetched and replicated to that system which provided the smooth experience when the Notes users move to different computers or to a new computer.

For roaming users, it is not necessary to backup and restores all information. Following files and applications which the notes roaming user need not backup as they are stored on a central server which automatically get backed by the notes administrator are:

  • bookmark.nsf
  • names.nsf
  • localfeedcontent
  • notebook.nsf or journal.nsf
  • roamingdata.nsf
  • notes workspace

What should not be backed up?

  • do not take the backup of Java classes cache workspace\config directory
    (Program Files\Notes_install_dir\data\workspace\config
  • do not take the backup of notes template file(.ntf files) or any contents of the subdirectory other than workspace directory.
  • do not backup the user′s local mail file.

How to Restore Notes clients files and applications?

In a situation when user′s client system damaged, lost or it needs to be reimaged or if the user is facing issues during upgrade. It may be needed when a Notes user obtained a new computer and need all his personalized data available there, so in that case, the administrator or user can also restore the backed up files and applications of users. If in case users want to switch the mailing platform and opt to Outlook then nsf to pst conversion tool is the best way to do so.

To restore the user′s Notes applications and files, you need to simply copy the data from backup to their correct target location using the directory and also refer to above article to know what to restore and where to restore.


This article discussed the important files in Notes which need to be backed up if users Notes client get corrupted or they facing continuous issues in accessing the Notes database. Here they can restore the backed up files and can access the data again in Notes. All important files have been stated above for back up and restore.